New £1 coin to feature a shamrock

pound coin

The new £1 coin was unveiled today by Chancellor George Osborne while announcing the Budget, having been designed by a competition winning 15-year-old.

David Pearse, from Walsall, beat 6,000 entrants with his design which features the national emblems of the four British Isles countries; an Irish shamrock, English rose, Welsh leek and Scottish thistle.

The 12-sided coin has been likened to the old threepenny bit which was withdrawn in 1971.

Entrants were asked to create a design which symbolises Britain and some entries included cups of tea, flags, maps, the weather, famous writers, seaside piers, and even the Rolling Stones motif.

The £1 coin is being replaced for the first time in over 30 years because of its vulnerability to sophisticated counterfeiters.

The Royal Mint estimates that about 3 per cent of all £1 coins (or 45 million) are now forgeries. In some parts of the United Kingdom, it could be as high as 6 per cent. Over the past few years, around 2 million counterfeit £1 coins have been removed from circulation each year and the new, highly secure coin will reduce costs to business and the taxpayer.

“I was really excited to hear that I had won the competition to design the new £1 coin but hugely shocked as well!” said the Queen Mary’s Grammar School student.

“I heard about the competition through my design teacher at school and I thought I had nothing to lose so I decided to enter. I spent a lot of time researching what coin designs looked like and what sort of designs would represent all parts of the UK before submitting my idea and I honestly cannot believe I have won.”

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