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How the new £1 coin will impact retailers

Laura  Barnes
How the new £1 coin will impact retailers

The Royal Mint has launched a new 12-sided £1 coin today (March 28th) that will replace the current ‘round pound’.

Launched in 1983, it turns out that the round pound is relatively easy to forge, with the Government estimating that there’s currently around 45 million counterfeit £1 coins in circulation in the UK.

The Royal Mint is now shipping out 1.5 billion dodecagon coins to cash centres across the country, claiming the new 12-sided £1 is the most secure coin in the world.

The new coin features a hologram image that changes from a ‘£’ symbol to the number ‘1’ when viewed from different angles. It also comes with micro-sized lettering on the lower inside rim on both sides of the coin and a secret high security feature built into the coin to protect it from counterfeiting in the future.
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"It's been designed to be fit for the future, using security features that aim to safeguard our currency, and currencies around the world, for years to come," said Adam Lawrence, chief executive of the Royal Mint.

Retailers will play a major role in getting the new coins out to the public, with the British Retail Consortium (BRC) reporting that most retailers are net distributors of £1 coins, ordering in tens of millions every month.

In the lead up to the introduction of the new coin, retailers should have already contacted their equipment supplier to find out if they need any adaptions or replacements and made changes to their coin handling equipment, as well as trained their staff on the features of the new £1.

If they haven’t, there’s still time to get your business in order, as there will be a co-circulation period between March 28th and October 15th 2017. During this time, retailers will be able to accept both coins and are advised to return old and new coins in separate bags to the bank to enable them to quickly process the change.

The BRC has been working closely with the Government, the Royal Mint and the leaders of other key sectors since the announcement of the new coin in 2014 to ensure a high-level of industry readiness and a successful overall switchover.

“It’s no small feat. For retailers, this has meant updating trolleys, vending machines, parking meters, self-service check-outs and various machines used to count cash in the back offices of shops all across the country,” said the BRC.

“We estimate the cost of these preparations to the retail industry alone to be in the range of £22 million.”

After October 16th 2017, retailers are under no obligation to accept the round £1 coin from customers and should not distribute them.

For more information about the new coin visit

Tags: Retail , brc , new £1 coin , £1 coin

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