The new 12-sided £1 enters circulation today (Tuesday March 28th) and replaces the familiar round £1 coin, which has been in circulation since 1983.
The Royal Mint will release around 300 million 12-sided copies of the new £1 coin across the country today.
The old £1 coin will remain legal tender along with the new until October 15th. After that date you will only be able to change the old one at your Bank (if you can find a branch still on your High Street!)
So if you have a piggy bank – or tend to keep your loose change down the back of the sofa – now’s the time to start hiking it out.
However – you may want to have both sorts of coin about your person for a time as many car park machines (one in ten apparently), vending machines (one in fifteen) and supermarket trolleys may take a while to get upgraded. Even though business have had since 2014 to get ready – many admit they have not got around to upgrading machines and equipment, including Tescos, who are unlocking all their trolleys until they can get around to upgrading them.
The Royal Mint estimates around 2.5% of £1 coins in circulation are fakes. The new 12-sided coin, the Royal Mint says, has security features that are “impossible” to replicate. We’ve heard that before haven’t we!
And on a similar note – you only have until May 5th to get rid of old £5 notes – after that you will have to take a trip to the Bank of England in London to exchange them.