The pound coin – the old, round one – is definitely the most satisfying coin. It’s chunky, gold, and got a bit of weight to it – they feel genuinely valuable.
Most people were a bit sad when it was announced they would be phased out in favour of a new 12-sided pound – one that is much more difficult to counterfeit – but they did a pretty good effort with it. They aren’t quite as good as the classic, but we won’t riot over it.
At the moment we’re seeing a mix of the two in our wallets – both coins are currently legal tender – but that’s not the case for long. 15 October is officially the date when the round pound will stop being accepted in shops, which means you have less than 100 days left to spend them / say goodbye.
I’m definitely going to be keeping one of the old ones, just as a memento. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of Brits do the same, meaning millions of pounds will just be sat uselessly on our dressing tables or tucked away in a drawer somewhere for sentimental value.
More than 800 million of the old coins have already been returned to the Royal Mint and replaced with new ones, and by mid-July (so within a few days) there will be more of the 12-sided pounds in circulation than the ones we know and love.
The new pounds, which entered circulation in March, feature new technology which makes them far more difficult to copy – it is estimated that around one in 30 of the old coins were actually fakes.
Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Andrew Jones visited the Royal Mint in Wales last week to mark the creation of the one billionth new pound coin, and said: “This coin is the most secure of its kind in the world and was brought in to clamp down on the multi-million-pound cost of counterfeits.
“In less than 100 days, the round pound will lose its legal status. So people need to spend, bank or donate them by October 15.”
You might be wondering what’s happening to the old boys? Well, it’s sad news I’m afraid. Deputy master of the Royal Mint, Adam Lawrence, said: “Many of the old round pounds returned will be melted down to make the new coins so we’re asking everyone across the UK to make sure they check their coin jars and piggy banks for round pounds.”
In other coin news, last week we told you about a bunch of 50p coins that are actually worth a lot more than 50p.
If you have a limited edition Kew Gardens 50th anniversary 50p then you might be able to flog it for around £185, which is ridiculous, and a load of Olympics and Beatrix Potter editions are going for good money on eBay too.
For the full list of those rare 50ps, click here.