Will the New Pound Coin be Successful?

By Beth, Jess and Francesca

The new pound coin will be introduced into our coinage circulation on the 28th March 2017 at the end of the month. The decision to replace the current one pound coin was made in 2014, mainly as a result of this astounding statistic: 1:30 of these coins are counterfeit. This proves that the coin is no longer secure and criminals may begin to make a fortune if a new coin fails to replace it.

 There are thought to be 30 to 45 million counterfeit coins in circulation, which is one of the key reasons that a new one pound coin is deemed to be in need of replacing.

[It can often be difficult to tell if you are using an invalid coin as fakes are getting more and more realistic as the coin becomes older. ]

Since many different editions have been made, sometimes the unofficial ones have conflicts in the yearly designs, with the back illustration and inscription representative of different editions. The rims around the edge of the coin can also be poorly defined, and the lettering uneven in depth on imitation money, and some coins show no sign of age when they should have been in circulation for a long time to be real.

The new design is more complex and has a number of advanced design features which have been included in an attempt to prevent fakes being produced. The new coin possesses a similar shape to the three penny bit, which was one of the first coins Her Majesty the Queen appeared on, and is not dissimilar to the current two pound coin in appearance. The coin is modelled using two metals (nickel and brass) and features a number of grooves on alternating sides. The Queen's face is situated on one side of the coin, as is traditional, but a competition was held to determine what image should be placed on the other side. A young boy named David Pearce won the competition in 2015, drawing an image of the four flowers that are known to represent the countries that make up the United Kingdom, coming out of a crown. It has also been noted that the coin looks less like the euro, but this was not as a result of the Brexit vote. This is because the shape was announced in 2014, when some people were predicting that we would be using the euro by the date of the release. Nevertheless, perhaps the most advanced feature is the hologram, which allows one image (the pound symbol) to replace the '1' when tilted. Moreover, if this isn't enough, information has been withheld about a feature which has been pronounced as a 'high security' element of the design. It has also been described as a 'hidden' meaning. Consequently, criminals will be unable to copy it. A website has been provided to companies which explains the changes subsequently assisting them in identifying a fake, allowing the counterfeits to be removed from circulation before the coin fully begins its journey.

There are some possible downsides to creating a new coin, such as machines that recognize the well-used pound having to be changed and redesigned, including vending machines, slot machines, parking meters and train ticket purchasing format that will need to be reconsidered. Since there is an overlap between usages of the two forms of seven months, more complex systems will have to be designed and introduced to accept both the old and new coins. These complicated adaptations to the familiar systems may slow down important processes, forcing people to consider whether it is really worth replacing the pound.

Through surveying a class of 30 students, 50% thought that it was necessary to replace the old one pound coin.  A member of staff informed us that she does not see why the country needs to go through “the hassle” of replacing them.

Despite the opinions of the public, the government have officially decided that a new 12 sided gold and silver colored one pound coin will be replacing the familiar round pound. By the 15th October all of the old pounds will be invalid. However, the question remains – Will the new one pound be successful?