back to article Blighty goes retro with 12-sided pound coin

In agreeable news for those readers who can remember when it was all trees round here and you could get an enormous paper bagful of gobstoppers for thruppence, The Royal Mint has unveiled a decidedly retro 12-sided design for Blighty's £1 coin. The proposed 12-sided pound coin. Pic: The Royal Mint The mint reckons that a …

COMMENTS

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  1. WraithCadmus
    WTF?

    12-sided...

    So I was told there was a reason why the 20p and 50p had an odd number of sides, something to do with mechanical detection.

    Was that bollocks or when you get to 12 sides is it close enough to a circle that it's not worth worrying?

  2. James 51 Silver badge

    Why not bury a RFID tag in them? I know this would put the price up by a penny or two but wouldn't that be a difficult one to duplicate/fake, make the fakes easier to spot using a reader and it might come in handy when you want to know how much you've got sutffed down the back of your piggy bank/sofa.

    1. Chris McFaul

      Re: 12-sided...

      The 20p and 50p have constant diameter no matter where you measure them

      this new £1 will be the first coin in a very long time not to have a constant diameter

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curve_of_constant_width

      1. earl grey Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: 12-sided...

        "The 20p and 50p have constant diameter no matter where you measure them"

        You mean they're spherical?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Anything you can make...

      ... I can fake better.

      Remember when silvery holograms were a sign of authenticity?

    3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Why not bury a RFID tag in them?

      Because they're made of metal?

      1. James 51 Silver badge

        Couldn't you use the coin itself an antenna?

    4. Pete 2 Silver badge

      A question of balance

      > the 20p and 50p had an odd number of sides

      Yes, but you can't have fun and games seeing how many you can stack, on edge.

      1. Chris McFaul

        Re: A question of balance

        you can.. its just more difficult

        http://i.imgur.com/EBFUcUv.jpg

        1. VinceH Silver badge

          Re: A question of balance

          They appear to have twelve sides - so that's a pretty neat trick, balancing a number of seven sided coins on edge so that they somehow gain an extra five sides.

          1. Jonathan Richards 1

            Balancing act

            As far as I can make out, those are Australian coins, not UK 50p ones. Cripe's, he's hung them from an upside-down table!!

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: A question of balance

            balancing a number of seven sided coins on edge so that they somehow gain an extra five sides."

            That's because it's a three dimensional visualistion of the 4 dimensional hyper-heptagon.

    5. Frankee Llonnygog
      Coat

      Brilliant idea

      Then you could make contactless payments with coins

      1. James 51 Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Brilliant idea

        Didn't anticpate that application. Here you go (see icon).

      2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
        Alert

        Re: Brilliant idea

        "Then you could make contactless payments with coins"

        My head wants to explode thinking about this.

        1. Frankee Llonnygog

          Re: My head wants to explode thinking about this.

          If that doesn't do it - wait till they give you your change!

    6. TRT Silver badge

      Hard currency has gone the way of the dodecagon.

      1. Esskay
        Coat

        I read that as "Dogecagon". much sides.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Hard currency has gone the way of the dodecagon."

        No. No it hasn't. To clarify its 13/03/2014. In this year hard currency is not dead.

        I suspect this will be the case in years to come.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

    7. Scott Wheeler

      That sort of thing is what I'm worried about with this "authentication". While it's unlikely that they use RFID because the coins are metal, I'm concerned that they may give coins individual identification, which will make cash transactions trackable.

      1. Old Handle

        Bank notes already have serial numbers. (Or don't they in the UK?)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Exactly. Please el-reg, follow up on the 'technology' angle and find out what they mean.

        Anon because of reasons.

    8. David Paul Morgan

      Re: 12-sided...

      yes. an equilateral curved heptagon has a constant diameter.

      therefore, the new coin should have had 11 sides, curved...

  3. OliverJ

    ... and a fitting tribute this is.

    The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osbourne, enthused: "...paying tribute to the past in the 12-sided design of the iconic threepenny bit." before continuing with the astute observation that this is also a quite fitting tribute considering that the new £1 coin of 2014 will also have roughly the same purchasing power as the iconic threepenny bit of 1953 had in its day.

    1. Uffish

      Re: ... and a fitting tribute this is.

      Back in 1953 a skilled worker would get about £20 per week; that's 1600 threepenny bits.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Stop

        Re: ... and a fitting tribute this is.

        Do you have a reference for that? It sounds like a hell of a lot to me. The ONS suggests an average wage of £9.30 but neglects to mention if that is a mean or median average.

        http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/about-ons/business-transparency/freedom-of-information/what-can-i-request/previous-foi-requests/labour-market/average-gross-weekly-earnings-in-1953/index.html?format=print

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: ... and a fitting tribute this is. @moultoneer

          9.30 times 52 weeks a year = 483.60 per year. That's specifically for manual workers, so the population average is likely to be somewhat higher, although less than double surely.

          Anyway, 9.30 works out at 744 thruppeny bits a week. If, as posted by someone else, a modern pound is equivelent to about 8d in 1953 money, that means the 'average manual wage' in 1953 was equivalent to about 14,500 pounds a year in today's money.

          So that's how far living standards have risen in over half a century. Isn't progress nice?

      2. John 110
        Stop

        Re: ... and a fitting tribute this is.

        @Uffish

        Mr Average took home £9.75 a week in 1953. I got less than £20 a week at my first job in 1971.

    2. Chris Miller
      Thumb Up

      Re: ... and a fitting tribute this is.

      A huge exaggeration. Today's £1 has the equivalent (RPI) purchasing power of 9 old pence in 1953.

      1. Uffish

        The pound in your pocket

        The FT has a table of average UK annual wages. In 1953 it was £625.80.

        1. This Side Up

          Re: The pound in your pocket

          I think I was getting 6d a week pocket money.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. big_D Silver badge

      Re: ... and a fitting tribute this is.

      Buying power... That was my first thought, when I read the article.

      My other thought was, introduce the Euro, it is already a 2 metal coin, you'd get a good deal on them as well, 1.2 Euros for every pount - if it goes like the rest of Europe, the shops would then also be able to double the price of all goods over night.

      1. This Side Up

        Re: ... and a fitting tribute this is.

        "the shops would then also be able to double the price of all goods over night."

        No, it could be beneficial on balance because shops like to round prices up to the next multiple of £10 and then take 1p off to make silly shoppers think it's cheaper. €9.99 is less than £9.99.

        1. Imsimil Berati-Lahn

          Re: ... and a fitting tribute this is.

          "€9.99 is less than £9.99."...

          ...at time of posting.

        2. Colin Millar
          Holmes

          Re: ... x.99 rounding

          This was originally introduced as an anti theft procedure when electronic tills were introduced- it gave the customer a reason to hang around and see the sale registered cos they were waiting for their change.

          1. strum Silver badge

            Re: ... x.99 rounding

            It's a lot earlier than electronics. 19/11d was a common price for quid(ish) goods, way back in my youth.

            Yes, part of it was persuading the punter he was saving money, but part of it was ensuring the salesperson opened the till.

          2. Robert Baker
            WTF?

            Re: ... x.99 rounding

            "This was originally introduced as an anti theft procedure when electronic tills were introduced- it gave the customer a reason to hang around and see the sale registered cos they were waiting for their change."

            I'm sure there were prices such as £2 19/11d (one old penny short of an exact £3) long before there were electronic tills.

        3. Flatpackhamster

          Re: ... and a fitting tribute this is.

          There wasn't a single currency which adopted the Euro where shops cut their prices. Why would it happen here?

    4. Gannettt

      Re: ... and a fitting tribute this is.

      According to the Bank of England Inflation Calculator (http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/education/Pages/inflation/calculator/flash/default.aspx) £1 in 1953 has the buying power of £23.64 in 2012, or, if you prefer, £1 in 2012 had a value of 4p (or about 8d) in 1953.

    5. Jan 0
      Pint

      Re: ... and a fitting tribute this is.

      Back in the '50s, 3d was the price of a Mars bar. Thanks to "Mr. Rising Price" Mars bars got proportionally smaller as the years passed. Sometime around 1960, Mars finally restored the size, but upped the price to 4d. Using the Mars bar standard suggests that the present day pound is a bit more valuable than 3d in 1953. (A normal (58 g) Mars bar is now about 60p.)

      Foreign readers please note that there are no nuts in a Limey Mars Bar, d=denarius, the standard abbreviation for the old penny that was 1/240th of a pound:) and 3d was, of course, pronounced "thruppence".

      Beer: A nice pint of Massey's, with a proper head, to toast those pre-Grotney years when you could buy a round with a ten bob note and still have change for fish and chips.

  4. Goldmember

    3 per cent?

    That sounds like a lot. Who's got the time or the patience to manufacture all those fake pound coins? You can buy bugger all with a quid anyway. The crooks should invest their time in Bitcoin exchange hacking or something instead.

    1. RISC OS

      Re: 3 per cent?

      Could buy someone a hell of a lot of tat from pound shops... they are springup all over the place... ;)

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      You can get the fakes at clubs

      The fakes are roughly the right size, colour and weight but would not pass casual inspection by someone sober in daylight. I assume the new design will be faked just as badly and given in change at clubs to those too drunk or high to spot the difference.

      1. Steve Todd

        Re: You can get the fakes at clubs

        Some of the fakes are pretty good. You'd need to look at things like the alignment of the front and rear designs, or the quality of the embossed motto on the rim to spot them. The BBC made a program covering the range of quality involved.

        1. Goldmember

          Re: You can get the fakes at clubs

          "Some of the fakes are pretty good"

          Indeed they are. I've only had a handful over the years which I've suspected to be forgeries, and I suspect have had more I didn't even realize were fakes. Although, apparently, the quality is getting worse. There's an article on the BBC today on how to spot a forgery.

          That's my point, though. Surely there's a high cost to manufacturing a decent forgery? And how do you spend them in bulk? I imagine you could get away with handing over 3 or 4 at a time in the pub (or mixing them with real ones, if they were good enough), but walking into John Lewis with a big bag of 800 shiny coins to buy a new TV would look a little suspect.

          1. Werner McGoole

            Re: You can get the fakes at clubs

            I think it doesn't really help that they change the design on coins and banknotes so often. There are so many designs in circulation now that I don't necessarily recognise them all and I'm not that surprised when I see a new one. If I got given a pound coin with a picture of Mickey Mouse on one side, I'd probably assume it's some stupid attempt to commemorate Walt Disney or something.

            So now I suspect the fraudsters could start minting 13-sided pound coins and still get away with it. People would just assume it's a new official design.

    3. plrndl
      Pint

      Re: 3 per cent?

      According to Wikipedia, a 2011 BBC test of 5000 pound coins found 3.5% to be counterfeit. With 1½ billion in circulation, that will buy several pints even at 2014 prices. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pound_coin)

    4. Ledswinger Silver badge

      Re: 3 per cent?

      " 3 per cent? That sounds like a lot."

      Depends where you are - I've seen quite a few poor quality forgeries, and quite a few that I couldn't tell weren't but looked "different" to all the other pound coins in my pocket. Luckily the criteria for judging authenticity in the shop is basically size and weight, so it's an open door for forgers.

      Having said that, I'm most disappointed with the pound coin forgers - there's so many different designs on pound coins there's a fantastic opportunity to get their own design into circulation, with a latin edge logo something like "less dishonest than bankers".

    5. Anonymous John

      Re: 3 per cent?

      Think of it as the Big Society Quantitative Easing.

    6. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: 3 per cent?

      China.

      The Toronto Transit tokens had to go to two colour because of fakes from China being sold from corner stores. The Canadian two dollar (toonie) coin is also a two colour coin but the reverse of the new pound coin, steel on the outside, brass colour in the middle.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twonie

      1. Sureo

        Re: 3 per cent?

        The Canadian Government got rid of paper $1 and $2 bills some time ago and replaced them with large coins. Now my pants won't stay up.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 3 per cent?

      Back when pound coins first appeared, there was a "rumour" that the then "terrorist threat" for us old un's, the IRA, were going to flood the UK with fake pound coins.

      This was not for "profit" but seen as a way to disrupt the government of the day and cause chaos for the treasury.

      Not everyone wants to counterfeit for profit

  5. FartingHippo
    Holmes

    Excellent

    I assume this coin is enough to order a pint of mild and a packet of woodbines, let me put shilling or two on the dogs, buy my own body-weight in fish and chips, and still leave me enough change for the bus fare home.

    Kids today don't know they're born.

    1. Frankee Llonnygog

      Re: Kids today don't know they're born.

      But no doubt you have pointed that out to them

      1. earl grey Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Kids today don't know they're born.

        and told them to get off the lawn....

    2. Getriebe

      Re: Excellent

      Mild!! Are you a yam yam?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Excellent

      Mild....that takes me back. 20 odd years ago, as a student, I used to drink mild in a particular pub in london. Didn't really taste of anything at all. However, it was a massive 80p a pint cheaper than the equivalent horrendous keg bitter, which if I recall, was a then shocking £2 a pint. So, for £10, I could drink 8 pints, to my colleagues 5, and I had a little change too. Unfortunately, it was so weak that I seemed to piss it out quicker than I could drink it, and I once lost count at 15 pints. You also spent most of the afternoon or evening out standing at the urinal, trying to dissolve a 'trough chunk' all by yourself by way of entertainment. Deodorant block based sports should be in the olympics.

  6. DJO Silver badge

    Good Idea

    After all a pound now has about the same purchasing power as a thrupenny bit did 50 years ago.

    Statutory whinge:

    "I remember when you could go t' pub, get pissed then on to chippy for thy supper and still have enough change for a prostitute, all from a 10 bob note, and if you tell the kids today they don't believe you."

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Good Idea

      I'm too young to remember the 10 bob note - although I did have one, it wasn't legal tender.

      When I were a lad... A quid from my pay packet at Tesco got me a portion of chips and a savaloy and 10 Silk Cut on the way home.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Good Idea

        I remember in the early 80s, £1 got you 4 pints of scrumpy

        Cheap night out!

    2. gerryg

      I see your "four yorkshiremen"...

      ...and raise you a Daily Mash

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I see your "four yorkshiremen"...

        Dailymash, what a load of old sh*te!

    3. Imsimil Berati-Lahn

      Re: Good Idea

      This sort of talk always reminds me of "Capstick comes home"

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2AcJSkUw6M&feature=kp

      circa 2:23 from this recording but worth listening to the whole thing, I think.

  7. Tsung
    Joke

    ISIS Security

    Immediately made me think of Archer ( http://archer.wikia.com/wiki/ISIS )

    As for fakes, the images must be fake, the coins are dated 2014, but won't be available until 2017.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ISIS Security

      I have a pound coin in my pocket dated 2011, but it's 2014 so it must be a fake.

    2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: ISIS Security

      Let's hope the queen doesn't pop her clogs in the next three years, too. ;)

      1. Aqua Marina Silver badge

        Re: ISIS Security

        Each year the royal mint produces coins and notes with Charles's head on them, just in case the queen dies. A couple of years ago some of these found their way into general circulation. They are now worth a fortune in coin collectors circles, because they have his head, and what was the current year on them, and they are legal tender.

        1. PerlyKing
          Headmaster

          Coins, notes and the Royal Mint

          Because I know we all love a bit of trivia, the Royal Mint produces coins but not notes. Notes are printed on an industrial estate in Essex (http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/pages/about/production.aspx).

        2. peteste1

          Re: ISIS Security

          Honestly?? I can't find a reference to this anywhere online, and a gaff that significant can't possibly have gone unremarked. I smell a fib...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ISIS Security

        Yes, but mainly because the UK's cult of personality will be forced into worshipping a jug-eared twat who talks to plants.

      3. Spook

        Re: ISIS Security

        Apparently she's only got another two days until the meeting with the Grim Reaper:

        http://www.gamesradar.com/is-this-the-most-elaborate-gaming-hoax-of-all-time/

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ISIS Security

        Queen pop her cloggs...

        I hope she does, but not Lizzie, i mean Elton

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ISIS Security

      Don't let Sterling anywhere near our Sterling >.<

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ISIS Security

        "Don't let Sterling anywhere near our Sterling >.<"

        So... are you suggesting that might be risky, dangerous even? Call Kenny Loggins...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ISIS Security

      Actually, the Royal Mint put the mint date on their coins, not the issue date. So there will be 2014 ones knocking about.

  8. JDX Gold badge

    £2

    Shouldn't they update the £2 coin at the same time, to be the same but larger?

    1. Roger Greenwood

      Re: £2

      and re-introduce the groat and farthing, so that even poor people can feel they have lots of money.

  9. 1 Million Dollars

    I'm not happy unless I'm complaining.

    Looks pretty smart. Any suggestions for what should be on the other side? Sir Tim maybe?

    1. Tsung

      Re: I'm not happy unless I'm complaining.

      Isn't there a going to be a competition? If so I'll submit a picture of the Queen, a sure winner :D

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Joke

        Re: I'm not happy unless I'm complaining.

        How about Camilla?

        Heads you win, tails you lose/

      2. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

        Re: Re: I'm not happy unless I'm complaining.

        Best knock up Chaz of Wales and Will of Cambs, just to be sure.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'm not happy unless I'm complaining.

          And Alex Salmond too, just in case they're bluffing.

      3. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

        Re: I'm not happy unless I'm complaining.

        Isn't there a going to be a competition? If so I'll submit a picture of the Queen, a sure winner :D

        But just to mess with people's heads, have her looking left rather than right...

  10. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Happy

    Brings back memories

    I must have an old threepence lying around somewhere, along with a few ha'pence.

    1. Return To Sender
      Thumb Up

      Re: Brings back memories

      I've got several thruppeny bits hanging around, along with ha'pennies, pennies, farthings, tanners, a few two-bob bits, think I've got a half-crown somewhere...

      The missus uses 'em at school to freak out the smart-arse kids who have got their decimal maths down pat. I love one of Terry Pratchett's footnotes which concludes something like 'the British resisted decimalisation as they thought it would be too complicated'...

      1. caffeine addict Silver badge

        Re: Brings back memories

        "I've got several thruppeny bits hanging around"

        I'm fairly certain they traditionally come in pairs...

        1. Anomalous Cowturd
          Coat

          Re: Brings back memories

          "Show us yer thrupennies" was a popular saying when I were a lad.

          How times change. It would probably get your name on a "Register" nowadays.

          Coat please. The grubby one. Ta.

      2. Jan 0

        Re: Brings back memories

        Somewhere I've got a Guernsey thruppenny bit, but unlike either the Jersey or mainland one it was silver and had a curved edge with 12 high points.

        When I was a kid I dreamed of owning one of those 5 pound notes, that seemed as big as a tea towel and needed folding to fit into a wallet. (5 pounds was the price of the Government Surplus R1155 receiver that I used to drool over in the window of the radio shop.)

  11. Wilseus

    Public competition?

    Let's just hope that the design that wins isn't as dreadful as the recent copper and silver coins.

    When those were announced a few years ago I thought they were an April fool.

    1. Snake Plissken

      Re: Public competition?

      You didn't like the other coins? Were you afraid of change?

      1. John 62

        Re: Public competition?

        The design is nice, but there are no numerals on the coins! Hardly tourist friendly.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Public competition

    My first reaction was "By the Noodly One, nooooo!" but on second thoughts the public couldn't possibly produce anything worse than that ghastly official "Lisa Simpson" Olympic logo.

    1. Wilseus

      Re: Public competition

      Use its proper title, "Lisa Simpson Going Down on a Dwarf," please!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Public competition

        "Use its proper title, "Lisa Simpson Going Down on a Dwarf," please!"

        Where is the wit? Didn't expect funny, and didn't receive any either.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Public competition

      I would like to see a bum on the backside of the coin.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Queens Head on one side

    Guillotine on the other?

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      Re: Queens Head on one side

      In common parlance, the coin has head and tail side. How about the queen mooning to the world?

  14. linicks

    iSIS...

    I hate saying something then not explaining - using iSIS technology - but nowhere does it explain what it is, how it works...

    1. Steve Graham

      Re: iSIS...

      ...and if the details have to be kept secret, then it's not an effective security system.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: iSIS...

        Security by obscurity?

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: iSIS...

        Invisible runes.

        I can't see anything

        That' how you know they are proper invisible runes

    2. BristolBachelor Gold badge
      Coat

      Re: iSIS...

      It's called marketing...

    3. phuzz Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: iSIS...

      invisible Spoof Ineffective Security?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: iSIS...

      iSIS in coins makes use of aRMour technology, which involves a 25 micron plating onto a steel core. Security features include being able to create lettering within a groove, providing overt security, and being able to detect plating depth, providing covert security.

  15. stucs201
    Joke

    No need for a pound coin...

    ...just allow disassembly of the 2 pound coin and let each part be used as a quid.

    (although this new coin could become two 50p pieces when dismantled)

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: No need for a pound coin...

      Polo mints may already have previous art on the bit that goes in the hole...

    2. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
      Coat

      Re: No need for a pound coin...

      A sterling idea, sir.

  16. Nick 10

    If there's a competition to design the tails side, where do I enter my Goatse inspired design?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That's clearly a fake... here is the real one: http://s15.postimg.org/pzlfamcff/kemp.png

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thrupenny bits

    All these comments and nobody has mentioned thrupenny bits...

    I feel let down by the Commentards

    1. Oddb0d
  18. Zane
    Happy

    I like it

    One of the reasons I never was fond of the Euro (yep, I'm from the continent) is diversity of coins. I always liked all these funny different ways you can shape coins, and it's more fun the more different currencies you have. So be glad you still have your pound and can fool around with it.

    /Zane

    BTW a 12-based system for money is better than a decimal system - but you are not going to change that in the foreseeable future, are you?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: I like it

      I beleive that was Britain's compromise position

      They would join the euro so long as there were 20 euro-shillings in each euro and 12 euro-cents in each euro-shilling

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The other side of the new coin

    How about bathing instructions?

  20. ardubbleyu
    Coat

    Look at the threepenny bits on that... fnar fnar

    1. Andus McCoatover
      Windows

      You got a downvote for that???

      I had to go outside - my laughter was gonna get me barred!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Being serious ..

    Alan Turing ?

    1. ratfox Silver badge

      Re: Being serious ..

      Is there any chance whatsoever that another person would be allowed to have a representation equal to Her Majesty? I assume this would be considered distasteful…

      1. Irony Deficient

        Re: Being serious ..

        ratfox, there was a Churchill crown in 1965, so a precedent does exist.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No where does it actually say what the 3 layers of security are other than:

    Overt

    Covert

    Forensic

    I can only assume this equates to..

    Laser etched micro text

    Calibrated machines for X-ray spectra of composition

    Some form of crypro key encoding (possibly using spacing of edge striations)

    As someone said what about £2 coins and of course the limited edition £5 coins....

    1. linicks

      ...and also all this enables is slot machines. Cash over the counter in 'hand' isn't checked.

  23. Andus McCoatover
    Windows

    I bought a house in the mid-90's

    Lovely place. Woodside Cottage.

    £69,000.

    Didn't even haggle, as a 'yuppie' then taking home £4,000/mo, and my (then) missus getting about £2,000, £500/mo mortgage was chicken-feed.

    In the house, forgotten by the previous owner was a porcelain pot, full of 3d bits.

    Took me back awhile. I remember burying a 3d piece when I was a kid of about 10, remembering even 47 years ago *precisely* where I've hidden it. Sadly, 1500 Km from where I am now.

    Gave 'em away. Now, if I had a pot of silver paint....and as I'm on the dole now...

    Nah.

  24. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    MMXIV

    MMXIV seems to fit nicely on one edge - but are they going to have to make the coins bigger when we get to MMXXXVIII?

    1. Michael Strorm

      Groundhog Century-and-Four-Tenths

      No, because shortly after hitting MMXXXVIII, it'll roll back round to MCMI.

      All our systems will crash, the financial system will collapse, nuclear weapons will get confused, spontaneously launch and kill us all and we'll have a newly-crowned Edward VII on the British throne (again).

  25. Winkypop Silver badge
    Coat

    The 2 Windsors (Or a tale of two titties)

    Side 1: Betty Windsor: Representing the posh, upper class, regal set.

    Side 2: Barb' Windsor: Representing the more common, "Cor, look at the threepenny bits on that..." set.

    (inspired by ardubbleyu)

  26. Cupidstunt

    Reduce future costs and abdicate at the same time.

    I am thinking, all this expense to get the new coin introduced, The Queen should abdicate at the same time. This way we won't have a future expense (debt) in changing all the coins a couple of years later.

    1. Tim99 Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Reduce future costs and abdicate at the same time.

      I know that I have spent old George VI 3d coins Wikipedia image.

      Unless you meant to post with the "I'll get my coat" icon. >>====>

  27. Tim99 Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Children...

    I'm pretty sure that my pocket money was given to me as a thruppenny bit.

  28. Scott Broukell

    Easy to fake

    Using some powerful tin snips, or maybe a guillotine, just cut straight edges off of a £2 coin, job done ..... oh wait a minute ......

  29. spiny norman

    If it's a public competition for the reverse, it will be kittens.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If it was a public vote it would be kittens -- unfortunately the public just provide the designs and some spod picks the winner.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Corners

    Wonder if round is less wearing on pockets that corners. The 50p and 20p and fairly rounded, this looks "sharper".

  31. Captain Hogwash

    So HM Government has set up a retro/vintage store

    First a 12 sided coin then this:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/03/19/culture_committee_online_safety_report_urges_stronger_age_verification_for_smut_and_use_of_obscene_publications_act/

    What next? Rationing? Well they are pushing smart meters.

  32. DrXym Silver badge

    A nice idea

    I like the idea of a new multi sided coin but the mockup really doesn't show much. Someone has just cobbled together a "best guess" of what it may look like based on the 12-sided description.

    It would be nice to see a coin utilising a metallic ink, a complex blended pattern of alloys, a hologram, micro etching, or even an rfid to combat forgery. I assume some or all of those things are what they intend. I could see the nutcase brigade exploding with rage if an rfid were put in the coins, even though the coins would be so transient as to be useless for tracking people.

  33. John Savard Silver badge

    iSIS

    The iSIS site doesn't say very much about what this type of security is based on. As noted, metal being conductive, one wouldn't think one could put an RFID chip in a coin, but the way they're talking about how secure and quick to validate it is, one can hardly think of anything else that would achieve it.

    One sees microprinting from the picture of the coin, as well as fancy milling, and they do say that it's plated rather than really built from two parts in different metals.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: iSIS

      The coin is water soluble - so you simply pour water on a pile of coins and you can separate out the fakes easily.

      1. TWB

        Re: iSIS

        Yes but you'd have to use dehydrated water for this.

  34. John Savard Silver badge

    More Info

    I was able to find out that the new technology in these coins was disclosed - in a patent. And that patent was issued to a firm in Wales. However, reading about the problem, the 3% of the current pound coins that are counterfeit still get detected in vending machines; the problem is when people get them in change. So an RFID-like magic security system that allows vending machines to detect coins infallibly, while nice, is solving the wrong problem. But the microprinting and fancy milling may help people to recognize the real thing, so the actual problem is also being addressed.

    Incidentally, note that transistors you can see through, made out of materials containing Indium, are printed on active-matrix LCD displays, which are just about all LCD displays these days. So one could have an RFID on the outside of the coin. I suppose with a layer of glass or clear plastic or something so that the coin doesn't become 'counterfeit' as soon as it is scratched.

  35. MooseNC

    Better

    For some odd reason, I much prefer the UK coins to the US ones. America has yet to make a decent dollar/5 dollar coin.

    1. Old Handle

      Re: Better

      I'm not sure which is cause and which is effect, but people just seem to hate carrying or using dollar coins. They have tried introducing them repeatedly but they never catch one.

      1. Richard Gadsden

        Re: Better

        People hated pound coins when they first came in. The solution: withdraw pound notes. People got used to it.

        The problem with the Septics is that they won't just stop printing dollar bills. They'll all disintegrate in a couple of years anyway and the coins will be the only option.

    2. Irony Deficient

      Re: Better

      MooseNC, given that all of the US non-commemorative five-dollar coins have been at least 899‰ gold, I’d happily accept one of them in preference to Lincoln on a Federal Reserve Note. Our “Peace” dollar coins of the 1920s and 1930s were probably the best-looking of our dollar coins, but the Saint Gaudens twenty-dollar piece was certainly our most beautiful circulating coin.

  36. /\/\j17

    Why's there a man in drag on the front of the coin?

    That's what I want to know.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A little more

    http://tiny.cc/f5bzcx

    The additive is incorporated into coins using The Royal Mint’s aRMour® full-plate technology.

    The Mint has developed three types of reader – hand-held, desktop and, importantly, a low cost version that can be retrofitted to coin accepting and processing systems, in the latter case reading to the highest speeds capable of today’s detection units in cash centres and central banks.

    security by obscurity... so until someone reverse engineers a reader and we know what and how its looking for the additive.. however im guessing it wont take long before someone works it out when it hits the public domain.

    This is interesting regarding paper money: http://tiny.cc/miczcx

    Going back to iSIS, its very likely similar to this: http://tiny.cc/lkdzcx

    1. techmind

      iSIS

      Some power-Googling uncovered this:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AlzC_xMpEw#t=22

      Fast-forward to about 6 minutes in...

      Basically it seems they are embedding some "optically active" particles throughout the plating (other sources say plating wears off at a rate of about 1µm/year in real use). The Mint is very pleased with themselves for developing techniques of getting this uniform dispersion of particles into the plating, btw.

      The particles are detected by shining light on them, and detecting the light that comes back.

      Presumably the three levels of security are {overt} basic fluorescence (or phosphorescence) from everyday 365nm UV, and the higher levels {covert} and {forensic} are based on much more specific spectroscopy (or polarisation, or birefringent or geometrical) effects...?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: iSIS

        Umm interesting so its part of the nickel plate and consistent throughout the plated layer... if the nickel is doped.. i wonder how the dope would survive re-plating (probably not well).. or if the optical additive is instead trapped in the plated layer using using something to catalyse it.

        For example using 1 existing coin (with dope) to then electro plate a non doped coin with slightly surface only covering, only producing a sufficient layer to make the coin work, then you could potentially use one valid coin to create multiple coins.

        Or the more likely approach to use the same particle during the plating process to produce a coin that would give the same optical response e.g. using this sort of process:

        http://tiny.cc/2gl0cx

        Essentially if some ones going to create a fake it only would be required to beat the basic florescence test to be useful to the counterfeiters.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and also similar to this: http://tiny.cc/qydzcx

    video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpzvuGy3_vI

    1. techmind

      CoinTune must be based on a magnetostrictive material (similar to that used in the kind of security-tags commonly seen in music/DVD shops and DIY stores). This approach is rather neat as it effectively embeds a contact-microphone within the coin, facilitating detailed acoustic analysis without the problems of having to externally contact the coin.

      This is completely different to the Royal Mint's iSIS system.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wait, 12 sides?

    Wouldn't it be 14 sides with the front and back?

    1. 's water music Silver badge

      Re: Wait, 12 sides?

      Wouldn't it be 14 sides with the front and back?

      15. Inside.

      8==>

  40. Borg.King

    Put Charlie's head on the back

    Then we won't have to change anything later.

  41. Winkypop Silver badge
    Trollface

    Get with the future

    Make them all BRITcoins!

    What could go wrong?

    1. peteste1

      Re: Get with the future

      Well the police uniforms would certainly look fantastic, what with that great big lion on the shoulder. Oh, you're weren't talking about 2000AD were you - shame

  42. hi_robb

    Hmmm.

    I'll tell you what, The Queen's put on a few pounds..

  43. sonophy
    Coat

    12 or 1

    To absolutely prevent any coin value confusion, a 12 sided coin should be £12. For the amount used for the project develop the conversion, a 1 sided (ala unidimensional) £1 coin can easily be implemented based on the mere budget overage of the 12 sided re-tooling costs.

    As in the United States, the $1 coin is one dimensional, thus providing a simple accounting solution for money that is not there.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can't believe nobody has revived and updated the old joke yet:

    Why has the new pound coin got 12 sides?

    .

    .

    .

    .

    So you can use a spanner to force it out of a yorkshireman's hand.

    (I would say scotsman but yorkshiremen have a sense of humour).

  45. John Savard Silver badge

    Phosphorescent

    I found a site where this was being discussed, and they seem to have found the patent. (US 20110305919 A1, CA 2801418 A1, EP 2580374 A2, WO 2011156676 A2 and A3) Phosphorescent particles are to be mixed with the brass with which the coin is electroplated, following methods used for putting lubricant particles in certain types of machine part, and so they will remain present on the surface as the coin wears.

  46. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    The cost to industry

    I don't see anyone pointing out on the question of compnaies making and operating coin processing machines that will have to be set for the new coin, that that is part of their bloody job. The currency is updated from time to time, partly because the metal in coins gets more valuable than the value of the coins, and coin detection machinery has to be updated to handle the new coins. Your digital home moneybox might not work, though.

  47. Andy Davies

    y -

    The old 12-sided thruppeny bit broke the centuries old practice of having a coherent set of currency - well three sets if you count gold: copper (bronze), silver (cupronickel) ... and gold.

    Coins increased in size related to value and were exactly proportional in weight. Banks supplied bags and 'copper' and 'silver' could all be weighed together. With the new coin they had to introduce a 3d bag. Last time I checked there were bags for copper, 20p, 50p amd £1s.

    If the mint want to show off let them introduce a complete coherent range of coinage. There could be a good argument for dropping 1p and 2p altogether?

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