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The World’s Most Secure Coin: The Pound Sterling

By Fahani on the

Some weeks ago we brought you the new design of the coins that will be minted in San Marino during this year, 2017, and how they will change their designs after 15 years of euro circulation. This time, we bring you a historic change of design, and it is because at the end of last month of march a new coin of the pound sterling started circulating in the UK.

New Pound Most Secure Coin

Last September 2014 United Kingdom started a design contest for the new coin of 1 pound. More than 6,000 proposals were sent, out of them the winner design was from a 15 years old teenager, David Pearce.

And it is because the young british man has been the one who has better encapsulated the british essence and sum it up in a 2 cm. drawing. The four main UK symbols: the tudor rosethe

wales leekthe scottish thistle and the Irish clover; coming out of a crown. This proposal was imposed over some others that included a tea cup, famous writers or the famous lips from the Rolling Stones.

The design from David Pearce has been retouched for its use in the coin with the support of the renowned numismatic artist David Lawrence and the expert in humanities Stephen Raw.

Tails

In the reverse of the coin it appears the portrait of Isabel II surrounded with very small inscriptions in the borders in which one can read “one pound” and the minting year.

Heads

The new punt coin also has an image in the lower part that works as a hologram. If you see it from one side, it shows the symbol of the british coin £. However if you look it from the other side, you can see the number 1.

Hologram

Coin Hologram new Pound

This new coin is bigger and has a diameter of 23.43 mm, thinner, with 2.8 mm, and more lightweight than the previous one, only  8.75 gr. It’s made with two different alloys, one of nickel and silver in the center and other one with nickel and brass in the outside. But without a doubt, the most characteristic thing is the change from a circular coin to this dodecagon shape, 12 sides some of which present flat borders while others are dented.

The decision of changing the design of the coin is not a random impulse from the British Royal Mint House, but it comes from an effort to stop the falsification of this coin. The Mint House itself estimates that, currently, 1 out of 40 coins of £1, that are circulating since 1983, are fake. Along the last two years, more than 2 million of fake coins have been put out of circulation. So you better review your collections because you might have been storing some fake ones!!

It is expected that the new coin, of high level of security, inspired in the design of the three pennies coin that was used during 1937 and 1971, will reduce this percentage alleviating the costs associated that these loss, due to these falsifications, cause to companies and taxpayers.

Going further than the mere specific design and elements that can be seen at first sight, the thing that really catches the attention of the new pound coin is can’t be seen with the eyes. In the insight of the coin a secret material has been included, not revealed, characteristic that enhances the coin with an additional security layer. This material can be detected by electronic scanners that will be deployed in the payments machines or the money counting ones. This new system, called  ISIS, Integrated Secure Identification System, has been developed by the British Royal Mint House itself in their facilities in the south of Wales and, as expected, it is being maintained under high secret measures.

In order to replace current circulating coins, 1,500 millions of the new coins will be minted (23 for each habitant of the United Kingdom) and they will replace the old ones, that will be melted and used to keep minting the new ones.

Both coins will circulate together until the 15th of October of this year. After that date, the business will not have to accept the old coins and the consumers will have to go to the bank and exchange them for the new ones.

We will be alert and keep you informed of all news. Remember to review your collections to check for fake pounds and don't wait to incorporate the new coin to your collections!!