# 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 …

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1. #### 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?

1. #### 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. #### Re: 12-sided...

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

You mean they're spherical?

2. #### 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. #### Re: A question of balance

you can.. its just more difficult

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

1. #### 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. #### 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. #### 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.

3. #### Re: 12-sided...

yes. an equilateral curved heptagon has a constant diameter.

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

2. 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. #### Anything you can make...

... I can fake better.

Remember when silvery holograms were a sign of authenticity?

2. Why not bury a RFID tag in them?

1. Couldn't you use the coin itself an antenna?

3. #### Brilliant idea

Then you could make contactless payments with coins

1. #### Re: Brilliant idea

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

2. #### Re: Brilliant idea

"Then you could make contactless payments with coins"

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

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

1. I read that as "Dogecagon". much sides.

2. "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

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

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

Anon because of reasons.

3. #### ... 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. #### 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. #### 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.

1. #### 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. #### 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. #### 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. #### The pound in your pocket

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

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

"€9.99 is less than £9.99."...

...at time of posting.

2. #### 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. #### 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. #### 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. #### 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. #### 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. #### 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. #### 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. #### 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. #### 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. #### 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. #### 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. #### 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. #### 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. #### 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. #### Re: 3 per cent?

Think of it as the Big Society Quantitative Easing.

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

But no doubt you have pointed that out to them

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

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

2. #### Re: Excellent

Mild!! Are you a yam yam?

3. #### 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. #### 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. #### 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. #### Re: Good Idea

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

Cheap night out!

2. #### I see your "four yorkshiremen"...

...and raise you a Daily Mash

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

Dailymash, what a load of old sh*te!

3. #### Re: Good Idea

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

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

7. #### 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. #### Re: ISIS Security

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

2. #### Re: ISIS Security

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

1. #### 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. #### 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. #### 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. #### 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. #### Re: ISIS Security

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

4. #### Re: ISIS Security

Queen pop her cloggs...

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

3. #### Re: ISIS Security

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

1. #### 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. #### 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. #### £2

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

1. #### Re: £2

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

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

Heads you win, tails you lose/

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

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

3. #### 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. #### Brings back memories

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

1. #### 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. #### Re: Brings back memories

"I've got several thruppeny bits hanging around"

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

1. #### 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. #### 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. #### 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. #### Re: Public competition?

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

1. #### Re: Public competition?

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

12. #### 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. #### Re: Public competition

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

1. #### 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. #### Re: Public competition

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

13. #### Queens Head on one side

Guillotine on the other?

1. #### 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. #### iSIS...

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

1. #### Re: iSIS...

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

1. #### Re: iSIS...

Security by obscurity?

2. #### Re: iSIS...

Invisible runes.

I can't see anything

That' how you know they are proper invisible runes

2. #### Re: iSIS...

It's called marketing...

3. #### Re: iSIS...

invisible Spoof Ineffective Security?

4. #### 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. #### 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. #### Re: No need for a pound coin...

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

2. #### Re: No need for a pound coin...

A sterling idea, sir.

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

17. #### Thrupenny bits

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

I feel let down by the Commentards

1. #### Re: Thrupenny bits

Breaking news: Anon lands failwhale, promises to readmore in future.

18. #### 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. #### 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. #### The other side of the new coin

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

1. You got a downvote for that???

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

21. #### Being serious ..

Alan Turing ?

1. #### 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. #### Re: Being serious ..

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

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

23. #### 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. #### 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. #### 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. #### 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. #### 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. #### 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. #### Children...

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

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

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

30. #### Corners

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

31. #### 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. #### 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. #### 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. #### 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. #### Re: iSIS

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

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

That's what I want to know.

37. 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. #### iSIS

Some power-Googling uncovered this:

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

1. 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. #### Wait, 12 sides?

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

1. #### Re: Wait, 12 sides?

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

15. Inside.

8==>

40. #### Put Charlie's head on the back

Then we won't have to change anything later.

41. #### Get with the future

Make them all BRITcoins!

What could go wrong?

1. #### 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. #### Hmmm.

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

43. #### 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. 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. #### 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. #### 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. #### 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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