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New quid on the block: All you need to know about the new pound coin

Both faces of a 12-sided one pound coin (Ben Birchall/PA Wire)
Both faces of a 12-sided one pound coin (Ben Birchall/PA Wire)

A shiny new £1 coin will start to turn up in the nation’s wallets and pockets over the coming weeks.

The Royal Mint, in Llantrisant, South Wales, is producing 1.5 billion new £1 coins at a rate of up to 2000 every minute and a staggering three million in total every day.

The new 12-sided coin, which resembles the old threepenny bit, enters circulation today.

But fewer than one in five people (17%) are aware of the change, according to Mastercard.

So here’s what you need to know …

Why the change?

The new version boasts high-tech security features, including a hologram.

It is being produced following concerns about sophisticated counterfeiters’ ability to produce fakes of the old “round pound”, which was first introduced more than 30 years ago.

Around one in every 30 £1 coins in people’s change in recent years has been a fake.

What does the new £1 coin look like?

It’s made of two metals, with a gold-coloured outer ring and a silver-coloured inner ring. It has very small lettering on both sides of the coin and milled edges.

Thinner and lighter than the round pound, its diameter is slightly larger.

The design of the coin also has features reflecting England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, with a rose, a leek, a thistle and a shamrock.

What will happen to the old £1 coins?

Some will be melted down and reused to make the new £1 coin.

Remember, you need to have a piggy bank clearout by October …

Around £1.3 billion-worth of coins are stored in savings jars across the country.

Mastercard’s research suggests that adults aged 18 to 24 are particularly likely to have larger numbers of £1 coins sitting around at home.

Eventually, the round pound will be phased out of use, so people are being urged to return them before they lose their legal tender status.

They should be spent or banked before October 15.

So now’s the time to go through your drawers, jam jars and anywhere else you keep your loose change.