New £1 coin unveiled to beat the counterfeiters

New £1 coin unveiled to beat the counterfeiters

The final design has been unveiled for the dramatically restyled £1 coin, complete with 12 sides and a host of new features that purportedly make it the most secure coin in the world.

The new coin, which was first announced in last year's budget, will go into circulation in 2017. It features a bi-metallic construction, similar to that of the current £2 coin, two colours, 12 sides and the Royal Mint's new anti-counterfeiting technology, iSIS, which can scan and verify coins as authentic within seconds. 

The Royal Mint says the three-levels of 'banknote-strength' security will be overt, covert and forensic. Coins equipped with iSIS have the same additive-security technology found in banknotes, fuel and perfume, which will last around 30 years. 

The drive to reduce counterfeit coins comes as data from the Royal Mint estimates that three per cent of all £1 coins, or 45 million, that are currently in circulation are forgeries - a figure which reaches six per cent in certain parts of the country.

The design, which combines the leek, shamrock, thistle and rose, is the work of teenager David Pearce who won a competition to have his image featured on the coin. 

As the debate between physical and digital cash rages on, some social media critics have been quick to mock the government's lack of virtual imagination:

In another push for cash security, the Bank of England announced last year it will introduce plastic and polymer banknotes in 2016 which will be harder to forge.

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