The U.K.’s new one pound ($1.25) coin has been dubbed the “most secure” in the world by the Royal Mint which released the updated tender Tuesday in a bid to foil counterfeits.
The new 12-sided coin is said to include high-security features, such as a distinctive non-symmetrical shape and a bi-metallic structure which make it much more difficult for fraudsters to recreate.
It also incorporates an additional material inside the coin itself, which can be detected electronically by coin-counting and payment machines, as well as micro-sized lettering and a hologram.
The updated currency replaces the ’round pound’, of which as many as one in 30 were estimated to be fakes.
“It’s been designed to be fit for the future, using security features that aim to safeguard our currency, and currencies around the world, for years to come,” said Adam Lawrence, chief executive of the Royal Mint.
As with its predecessor, the coin’s ‘heads’ face retains the Queen’s iconic portrait. The updated ‘tails’ side, however, features one of four emblems said to represent the nations of the U.K. – the English rose, the Welsh leek, the Scottish thistle and the Northern Irish shamrock – the result of a design competition for British schoolchildren.
The new coin has so far been released to 33 banks and post offices around the U.K. and will eventually replace the existing pound when it ceases to be legal tender on October 15 this year.