Today the new £1 coin is released in the UK. I threw a quick graphic together to take a look at what’s known about its composition and why it’s being introduced.
The new £1 coin is being introduced primarily as an anti-counterfeiting measure. It’s estimated that one in thirty of the current £1 coins are counterfeits, and the new coin has a number of security features to help prevent this, including a latent image that changes when viewed from different angles.
Though the new coin is often described as bimetallic, that’s not really the case chemically speaking. Both the outer and inner ring are formed from alloys (mixtures of metals): the outer ring is made of nickel-brass, a combination of nickel, copper, and zinc, while the inner ring is described simply as a ‘nickel-plated alloy’. There doesn’t yet seem to be any information on the identity of this alloy, though my guess would be that it’s nickel-plated steel, as this is currently used for ten pence and five pence coins.
References & Further Reading
- The new pound coin – The Royal Mint