£120million worth of old pound coins are still missing, Royal Mint reveals

31 July 2020, 10:43

There are millions of old £1 coins still in the UK
There are millions of old £1 coins still in the UK. Picture: Getty Images/PA Images

The Royal Mint has revealed millions of old pound coins have still not been handed to banks.

Three years after the new £1 coins were introduced, 120million of the old version are still missing.

According to The Royal Mint, while £1.58billion old pound coins have been returned since 2017, 122 million have never been sent back.

But if you find one in your piggy bank, don’t throw it away, as the Mint states they can still be deposited at most high street banks.

This comes after the 12-sided £1 was introduced in October 2017 in a bid to crack down on counterfeit money.

The Mint described the new shape as the most 'secure in the world' and has a hologram, and micro-sized lettering inside both rims.

120 million old pound coins are still in circulation
120 million old pound coins are still in circulation. Picture: PA Images

It is also made with a material which can be detected when electronically scanned by coin-counting machines.

A Royal Mint official said their "internal records show since 2017 approximately 1.45m counterfeits have been returned, though this is a significant underestimate.

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"They could not be readily distinguished from the genuine coin, which is why a new coin was introduced."

Over the past three years, about 138m round £1 coins have been melted down to help create some of the new ones.

Meanwhile, as the UK continues to move to cashless, the Royal Mint has branched out into jewellery design.

Last year, production started on a range of pieces costing between £80 and £2,000 made by using traditional coin-pressing techniques.

Business development engineer Daniel Thomas said at the time: "Because we're used to working with precious metals, the minting process lends itself to making some of those components.

"We've also introduced some new crafting processes and coupled those together to develop a new range.

"We've got over 1,100 years in manufacturing coins so it is a step change but we utilise the same quality inspection and pride in craftsmanship manufacturing and applied that to jewellery."

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