When was the last time you added to the big jam jar, filled to the brim of change, that you were planning on saving for that perfect rainy day?
You’d better hope we have a rainy summer. The Royal Mint is issuing 1.5 billion of new 1 pound coins, replacing the newly dubbed ‘round pound’ which will stop being legal tender on October 15th 2017. There’s never been a better excuse to shop.
The new 12-sided pound coin, which resembles the old three-penny bit, also comes with brand new security features which should in practise make it easier to spot counterfeit fake coins. The coins will be imprinted with a hologram-like image, miniscule writing around the edges, and a hidden security feature which people are still guessing the details of. The new coins are thinner, lighter and larger than the current coins, which themselves, replaced the long standing 1 pound bank note in 1983.
As a result, the Royal Mint claims it will be the “most secure coin in the world”. This comes after the recent claims that 1 in 30 pound coins in circulation at this time are counterfeit.
The repercussions associated with the introduction of the new coins manifest in many different ways. We only have to look back 6 months to see the most recent change the Royal Mint made: the introduction of the new five pound note. There will be similarities in terms of problems presented; Money operated machines will need to be updated or replaced, old currencies will no longer be legal tender, and will needed to be traded in. Customers at some launderette may have to walk away with wet clothes as the washing machines were compatible, but the tumble dryers were not.
However there are potentially lucrative benefits to the switch, for example, the Royal Mint are encouraging increased activity from charities to collect the old coins over the summer. Also, a resurgence in interest of old bank notes and currencies may occur, with people collecting the rare 1 pound coins printed for specific occasions, such as the Queen’s Jubilee, or the London 2012 Olympics.
Economic students should look into what implications replacing currency can have, both nationally and globally. History students can think about the various changes in currency throughout the years, from the white fivers (now worth up to £10,000) to the decimalisation in 1971. Law students can look into the new ways security is being used in everyday life, and what benefits and drawbacks this can hold.
Sometimes, ‘change’ can be a good thing.