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New £1 coin features banknote anticounterfeit technology

Technology employed to protect banknotes from counterfeiters has been introduced into a prototype £1 coin by The Royal Mint. 

Integrated Secure Identification Systems (iSIS) is the result of R&D from engineers at The Royal Mint that has so far seen £2m of investment into a coin that will have ‘covert’ security embedded into it for the first time.

Launched in May 2013, iSIS is said to give coins three tiers of ‘banknote-strength security’ that can be authenticated through high-speed automated detection. A survey undertaken in November 2013 found that the rate of counterfeit UK £1 coins in circulation at the time had risen from 2.74 per cent to 3.04 per cent, and the Royal Mint add that a new level of detection in vending machines will also be possible too, thereby removing this method of introducing fake coins.

Source: The Royal Mint

Andrew Mills, The Royal Mint's director of Circulating Coin, answers some common questions about iSIS

Expected to be introduced in 2017, the new 12-sided coin will be constructed from two different – but as yet unspecified - coloured metals.

According to Royal Mint, iSIS is expected to reduce costs by replacing expensive clad and homogeneous coins with a more affordable full-plated option rather than a surface coating that is prone to wear over time.

In a statement Adam Lawrence, chief executive of The Royal Mint said: ‘We are already known as the world’s leading export mint, but iSIS confirms our place as leaders within our industry, as we continue to expand the boundaries of minting technology.’

A public consultation will be held over the summer before a final decision is made on the precise specification of the new coin.

Readers' comments (4)

  • I have heard on the news that there will be a public consultation as to what will go on the reverse of the coin. To me, there is one obvious choice and that is England's rose. A symbol of a rose bud as opposed to an open rose. A true English flower but also in remembrance of princess Diana .

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  • I would be quite happy to see Issac Newton once again on English Currency.
    We should,at least, celebrate someone who is regarded as an iconic British achiever in the Arts or Sciences...

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  • ...and a former head of the Royal Mint!

  • I recall with great fondness the 12-sided threepenny bit. Many a time spent in Campus refectories competing to see who could get the highest stack. Edgewise of course.

    As for the new coin. The Portcullis from the old 12-sided coin seems very apt to me.

    Anon - A 'rosebud'.... Princess Diana.... absolutely not!

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  • The Union Jack or a combination of English, Welsh and Scottish iconic symbols.

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  • The symbols is pretty much what we used to have on coinage.

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