UK to get new counterfeit-resistant £1 coin in 2017

New £1 coinThe UK has unveiled a new 12-sided £1 coin that is designed to be harder to counterfeit and could enter circulation in 2017.

The design is based on the old threepenny bit that was withdrawn in the 1970s, but should be much harder to copy than the current coin, according to the Royal Mint.

It will feature the Mint's recently-introduced Integrated Secure Identification System (iSIS) technology, which incorporates three tiers of banknote-strength security and can be authenticated through high-speed automated detection.

"Overt and some covert security have been available in coinage for some time, but while until now covert security has been limited, iSIS lifts it to banknote level," said the Mint when unveiling iSIS last year.

iSIS will reduce costs by replacing expensive clad and homogeneous coins with a more affordable full-plated option, with a lower replacement value, it added.

A survey undertaken in November 2013 found that the rate of counterfeit UK £1 coins in circulation had risen from 2.74 to 3.04 per cent. Despite around 2m counterfeit £1 coins being removed from the market every year, it is estimated that around 45m fakes remain in circulation.

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