After more than three decades in circulation, the United Kingdom will soon use in commerce a new £1 coin, showcasing United Kingdom’s four emblems—shamrock, thistle, leek and rose—centred in a Royal diadem. Each of the emblems symbolises Northern Island, England, Scotland and Wales.
In a bid to fend off counterfeiting activities, the Royal Mint launched a kingdom-wide competition to change the coin’s tail design. The current £1 coin has been in usage since 1983, making the coin vulnerable to sophisticated counterfeit.
The new design, created by a 15-year-old Queen Mary’s Grammar School’s student, David Pearce, is refined by a famous coin artist and a lettering professional, David Lawrence and Stephen Raw, respectively. Crafted using two metallic coin in dual colours, the new coin is said to be as secure as today’s bank notes.
Exchequer Chancellor George Osborne made the call and broke the good news to Pearce, who bested 6,000 other entrants. "The competition captured the imagination of thousands of people, and David Pearce’s winning design will be recognised by millions in the years ahead,” Osborne beamed.
When officially available, the new coin will affect millions of consumers who use shopping trolleys, vending machines and parking metres. Though such change may pose a financial burden for certain businesses, it will eventually redound to their benefit as the profits earned are secured as to authenticity.
The Treasury estimated that around 45 million £1-coin circulated today are forged. The figure is higher by six percent in the United Kingdom. It further states that for several years, the government exerts tremendous efforts in removing from circulation an estimated 2 million counterfeited one pound coin each year.
It is observed that the new design takes the original thrupenny bit’s 12 sides, which rose to fame in World War II not only for being the first coin to showcase Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait, but more importantly, to help people recognise the money despite power outage.
The new design is said to feature additional anti-counterfeiting technology which can be certified by a sophisticated automated detection.
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