By now, everyone should be familiar with the new 12-sided £1 coins, which came into circulation at the end of March and have slowly been making their way into your pockets.
But are you aware that they cease to be legal tender on October 15!!! From October 16th the coins will no longer be accepted in shops, restaurants and other retailers.
Any unspent £1 coins after October 16th can be traded in at banks, but this is only a temporary option – so it is a good idea to spend or exchange the coins now to avoid not being able to in future.
The Royal Mint said: “We would encourage you to spend, bank or donate your round £1 coins before October 15.”
The 12-sided one pound coin entered circulation on March 28, replacing the familiar round £1 coin, which has been in circulation since 1983.
The new coin has been called “the most secure in the world” and there are more than 1.5 billion of them in circulation. About one in 30 of the old round £1 coins in circulation is a counterfeit.
What to do if you are given an old £1 coin
If you’re still being handed back old £1 coins in shops and supermarkets, you have the right to ask the cashier to give you a new £1 coin – if they have any – instead. But businesses don’t have to comply.
A spokesperson for The Royal Mint said: “We have urged businesses and their frontline staff to, where possible, prioritise the new coin when giving customers their change.
“Customers are entitled to ask for their change in any way they wish, but until October 15, businesses can continue to give out the old coin.”
What will happen after October 15?
From 11.59pm on October 15, businesses are under no obligation to accept the round £1 coin from customers, so the best thing to do is take any old pound coins to a high street bank, if you have an account with them, or the Post Office.
To ensure you don’t waste a trip, call your bank first to check whether they are accepting the old pound coins.