New £1 coin celebrates UK union

How the new coin will look - a bit like the old threepenny bit. Picture: Contributed
How the new coin will look - a bit like the old threepenny bit. Picture: Contributed
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THE design for the back of a new pound coin will underline the fact that it remains the currency of the four nations of the UK.

The new “tails” design for the 12-sided coin, unveiled ahead of today’s Budget, comes seven months after Scotland voted to remain in the UK following a debate dominated by how Scotland could use sterling after independence.

A competition for children was unveiled last year aimed at finding designs that would celebrate Britain. At the time it was unsure the coin would circulate in Scotland when it is introduced in 2017, with the referendum vote at that point still to take place.

The winning entry was from 15-year-old David Pearce of Walsall, who beat more than 6,000 other entries that included cups of tea, flags, maps, the weather, famous writers, seaside piers, and even a Rolling Stones motif.

The teenager took a surprise phone call earlier this week from Chancellor George Osborne, who told him he had won.

The design uses four symbols of the UK with a rose, a leek, a thistle and a shamrock emerging from a Royal Coronet. It will now be taken forward to be struck on to the new £1 coin being introduced in 2017.

The new coin, which was announced by the Chancellor at last year’s Budget, will have the same shape as the old 
12-sided “threepenny bit” and will be the most secure coin in circulation in the world.

The Royal Mint estimates that about 3 per cent of all £1 coins – 45 million – are now forgeries. In some parts of the United Kingdom, it could be as high as 6 per cent and over the past few years, around two million counterfeit £1 coins have been removed from circulation each year.

The new, highly secure coin will reduce costs to business and the taxpayer.

Mr Osborne said: “Designing the new £1 coin was a brilliant opportunity to leave a lasting legacy on what will be the most secure coin in circulation anywhere.

“The competition captured the imagination of thousands of people and David Pearce’s winning design will be recognised by millions in the years ahead. It was fantastic to congratulate him and other young entrants in person in Downing Street.”

The coin design winner said: “I was really excited to hear that I had won the competition to design the new £1 coin but hugely shocked as well!

“I heard about the competition through my design teacher at school and I thought I had nothing to lose so I decided to enter.

“I spent a lot of time researching what coin designs looked like and what sort of designs would represent all parts of the UK before submitting my idea and I honestly cannot believe I have won.”

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