Royal Mint produces last ever round pound coin

Round pound coins are being phased out to make way for a new 12-sided £1 coin

The last batch of round pound coins has been produced at the Royal Mint.

Round pound coins are being phased out to make way for a new 12-sided £1 coin that will enter circulation in 2017.

The replacement is being touted as one of the most secure in the world by the Royal Mint. It will feature microtext around the edge, a different shape and size and two colours, not dissimilar from the existing £2 coin. 

The current UK pound coin was first minted in Llantrisant in 1983 as a replacement for the £1 note, which was phased out five years later. The final batch will come off the same production line at the Royal Mint in the county borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf in South Wales.

Its age makes it especially vulnerable to counterfeiting. More than 45 million fake round £1 coins are estimated to be in circulation – the equivalent of 3 per cent. Over 2.2 billion round £1 coins have been produced during its 32 years in circulation.

George Osborne announced in the Budget that the coin would be replaced by a new 12-sided model that recalls the design of the old threepenny bit that was in circulation between 1937 and 1971.

Andrew Mills from the Royal Mint told the BBC it would take several years for every vending machine, shopping trolley, and gym locker in the country to be changed.

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