New £1 coin hits one billion landmark as ’round pound’ deadline looms

People are being urged to dig out their old £1 coins from wallets and crevices in sofas before their legal tender status ends.

The billionth new £1 coin has rolled off the Royal Mint’s production line, as shoppers and retailers prepare to bid farewell to the ’round pound’, Sky reports.

The new 12-sided pound coin entered circulation in March and boasts high-tech security features to combat counterfeiting.

Around one in every 30 £1 coins in people’s change in recent years has been fake.

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Andrew Jones, who is visiting the Royal Mint’s headquarters in Wales to mark the one billion milestone, said: “This coin is the most secure of its kind in the world and was brought in to clamp down on the multimillion-pound cost of counterfeits.”

Meanwhile, people are being urged to spend, bank or donate their ’round pounds’ to charity before they lose their legal tender status on 15 October.

Research suggests one in three people still have old pound coins stashed away, the Treasury said.

Chief executive and deputy master of the Royal Mint, Adam Lawrence, said: “Many of the old round pounds returned will be melted down to make the new coins so we’re asking everyone across the UK to make sure they check their coin jars and piggy banks for round pounds.”