The new £1: What you need to know

By Eleanor O'Neill, Student Blog

25 May 2017

Paper fivers are out and 12-sided coins are in, but do you know what to do about the old £1? 

The last ever batch of round £1 coins was minted at the beginning of May and consumers only have five months left to spend them. The old currency will no longer be accepted as legal tender after 15 October 2017.

They can still be spent in shops across the UK until that point but, unlike the phased-out paper £5 notes, cannot be swapped for the new version at banks after the cut-off date.

The new 12-sided coin, intended to combat counterfeiting with an intricate design, has been in circulation since January.

An interesting point of contention surounding the new coins is that all vending machines, parking meters, shopping trolleys, coin-operated lockers and other round £1 dependent mechanisms will need to undergo a costly upgrade, if they haven't already. 

Andrew Mills, Head of Circulation for the Royal Mint, told the BBC that the cost of introducing the new coin could run up to £20m and may take several years.

So if you do happen to find an old coin down the back of the sofa in six months, consider keeping a hold of it for your next trip to the supermarket.


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