UK to introduce world’s most secure coin using cutting edge technology

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Mar 23, 2014 18:51 IST

Britain has announced plans to introduce a new 1-pound coin with 12 sides and two different coloured metals as part of a new anti-counterfeing technology that will ensure that it is the “most secure circulating coin in the world to date”.

The new 1-pound coin, that will be produced by the Royal Mint, is described as “distinctly British”, which evokes memories of the pre-decimalisation threepence piece. The new technology utilises multiple layers of cutting edge technology.

The new coin to be introduced in 2017 contains an iSIS security feature - a new high security coinage currency system developed by the Royal Mint. iSIS - Integrated Secure Identification Systems – enables not just coins, but the whole cash cycle to be more secure.

The Royal Mint’s Project iSIS involves the application of an existing security technology that has been proven over decades in banknotes. It is the first time that this existing security has been successfully embedded into coins, official sources in London said.

George Osborne, chancellor of the Exchequer, said: “After 30 years loyal service, the time is right to retire the current £1 coin, and replace it with the most secure coin in the world. With advances in technology making high value coins like the £1 ever more vulnerable to counterfeiters, it’s vital that we keep several paces ahead of the criminals to maintain the integrity of our currency”.

Adam Lawrence, chief executive of the Royal Mint said: "The current £1 coin design has become increasingly vulnerable to counterfeiting over time. It is our aim to identify and produce a pioneering new coin which helps to reduce the opportunities for counterfeiting, helping to boost public confidence in the UK’s circulating coins”.

A public design competition will be held to choose the design for the reverse, or ‘tails’, of the coin.

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