The announcement of the introduction of a new £1 coin this week means that golf clubs will need to prepare for its introduction over the next few months.
It is intended that the new coin will replace the existing, easy to forge, coin completely by September 2017. The new coin will be introduced next March and will co-circulate with the old coin until September 2017. This means that all locker, range, coffee, vending, gaming, and other coin operated machines used by golf clubs may have to accept both old and new coins for up to seven months next year.
The Treasury claims the new £1 coin to be the most secure of its kind in the world and its cutting-edge features are intended to present a significant barrier to counterfeiters, with its introduction eventually reducing costs to both businesses and the taxpayer. It is estimated that one in thirty pound coins currently in circulation, is a forgery and the Royal Mint has information on these counterfeits and how to detect them.
The new coin has several features that render it more secure:
- 12-sided – its distinctive shape means it stands out by sight and by touch
- Bimetallic – The outer ring is gold coloured (nickel-brass) and the inner ring is silver coloured (nickel-plated alloy)
- Latent image – it has an image like a hologram that changes from a ‘£’ symbol to the number ‘1’ when the coin is seen from different angles
- Micro-lettering – around the rim on the heads side of the coin tiny lettering reads ONE POUND. On the tails side, you can find the year the coin was produced
- Milled edges – it has grooves on alternate sides
- Hidden high-security feature – an additional security feature is built into the coin to protect it from counterfeiting but details have not been revealed
For those machines that use an electronic sensor to validate the coin, the change may well be straightforward as a software update may be all that is required. However, those devices with simpler components, like lockers and ranges, may well have to replace the mechanisms or use old pound shaped tokens.
After September 2017 clubs should no longer accept the existing round pound coin from customers and should no longer distribute it themselves. Following that, it will still be possible to deposit the old coins at most high-street banks and the Post Office.
This may well be the last time a change like this will take place as all the denominations, except the 20p and coppers, have recently been updated and coins and coin-operated machines may well be replaced with more modern methods of payment before any other replacements are required.
A dedicated Royal Mint website has been created which explains the introduction of the new coin in greater detail.