Budget 2014: New 'threepenny' £1 coin to fight fraudsters revealed
This is the new £1 coin - designed to help beat counterfeiters and fraudsters – that has been unveiled ahead of today's budget.
The 12-sided coin, reminiscent of the old threepenny bit, is set to be introduced in 2017 and replace the current £1 coin, which has been in circulation for more than 30 years.
The government said the age of the current coin is leaving it "vulnerable" to counterfeiters, with the Royal Mint estimating that around 3% of all current £1 coins in circulation are forgeries.
In order to beat the fraudsters, the new £1 will come with a raft of security measures designed to make it the most secure coin in the world. It will feature a bi-metalic construction of two colours – similar to that of a £2 coin – and state-of-the-art security technology, which has been developed in-house at the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, South Wales.
Pioneering new coin
Adam Lawrence, chief executive of the Royal Mint, said: "The current £1 coin design is now more than 30 years old and it has become increasingly vulnerable to counterfeiting over time.
"It is our aim to identify and produce a pioneering new coin which helps to reduce the opportunities for counterfeiting helping to boost public confidence in the UK's circulating coins."
Chancellor George Osborne said: "After 30 years' loyal service, the time is right to retire the current £1 coin and replace it with the most secure coin in the world.
"I am particularly pleased that the coin will take a giant leap into the future, using cutting edge British technology while at the same time paying tribute to the past in the 12-sided design of the iconic threepenny bit."
A public competition will be run to decide what design will feature on the 'tails' side of the new coin.