Time is running out to spend your old £1 coins

It’s hard to believe the good old £1 coin has been around for more than 30 years.

Already a whole generation has grown up without the humble green £1 note.

But now even the golden pound coin is making its farewell bow – and you only have until the middle of October 2017 to get rid of yours.

It's disappearing to make way for the new 12-sided version, which may already be rattling around in your pockets or purse.

The old round pound is going the same way as some other iconic designs from the past 30 years, such as the Mini, 100watt light bulbs and the iPhone 5 – all replaced by modern upgrades, whether you like it or not.

In case you were wondering...
  • The new generation BMW Mini went on sale in July 2001, after the original first rolled off the production line in 1959. 
  • Traditional light bulbs were phased out in favour of energy saving bulbs from 2009. 
  • The iPhone 5 was officially discontinued in 2013. 
The Royal Mint is encouraging you to seek out your old £1 coins, spend them, hand them to charity or bank them before October 15, when they lose their legal tender status.

That’s because just a few months ago, around £1.3bn in coins was still hidden away in savings jars and piggy banks, with the old £1 coin making up almost a third of the total.

What better excuse to kick-start your savings habit? Saving doesn’t have to be complicated – some of our accounts can be opened with just £1.

Twelve-year-old saver Louis, from Carlton, said: “I’ve sorted my old pounds and new ones and paid £10 into my savings. I collect them in a tube because I can see how many I’ve got. 

“I don’t automatically put them into the building society as I like to keep some change in so I don’t have to use a note if I need anything.

“I get a statement each month which shows the interest on my account. It’s a few pence each time but at least it’s going up.”

Where you can hand in old pounds

What you need to know about the change to your change:
  • All old-style £1 coins must be returned by October 15, 2017.
  • Businesses will be under no obligation to accept the round £1 coin from you after that date.
  • You should still be able to pay them into a bank or post office where you have an account. But call your bank first to check.
  • The old coin has been in circulation since 1983 and had 24 designs.
  • There were more new 12-sided £1 coins than round pound coins in circulation for the first time in July.
A spokesman for the Royal Mint told us: “So far people in the UK have returned over 1.2 billion of the estimated 1.7 billion round pound coins in circulation.

“Businesses and their frontline staff have been urged 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 the 15 October when the old £1 coin stops being legal tender, businesses can continue to give out the round pound coin.”

There's more news about your cash too... if you haven't had one yet, the new polymer £10 note is now in circulation with the existing one being gradually phased out between now and spring 2018, although the Bank of England will issue a warning three months before the final date you can spend them.

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