Everything you need to know about the new 12-sided £1 coin

What coin is changing, and when?

The Royal Mint is issuing a 12-sided £1 coin resembling the old three-penny bit which will enter circulation in March, 2017.

At the moment there are no other plans to change any other circulating coins but Her Majesty’s Treasury and The Royal Mint keep the specifications and denominational mix of UK circulating coins under continual review.

How will the new coin change?

The new £1 coin will feature 12 sides and is billed to become the most secure circulating coin in the world.

They will feature added security features including:

  • 12 sides – A non-round design makes it harder to copy, and is already used in our 50p and 20p coins, as well as in coins abroad.
  • Two metals – The outside will be nickel-brass, and the inside nickel-plated solid alloy. The Government believes this combination of two metals PLUS 12 sides will be the killer security feature.
  • Hidden messages – The nickel plating is especially designed to be hard for forgers to remove and iSIS plated coins can include secret electromagnetic signatures.
  • A bigger diameter – The new £1 will be just slightly bigger, at 23.43mm from point to point. The 12 sides means its diameter will also be uneven.
  • Milled edges – The new £1 coin will have milled edges – grooves in the side of the coin as well as an edge inscription.
  • Secret Images – Known as latent images, these are pictures etched into the metal that only become visible when tipped in the light.

What size will the new pound coin be?

The current round £1 coin is 22.5mm in diameter. The new 12-sided £1 coin will be just slightly bigger, at 23.43mm from point to point. The 12 sides means its diameter will also be uneven.


What design will appear on the new coin?


The 12-sided £1 coin will feature a rose, leek, thistle and shamrock emerging from a royal coronet.

The coin has been designed by schoolboy David Pearce which was picked after a public competition and has been adapted by professional artist David Lawrence.

What will happen to my old £1 coin?

The round pound coins will start to be withdrawn from circulation as the 12-sided coins are introduced. Following the six-month co-circulation period, legal tender status of the existing £1 will be withdrawn.

What happens if I still have old pound coins after legal tender status has been withdrawn?

After the six month co-circulation period, round £1 coins will no longer be able to be used as payment and will cease to be legal tender.

Will I be able to use the coin in the same way?

Yes. The 12-sided pound coins can be used in the same way as the current pounds. For example, they will be available from banks and can be used in self-service checkout tills and parking payment machines. Rigorous rolling tests have been carried out to ensure they will work in vending machines.

Why bother changing it?

One Pound coins were first issued in 1983, but one in every thirty £1 coins is now a fake. These forgeries cost the Government £2million every year.






The new 12-sided £1 coin will be an ultra-secure replacement which will be harder for forgers to copy. They will also last 5 years longer than the current round pound coins.

Will they be collectable?

Like any new issues, collectors will be keen to own the very first design of any new coin. Pound coins with the 2017 date are likely to be more sought after – especially in good condition or uncirculated.


  1. trish on November 8, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    What do you think will happen to the value of collected circulated £1 coins, i have 3 coin hunt folders full of them. As they wont be worth a £1. Do you think they will slightly drop in value or stay the same or increase a lot because there wont be any available for people to collect anymore. I now this would only be a guess, but would like your opinion.

  2. William Kirkwood on October 21, 2016 at 9:15 am

    everyone should be issued one free to get used to them first

  3. Barbara Ross on October 21, 2016 at 6:42 am

    Will all the old pound coins have no value whatsoever. As I have most pounds coins in my collection

  4. John Brown on October 21, 2016 at 12:17 am

    In the text it says the size is 23.43mm point to point, in the diagram you show flat to flat.
    Nice article.

  5. B.A. Boon on October 20, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    I already have one of the new 12 sided £1 coins – although it’s dated 2015, it uses the IRB Queen’s head, and has Royal Mint Trial Piece on the tails side.
    As it’s a trial, it doesn’t have some of the security features listed above.

    Ones like this shouldn’t be found in circulation, but, no doubt, some will “escape” accidentally.

    No idea how many trial pieces were made, but mine is definitely NOT for sale

    • Yasmin Britton on October 21, 2016 at 8:06 am

      How interesting, how did you manage to get hold of a sample?

  6. Derek Woodward. on October 20, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    Presume vending machines will require modifying to accept the new coins?The cost will no doubt be passed on to the consumer……….result,increased prices=higher profits!

  7. Jim Kentley on October 20, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    If the old coins will cease to be legs tender is there any point in keeping them?

  8. Rich on October 20, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Nice article, though the current £1s have a milled edge all the way around and from the look of the pictures above the new £1 will alternative milled sides

    • Yasmin Britton on October 20, 2016 at 11:24 am

      Thanks Rich, have amended the info on the round pound.

      • Rich on October 20, 2016 at 5:16 pm

        No worries, its a nice article as normal:-)

    • B.A. Boon on October 20, 2016 at 11:31 pm

      the Royal Mint Trial piece has alternate milled and smooth sides, these don’t have any edge lettering
      Both heads and tails side have a raised edge, the tails side is flat on this raised edge, but the heads side has a ramped edge to the raised part

      A very attractive coin, and sure to be very popular, although I’ll miss the round pound, it’s got to go, as there are some excellent fakes.

      The forgers have moved on to making fake £2 coins now – I have a few, the best is a 2015 dated “Mary Rose” design – and it’s stunningly good – the wrong date, and lack of edge lettering are really the only things giving it away

      • Kayleigh on November 8, 2016 at 12:57 pm

        How would I identify a £1 coin forgery? I have a 2005 Menai Bridge coin and it doesn’t appear right at all. The bridge face appears far too smooth where the edging connects with the sides, it’s almost like it has been polished over, it’s slightly smaller than other £1 coins. The queen side up and the edging is slightly curled up (could be wear and tear) the writing appears to be far too close to the queens head and face, but the biggest giveaway is the edging! Parts of it are missing and it is by far the wonkiest design I’ve ever seen, the edging design starts at the top and goes round and down until only half the design is showing and then it’s gone altogether. A forgery?