Our pound coins are soon to be a thing of the past!
The iconic British pound, one of the longest circulating coins in Britain will soon be a thing of the past, the coin that had been jingling out pockets since 1983 has unfortunately been so overloaded with counterfeit coins that the government has had to declare that in 2017 the pound coin we know and love will have to be recalled and a new bi-metallic coin will replace it in circulation. The level of forgeries in Britain had now hit 3%, that might not seem like a lot but when you consider that equates to 45 million pounds you can see the scale of the problem.
The trouble is the coin has been around so long and are by modern technological standards quite easy to forge, most are so good that they are no longer detectable by the naked eye and the only inkling you get is when it is refused my a machine, and even then some of the forgeries are fooling them.
The problem mainly affects small business as they can’t swap them at the bank for real ones like they can do with notes, so many choose to turn a blind eye and re-introduce them into circulation via our change so they don’t lose out.
This swanky new coin, vaguely reminiscent of the threepenny bit of old (ask your nan) was designed as part of a competition and was won by a 15 year old who came up with the design showing the symbols of all 4 Great British countries. George Osborne has tweeted this picture of the new design.
But what will that mean for us? Well if you had not already notices and wondered why quite a few of the supermarkets no longer charge you to use the trollies, Morrisons for example has deactivated all their pound operated trollies and they are now free to use. That begs the question for all the other coin operated machines, from parking meters to gamblers, from kiddies rides to self-service checkouts, will they still work, can they be adapted and how much is it going to cost to swap them all over or modify them?
There will apparently be a big campaign similar to the ones when the: 5p, 50p and 10p were swapped over, (if you can remember that far back) everyone will have the opportunity to take their old style pound coin to banks and other designated places and swap them out for the new currency, as well as the old coins no longer being issued in change.
Doubtlessly there will be a few that escape the cull either by fault or design, the majority of them will be meted down and disappear. I’m sure the odd coin collector will be avidly seeking a few of the more significant ones, or the odd person might keep one back in case of a locker or trolley somewhere that will need them or a token to operate them but for us the general consumer it means getting use to the new coins, at least the shape might mean we can locate them easier when fumbling in our pocket for change.
CLICK HERE to find out which of your old change is now worth a fortune.