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.