Royal Mint unveils 12-sided pound coin in bid to prevent fraud
This undated handout photo issued by HM Treasury shows the side of a new one pound coin announced by the U.K. government in 2014. (HM Treasury / AP)
The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, March 19, 2014 9:00AM EDT
LONDON -- After 30 years of work, the pound coin is ready for a makeover.
The Royal Mint announced plans Wednesday to replace the weighty flat piece with a 12-sided coin made with two separate metals. It resembles a "threepenny bit" -- a coin that circulated in Britain from 1937-1971.
British officials say the new coin will be harder to fake -- as many as 45 million, or 3 per cent, of the pound coins in circulation are said to be counterfeit.
The new coin, which will start to circulate in 2017, will feature a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.
Royal Mint chief executive Adam Lawrence says the goal is to "produce a pioneering new coin" that will boost confidence and cut fraud.