THE Bank of England is to introduce a new £1 coin in three years time.
The bank says the design makes it the “most secure in the world”
Over the past 30 years the round £1 coin has been the target of organised criminals with 45 million forgeries in existence.
The new coin is based on the design of the old threepenny bit, a twelve-sided coin in circulation between 1937 and 1971.
A competition will be held to decide the image on one side of the coin.
The Royal Mint, which believes 3% of existing £1 coins are fake, said the move would increase “public confidence” in the UK’s currency and reduce costs for banks and other businesses.
The announcement comes as Chancellor George Osborne prepares to deliver his fifth Budget on Wednesday.
The current £1 coin was introduced in 1983 as part of the phasing out of the one pound note, which was ultimately withdrawn five years later.
Of the 1.5 billion coins estimated to be in circulation, as many as two million counterfeit ones are removed every year.
The government said the existing coin had been in existence longer than most others and that its technology was no longer suitable to combat increasingly sophisticated counterfeiting techniques.