Old Pound Coins No Longer Legal Tender

Published on by Liam Forkes (author)

Topic(s): News You Can Use, National Economy

The new twelve-sided £1 coin. (photo: )
The new twelve-sided £1 coin.


The Royal Mint is now encouraging people to check their change for the coins and spend or exchange them before the deadline.


Some retailers, including high-street giant Poundland, have promised to continue accepting the coins past the deadline. Main high-street banks including Barclays, Lloyds, Nationwide, RBS, and Santander have also promised to exchange old coins, but only for their customers.


A spokesperson for the Post Office has said that they cannot exchange old coins for new ones, but that customers are able to deposit them into any of their high street bank accounts. This will be until further notice.


Other businesses have come under fire for being ill-equipped for the changeover. Southern Rail, which has been plagued by delays after extended strike action against operators Govia Thameslink, today admitted that an unknown number of its ticket machines are not equipped to accept the new coin.


A spokesperson for Southern Rail said that 99% of their stations will have at least one machine which accepts the new coin, but four stations will not have a single machine which accepts the coins until Friday.


Poundland, however, reported that they have seen a “noticeable lift” in the amount of old-style coins being spent in their stores.


The new £1 was first introduced on 28th March this year, and was notable for its twelve sides, contrasting the circular design of the old-style coins. The old pound coin, which came into circulation in 1983, is one of the most counterfeited coins in the world, with estimates claiming one in thirty coins to be fake.


Some of the new coins are selling for up to £950 on eBay. Some of the first pressing of the coins featured misprints, while other avid collectors are seeking ‘trial’ coins. These were released with the Royal Mint logo to test the design of the coins. These cannot be spent as legal tender, but are selling for hundreds of pounds online.

The 'trial coins' are not legal tender but are selling for up to £950 online.

The 'trial coins' are not legal tender but are selling for up to £950 online.


The new coin features multiple security features to prevent counterfeiting. One panel changes when the coin is seen from different angles. The dodecagonal design is considered harder to forge than traditional pound coins.


The move comes as part of a wider campaign by the Royal Mint to update British currency. The £5 was replaced in 2016 by a polymer note, which is water-resistant and harder to tear up. The £10 note has also been replaced, although old-style notes are still currently legal tender. The £20 note is set to be replaced by a polymer note in 2020.

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