The pound coin in your pocket is set for a change – and now’s the time to get rid of any coins stashed as savings.
A new shaped £1 coin will hit the streets from March 28, 2017, signalling goodbye to the old coin that was introduced in April 1983.
What will the new £1 coin look like?
Instead of the familiar round gold coloured pound, the new coin has 12 sides like the old threepenny bit that was last seen around 1970 when decimal coinage was introduced to the UK.
The new coin also differs in look and feel from the current £1.
The gold coloured rim surrounds a circular silver centre bearing the queen’s head on one side and a coat of arms on the other.
The new pound is also thinner, lighter and a little larger than the current coin.
The most hi-tech change is a hologram effect that changes from ‘£’ symbol to the number one when viewed from different angles.
The Bank says the coin also has a built-in security feature to combat counterfeiters, but will not reveal the secret of the safeguard.
Why is it changing?
The Bank of England is concerned that fraudsters can easily replicate the current coin with counterfeit versions.
The Bank reckons one in every 30 £1 coins is counterfeit.
An estimated 1,553 million pound coins are in circulation.
How will the changeover impact expats?
From the start, many machines accepting the coins will change – including parking meters, ticket machines and even shopping trolley security chains.
Anyone coming to the country will find the old coins will not fit or be accepted by upgraded machines.
The legal tender status of the old coin will be lost from October 15, 2017, which means shops, pubs, restaurants and other retailers will not accept them.
Old coins will still be accepted by banks, although probably not in small numbers.
The Bank of England is urging anyone with a stack of £1 coins to spend or exchange them as soon as they can.
What do the markings mean?
The tails face of the coin shows the English rose, Welsh leek, Scottish thistle and Northern Irish shamrock with a coronet.