The £1 Coin & Banknote Set

The Royal Mint has released a special collectable set celebrating one of the UK’s most iconic coins: the £1. The set celebrates the rich coinage history of the £1 ahead of the 40th anniversary of the modern pound next year.

The collectable set includes a UK ‘round pound’ dated 1983 featuring a reverse design by Eric Sewell, a 12-sided UK £1 coin dated 2016 featuring a reverse design by David Pearce, and a Bank of England £1 Series D banknote featuring a design by Harry Eccleston.

11 facts about the £1

  • The earliest ancestor of the £1 can be traced back to 1489, when Henry VII introduced the Sovereign – made of solid gold and worth 20 shillings, this is considered England’s very first £1 coin
  • The Sovereign, nominally valued at £1, was devalued and revalued several times in the medieval period. It was replaced in the reign of James I by another gold coin called the unite, and again in the reign of Charles II by the guinea. Each of these coins is part of the ancestral tree of the modern £1 coin.
  • By the end of the eighteenth-century, and in reaction to wartime hoarding, gold was needed to finance wars with France, leading the Bank of England to introduce an alternative to the gold coins in 1797: the £1 banknote.
  • The Sovereign returned in 1817 following a review of Britain’s coinage after the Battle of Waterloo, with its well-known St. George and the Dragon design by Italian designer Benedetto Pistrucci.
  • By 1915 gold was no longer a part of the nation’s circulating coinage. £1 banknotes were again issued in its place, and the government encouraged people to use them in place of gold coins, which were needed for the war effort.
  • Over 443 million ‘round pound’ coins were minted in 1983, the first year the modern pound coin was introduced.
  • The first design to feature on the ‘round pound’ introduced in 1983 was The Royal Arms of the United Kingdom.
  • Four bridges have featured on the reverse designs of the round pound: the Forth Railway bridge, the Menai bridge, the Egyptian Arch bridge and the Millennium bridge.
  • The 12-sided £1 introduced in 2016 saw almost 650 million coins minted in its first year
  • The current 12-sided coin is a symbol of cutting-edge technology and includes a hidden high-security feature to prevent counterfeiting. It is considered the most secure coin in circulation today.
  • 2023 will mark the 40th anniversary of the modern £1 coin and a new reverse (tails) design by Kenyan artist Michael Armitage will be released into circulation to mark the occasion. The design will celebrate the people of Britain and our diverse culture.

Director of Collector Services Rebecca Morgan holds 1983 Round Pound and 2016 GBP1 coin with GBP1 banknote

Rebecca Morgan, Director of Collector Services at The Royal Mint said, “There is something truly special about the £1; its ancestor, the sovereign, is one of our collectors’ favourites and as the original maker of coins, The Royal Mint has had the pleasure of seeing the £1 evolve over the years. The £1 coin is a symbol of Britain that is recognised around the world as well as being one of the nation’s most iconic coins. This collectable set captures three different iterations of the £1 and showcases its fascinating history and evolution over the years.”

For more information, please visit The Royal Mint’s – The £1 Coin & Banknote Set | The Royal Mint

04.07.22 – Royal Mint – Picture shows Rebecca Morgan, Director of Collector Services at the Royal Mint with the new collectors one pound coin (£1) which is being released alongside a one pound note.

The £1 Coin & Banknote Set
Title First Round Pound First New £1 £1 Bank Note
Denomination £1 £1 £1
Issuing Authority UK UK UK
Alloy Cupro nickel Nickel-plated nickel brass
Outer – Nickel Brass
Weight 9.6g 8.75g N/A
Diameter 22.5mm 23.03mm 134.5mm x 66.7mm
Obverse Designer Arnold Machin Jody Clark
Reverse Designer Eric Sewell David Pearce
Quality Circulated Circulated
Additional Features N/A Micro/Latent + more
RRP £45.00

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