This week the Treasury have confirmed that a new campaign to support retailers and other major businesses to prepare for the new £1 coin has been launched. A new website has also been launched in honour of the new pound which comes into circulation in March 2017.
The release highlights that the government and Royal Mint are “supporting all businesses affected as the 30-year-old pound coin is brought out of circulation and replaced with a new 12-sided version”
All businesses are being encouraged to visit the New Pound Coin website (http://www.thenewpoundcoin.com/) to find out more information about the change.
There is believed to be around 45 million counterfeit £1 coins currently in circulation. The new coin has a number of features that make it much more difficult to counterfeit. The website describes the coin as “the most secure coin in the world” containing the following features:
- 12-sided – its distinctive shape makes it instantly recognisable, even by touch.
- Bimetallic – it is made of two metals. The outer ring is gold coloured (nickel-brass) and the inner ring is silver coloured (nickel-plated alloy).
- Latent image – it has an image like a hologram that changes from a ‘£’ symbol to the number ‘1’ when the coin is seen from different angles.
- Micro-lettering – it has very small lettering on the lower inside rim on both sides of the coin. One pound on the obverse “heads” side and the year of production on the reverse “tails” side, for example 2016 or 2017.
- Milled edges – it has grooves on alternate sides.
- Hidden high security feature – a high security feature is built into the coin to protect it from counterfeiting in the future.
The website has also produced guidance on what businesses need to be doing to get ready for the change:
“October 2016 to March 2017 – Preparing for the new £1 coin
- Check whether you operate equipment that handles the £1 coin;
- Contact your equipment supplier to find out if you need adaptations or replacements and by when;
- Make the changes to your coin handling equipment;
- Train your staff on the features of the new £1 coin;
- Consider any changes to your cash handling processes e.g. counting, storing and banking during the co-circulation period.
March 2017 to September 2017 – Co-circulation period
- You can accept both coins from your customers;
- Your equipment may be able to accept or dispense both £1 coins or just one. Please check with your equipment suppliers;
- You will need to tell your customers which coins your equipment can accept;
- You should agree with your bank or cash in transit (CIT) provider how to return the current £1 coin and new £1 coin.
Autumn 2017 – Demonetisation
- All your coin handling equipment should be able to accept the new £1 coin;
- You should not accept the round £1 coin from your customers and you should not distribute the round £1 coin;
- The round £1 coin can continue to be deposited into a customer’s account at most high street banks and the Post Office*
*check with your bank for more details, including deposit limits.”
The website also contains a handy “resource” link at the top where you can download leaflets and posters for more information.