The new £1 coin has been declared the most secure form of currency in the world after being in circulation for four months.
There are now more new pound coins in circulation than old round pound coins, marking a “tipping point” in the replacement process, according to exchequer secretary to the Treasury Andrew Jones.
Speaking at a high-security storage facility in Belfast, Mr Jones also announced that there has been no evidence yet of criminals producing counterfeit versions of the new coin.
“There have been no problems identified at all so far,” he said. “Obviously that is something the Royal Mint monitors very carefully but we have had no incidents at all of counterfeiting thus far.”
The new £1 coin has been branded the most secure coin in the world thanks to a range of inbuilt security measures designed to make it incredibly difficult to copy.
“This is a very, very secure coin,” says Mr Jones. “The Royal Mint estimates that this is the most secure coin in the world at the moment and it has its own individual and rather secret method of security which is new in this coin.
“You have to stay one step ahead of the counterfeiters but that’s exactly where we are right now.”
The old round pound coin will cease to be legal tender on 15 October, although you will still be able to bank it after that date.
How is the new £1 secure?
There are a number of features of the new £1 coin that make it incredibly hard to counterfeit. This contrasts with the easily copied old pound coin. The round pound was so widely counterfeited it is estimated that 3% of the old coins in circulation were fake.
Here’s how the new £1 is protected:
- The 12 sides - making the new coin a dodecagon makes it more difficult to forge.
- There is a ‘latent image’ – similar to a hologram – etched into the coin that is difficult to replicate.
- Two metals - the new £1 is made from two metals which makes it harder for criminals to create a realistic looking copy.
- The secret security feature - the Royal Mint has been very cagey about the final security protection on the coin, which is understandable as it doesn’t want to give fraudsters tips on what they need to copy it. But, the new £1 coin is believed to have an invisible code printed on the Queen’s head that can only be read using a special ultra violet light developed and installed in the Royal Mint’s fake coin detection machines.