The new £1 coin has been introduced into circulation today (Tuesday, March 28).
The new 12-sided £1 will be the most secure coin in the world. It boasts several new security features, including a hologram, to prevent counterfeits, which cost taxpayers and businesses millions every year.
According to The Royal Mint approximately one in thirty £1 coins in circulation is a counterfeit.
There will be problems for some businesses, however, as the new coin’s design won’t fit into coin-operated machines such as shop trolleys, photo booths, parking meters, lockers and vending machines.
What will happen to the current £1 coins?
The old coin will remain legal tender until 15 October this year, after which shops are under no obligation to accept it.
The Government has launched a campaign to raise awareness and encourage the public to return the round £1 coins to the bank before that date.
The coin was first launched on April 21, 1983 and since that time the Royal Mint has produced more than 2.2 billion of them.
It has been estimated that about £1.3 billion worth of coins are stored in savings jars across the country, and the current £1 coin accounts for almost a third of these.
Therefore it is important that all round £1 coins are returned before October 15, 2017 when they lose their legal tender status.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke said: “March 28 should be an important date in everybody’s calendar this year as we will have a new quid on the block.
“This is a historic moment as it’s the first time we’ve introduced a new £1 coin since 1983, and this one will be harder to counterfeit than ever before.
“Our message is clear: if you have a round one pound coin sitting at home or in your wallet, you need to spend it or return it to your bank before October 15.”