Deadline looms for Britons to spend old £1 coins

On Saturday it was reported that there are 400 to 450 million of the older coins across the country still unspent.

From 23:59 on October 15, businesses are under no obligation to accept the round £1 coin from customers.

The high-tech new pound coins entered circulation in March.

Royal Mint are now encouraging all old pound coin owners to spend, bank or donate their coins before the deadline.

There have also been reports that some retailers are already refusing to accept the legal tender this week, while Poundland said it would continue to accept the old coins until 31 October. But there may be some cases where people find they are caught short. However, there will be at least one machine at each of these stations which will accept the new coins.

After Sunday night, the round £1 coins will no longer be in circulation and members of the public have been returning them at a rate of up to 60 million per week. The design hadn't changed since the coin was introduced in 1984 and, as a result, the old pound coin became incredibly easy to fake.

Dubbed "the most secure coin in the world", the new pound coin by comparison is 2.8mm thick, making it thinner than the 3.15mm round pound.

While the old pound coins are made of nickel-brass (70% copper, 5.5% nickel and 24.5% zinc), the new pound coins are made of two metals.

A spokesman for the Federation of Small Businesses told the Telegraph: "Shopkeepers will be aware that the Royal Mint has this deadline but at the same time they will not want to let their loyal customers down by saying they can not pay with a round pound if they do not have any other change".

The production of the new coins follows concerns about round pounds being vulnerable to sophisticated counterfeiters.

The final countdown for spending the old round pounds is on: you need to get rid of those coins by midnight.

The Royal Mint has produced more than two billion round pound coins since its launch.

It will still be possible to deposit the old coins at most high-street banks and the post office.

Chris Reilly Managing Director of MyVoucherCodes told Alphr: "It's worth noting that the trading of pound coins works both ways, so if you do receive an old coin from a business or cashier after midnight of 15 October you can request a new coin or alternative change".



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