The current £1 coin is being replaced for the first time in over thirty years because of its vulnerability to sophisticated counterfeiters.

Approximately one in thirty £1 coins in circulation is a counterfeit.

The new coin has a number of features that make it much more difficult to counterfeit.

12-sided – its distinctive shape makes it instantly recognisable, even by touch.

Bimetallic – it is made of two metals. The outer ring is gold coloured (nickel-brass) and the inner ring is silver coloured (nickel-plated alloy).

Latent image – it has an image like a hologram that changes from a ‘£’ symbol to the number ‘1’ when the coin is seen from different angles.

Micro-lettering – it has very small lettering on the lower inside rim on both sides of the coin. One pound on the obverse “heads” side and the year of production on the reverse “tails” side, for example 2016 or 2017.

Milled edges – it has grooves on alternate sides.

Hidden high security feature – a high security feature is built into the coin to protect it from counterfeiting in the future.

The Government also launches a campaign to encourage people to return round £1s, which lose their legal tender status on October 15, 2017.