All you need to know about the new 12-sided £1 coin: From beating the crooks to what it means for parking fines

The all-new 12-sided £1 coin comes into circulation on March 28, but do you know how it affects your life and the round pound coin it replaces?

Get ready with our one-stop guide to getting to know the new pound here…

The new 12-sided coin, front and back

The new 12-sided coin, front and back

When new notes and coins arrive and current ones goes out of circulation

Don’t lose your cash when the new coins and notes take over from our current cash reserves. Here are the in and out dates you need

DATE CURRENCY CHANGE
28-Mar-17 New 12-sided £1 coin enters circulation
05-May-17 Old ‘paper’ £5 note to be withdrawn
15-Oct-17 Old round £1 coin withdrawn
Sep-17 New polymer £10 note to launch
2020 New polymer £20 note to launch

How will I recognise the new £1 coin

Despite the fact we’re heading out of the EU, the new £1 coin has a distinctly European look. It has 12 edges, with a gold outer ring and silver centre.


Is the new 12-sided £1 the same size as the round £1

No. The new coin is 2.8mm thick, which is thinner than the current coin. It weighs 8.75g, making it lighter than the incumbent coin. Width-wise, it’s larger than the current coin, with a max diameter of 23.43mm.


When will I start seeing the new 12-sided coin

From March 28 (2017)


Does that mean my round £1 coins are worthless from March 28

No – not yet anyway. The new coins will start to drop on March 28, but your current ‘roundies’ will co-exist with their 12-sided counterparts until October 15. While they will cease to be legal tender from October 15, it should still be possible to exchange the round pound coin in banks for some time after this date.


How will I know if a 12-sided £1 coin is genuine

As with anything new, it’s likely that opportunistic crooks are cooking up a plan to make a quick buck (or pound) by flooding the market with fake currency before we get used to the new version. In attempt to stop them cashing in on confusion, here are the features to look out for on your new coinage.

Use the following video and info:

1) Look for the ‘£’ symbol, then shift the coin around in your fingers. If the ‘£’ turns to a ‘1’ then your coin is genuine with the new fancy anti-counterfeit hologram.

2) Check the 12 sides. Are they flat or alternating flat then milled (lines engraved in them)? If they’re all flat, you’re in possession of a fake, but if they’re milled then flat you’re likely to be holding the genuine article.

3) Tiny lettering on the coin will also make it easy to spot fakes – as this is extremely difficult for crooks to convincingly copy.

4) Look out for a ‘patented high security feature’! We can’t tell you what it is because we don’t know – the Royal Mint is keeping it secret. If you spot it, let us know.


Why do we need a new £1 coin

It’s all about beating the forgers! Figures suggest around 45 million £1 coins currently in circulation are fake. That is about one in every 30 coins.


How do I spot if my round £1 is a forgery:

From being too shiny to having a dodgy design, download this guide to check your coinage. 

How the '£' and '1' hologram works

How the ‘£’ and ‘1’ hologram works


Will I be able to use ‘round’ and ’12-sided’ coins in pay-and-display car parks

The British Parking Association, which counts private firms and local authorities as members, has admitted that around a quarter of pay-and-display machines will not be updated to accept the new coins by the time the 12-sided pound launches on March 28. Make sure you take plenty of change when heading to your local car park if you want to avoid the risk of getting a ticket.


Could I overturn a parking ticket if the machine does not accept the new 12-sided coin

When it comes to appealing parking fines, the Citizens Advice cites ‘There was no way to pay‘ as a defence. It could be argued, that if the car park user had a new 12-sided coin, but the pay-and-display machine was not ready to accept this ‘legal tender’, then the user would be left with ‘no way to pay’.

We contacted Barrie Segal (author of Barrie Segal’s Quick Guide To Fight Your Parking Ticket) – who Richard Hammond from Top Gear and The Grand Tour descibed as the “UK’s leading parking ticket expert” – to ask his opinion.

Barrie told us: “I think it would be a defence but one which I am sure that local authorities and private parking operators would not want to accept.

“They would far rather issue parking fines which are much,much more lucrative than the hourly parking charges.”

We’ll keep a keen eye on this and update this page as soon as this new ‘defence’ is tested.

This fella won’t be ’round’ for much longer


What about using the two coins in vending machines

Heading to the airport or supermarket? You’ll need to know what coins you can take to avoid getting locked out from the likes of baggage trolleys etc. The good news – in theory – is that all machines will need to be adapted to take both coins. However, there have been warnings that many vending machines will not be ready for the new coin. We would advise travellers to take both new and old coins – or check our baggage trolley guide to see what, if any, payment is needed.


Will my £1-sized key fob still work in shopping trolleys and airport trolleys

In many cases, you will still be able to use the ‘fob’ in supermarkets and airport baggage trolleys. Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s have all confirmed the ‘round’ coins (and therefore fobs) will continue to work after the October cut-off date.


Will visually impaired people be able to spot the new coin

The Royal Mint consulted with the Royal National Institute of Blind People to assess any potential impact, but user testing has shown it to be easier to recognise.


 

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