U.K. Phasing Out Old “Round Pound” Coins

July 6th, 2017 by

The roll-out of the Royal Mint’s new £1 coins has not been without its hiccups. The country’s first dodecagonal (12-sided) coins, which are also bimetalic, offer consumers a slew of new anti-counterfeiting features.

However, the introduction of this new design naturally means that something must be done with the old £1 coins.

Coinage Transition

Like was done recently with India’s paper banknotes, or the coinage of individual European countries when the euro was introduced in 1999, the old currency being displaced must be demonetized in order to avoid any confusion (or, in the case of the euro transition, to avoid any mismatched or obsolete denominations). The previous £1 coin design has been used for the past three decades.

The new £1 coin design. Image courtesy of the Royal Mint

The new £1 coin design. Image courtesy of the Royal Mint

The old one-pound coins of the typical round shape will “co-circulate” with their new counterparts for a short time before they are removed from circulation forever. The cutoff is reportedly on October 15th, after which point the old versions will not be accepted as legal tender. The transitional phase is intended to make the changeover as smooth as possible in the course of commerce.

So what to do with your old £1 coins? The Sun, a newspaper in the U.K., has a few “common cents” suggestions.

There are two obvious options that are basically lateral moves: 1) you can take the old round coins to any bank and exchange them for the new coins; or 2) you can simply spend the coins as usual. Both of these options will expire after October 15th.

There is another line of logic, however, that has to do with the fact that these coins will not be produced ever again. Perhaps the fact that they are out of production will impart some small collectible premium onto the old one-pound coins. However, you may have to hold onto them for a significant amount of time—as in years—in order for the population of these coins to degrade by some amount.

It’s not an entirely unheard of phenomenon for common coins that went out of circulation to appreciate as collectibles, though. If you can afford not to exchange your old £1 coins and hold onto them, it may be a great memento to pass on to your children or grandchildren!


The opinions and forecasts provided herein are provided solely for informational purposes, and should not be used or construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation to buy or sell any product.

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