New 12-sided pound coin could be set to cause chaos – with parking meters, vending machines, supermarket trolleys etc… still not ready

new pound coin with 12 sides

If you were not already aware, a new updated pound coin will be going into circulation soon – and there are fears that the new 12-sided coin could cause chaos when it hits the nation’s tills and pockets.

The new coin is released on 28 March 2017 and is said to be the most secure coin in the world, boasting a number of features that make it more difficult to counterfeit – including special micro-lettering, milled edges and a latent hologram image. It’s most secure feature, though, is also the one that could cause most of the problems when it is released.

The new coin will have 12 sides, making it instantly recognisable, even by touch alone, and very hard to accurately copy. However, there are still hundreds of thousands of coin-operated machines across the country that have not been updated to accept the new pound coin.

coca cola vending machine

Up to 200,000 vending machines might not be ready for the 28 March deadline

From parking meters and vending machines to locker rooms, supermarket trolleys and children’s rides, the UK is completely unprepared for the biggest currency change since the round pound replaced the £1 note 34 years ago. Add in to the mix the fact that 1 in 3 people are not even aware that a new pound coin is coming and you have the recipe for disaster!

With the new coin coming at the end of March, there is an estimated 100,000 street ticket and pay-and-display parking ticket machines that are still waiting to be updated to accept the lighter, 12-sided coin. There’s also 200,000 vending machines across the country that are expected to miss the 28 March deadline to be updated.

The British Parking Association (BPA) has said that the new coin is costing the industry around £50 million to wither update or replace ticket machines, but even with such an investment around a quarter of the 400,000 machines will not be ready in time – potentially leaving a lot of motorists unable to pay after 28 March unless they have old pound coins on them.

Machines which have not been updated will have to bear signs telling motorists that the new coins won’t work – so they will either have to pay with other coins or park somewhere else.

Parking ticket machines will still take the round pounds until October 15 but after that they will be programmed to reject the old coins.

New pound coin – what you need to know…

The new pound coin is entering circulation on the 28 March 2017.

The pound coin is being replaced for the first time in over 30 years as the current design is vulnerable to sophisticated counterfeiters.

The new design boasts numerous features that make it more difficult to counterfeit:

  • 12-sided – its distinctive shape makes it instantly recognisable, even by touch
  • Bimetallic – it is made of two metals. The outer ring is gold coloured (nickel-brass) and the inner ring is silver coloured (nickel-plated alloy)
  • Latent image – it has an image like a hologram that changes from a ‘£’ symbol to the number ‘1’ when the coin is seen from different angles
  • Micro-lettering – it has very small lettering on the lower inside rim on both sides of the coin
  • Milled edges – it has grooves on alternate sides
  • Hidden high security feature – A high security feature is built into the coin to protect it from counterfeiting in the future

The new pound coin is lighter and thinner than the current one. The new coin weighs 8.75g and is 2.8mm thick.

There will be a six month period when the current £1 and the new £1 coins are in circulation at the same time.  During this time, both coins are legal tender and you can use both coins to make payments.

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