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Quid's out and (new) quid's in

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Raid those piggy banks, rummage behind the sofa and heed the rattling of a tumble dryer – the old £1 coin is on its way out.

Brought in to replace the £1 note in 1983, the current £1 coin has served us well. Whether you were saving up your pocket money, unlocking a trolley or begrudgingly throwing a handful of them into the old coin bins at the Severn Bridge tolls, the little nickel-brass coin has been present in our pockets for over 30 years.

But, due to counterfeiters casting more and more fakes into circulation, The Royal Mint are introducing a new, more secure version of the £1 coin on 28th March 2017 to go along with the new polymer fivers that started popping out of ATMs last September.

12-sides, bi-metallic, with a new design on both sides… the new £1 certainly is grand in its composition. But while the design is impressive (congratulations to David Pearce who was just 15 when he won the public design competition), it’s the focus on detail that has led The Royal Mint to produce the ‘most secure coin in the world’.

Micro-lettering, holograms and a ‘hidden high security feature’ (intriguing!)… It’s amazing that so much innovation and expertise can be crammed into something so small – it’s only 23.43mm in diameter!

While reminiscing over our favourite designs that have featured on the front (or ‘obverse’) of the coin, we started thinking:

  • When do we have to stop using the old £1 coin?
  • What happens if we find an old £1 after the new ones have come in?
  • How am I supposed to get my trolley at the shop?

So, we did some investigating. To be honest, it wasn’t so much investigating as just popping over to The Royal Mint’s handy New Pound Coin website. There, we found out that:

  • The old £1 coin will be demonetised on 16th October 2017 – at this point, shops no longer have to say “that’s fine” to the old coin.
  • If you still have some of the old ones, you can deposit them in most high street banks or the Post Office.
  • And all bits of equipment that rely on the old £1 coin should be updated by then.

But what if you do find yourself at a supermarket with no old £1 coin and the trolley lock hasn’t been updated? Maybe your gym’s lockers are still geared up for the old coin. There is 6 months of co-circulation after all.

Some of our clients have been really on the ball with this. To get around the issue, they have asked us to sort a batch of trolley coins for them. They’ve been mini problem solvers for years, but maybe now is the time for these little heroes to really shine. They’re the same size as the old coins so will continue to work in older coin handling equipment, plus they look amazing if you have them in your company colours. Problem solved!

Remember to check your change from 28th March – it might have (ahem) changed