After 34 years we welcome the beginning of a new era as the new 12-sided £1 coin replaces the familiar 'round pound' coin in our change. While the new £1 coin contains the most up-to-date technology it also pays tribute to minting heritage, with a nod to one of the most popular coins of the twentieth century.
The 12-sided threepenny coin, or 'thru'penny bit', was a favourite among the generations that lived through the Second World War. Part of its popularity was its shape, which made it easy to identify by touch during the darkness of the nightly wartime blackout. In 2017 the generations that grew up with the 'round pound' coin see it reinvented, taking on the shape their grandparents knew so well. The more complex shape makes it much harder to strike, and therefore harder to counterfeit, just one of the security features that make the new 12-sided £1 coin the most secure coin in the world.The Designs and their Designers
To complement its cutting-edge technology, including The Royal Mint's patented High Security Feature, the new 12-sided £1 coin acknowledges its heritage in its reverse design. Designed by 15-year-old David Pearce, it features the four floral emblems of the regions of the United Kingdom, a popular theme on £1 coins since their introduction in 1983. The rose, leek, thistle and shamrock emerge from a single stem within a royal coronet.
The 1937 threepenny reverse design, by artist Madge Kitchener, features a thrift, a resilient plant found on cliffs and mountainsides. The old, smaller threepenny coins were known to be popular with savers and the design incorporates a play on words - the idea of -thrift' which was also a strong wartime message in the 1940s when the economy was suffering.