The United Kingdom’s “round pound” is on its way out.
In 2017, the small, round £1 coin will be replaced with a larger, ringed-bimetallic, 12-sided version incorporating the latest in security features, Britain’s Treasury department announced on March 19, 2014. The coin will resemble the threepence coin that circulated from 1937 until decimalization in 1970.
The £1 coin is a target of counterfeiters, with as many as 3 percent of those circulating found to be fakes. Royal Mint officials have cited the abundance of designs and edge inscriptions on genuine examples, as well as the homogenous alloy, as one of the reasons counterfeiting of that denomination has grown to such extreme levels.
A public design competition will be conducted to choose the theme for the reverse of the coin. The Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II is slated to appear on the obverse, based on a publicity image released by the Royal Mint.
The final specifications of the coin have not been announced.