Are you aware of the new pound coin?
At the end of March 2017, a new 12-sided pound coin will be introduced in British currency.
With one and a half billion of the new coins being put into circulation by the Royal Mint, banks and shops will receive the coins on March 28, but it may be at least a few days before they are handed over as change in the shops.
In the 34 years that the current round pound coin has been in circulation, it has been heavily counterfeited and the issue of fakes is more prevalent than you might think.
The Royal Mint says that approximately one in 30 round pound coins is counterfeit and the hope is that the new thinner, lighter, 12-sided design will be tougher to make a copy of because of its distinctive shape, the use of micro-lettering plus grooves on its side, the addition of a hologram image that changes from a "£" to a "1" when viewed from different angles, and it being made of two metals.
But while a new shape of currency may be exciting, it does come with a warning to those with an abundance of loose change around the house.
As the new pound comes in, then the old pounds must indeed go out. The deadline to use current one pound coins is 15 October 2017. However, many people are currently unaware of this change. According to a survey of 2,000 Britons by Mastercard, 87 per cent did not know they had until this date to utilise any round pounds rattling about in pockets, piggy banks, money jars, and down the back of UK sofas. In fact, only 17 per cent even knew about the new pound coin.
As the study found that Britons have roughly £15 to £25 in pound coins lying around their homes, this could mean that there will be a total of £1.1 billion in unspent change if Britons do not get spending or saving in time.
David Gauke, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said that this "historic moment" should be on everyone's calendar. "Our message is clear: if you have a round one pound coin sitting at home or in your wallet, you need to spend it or return it to your bank before 15 October."
After the October deadline, shoppers will no longer be able to spend the old coins in shops, but most high street banks will still allow them to be deposited into bank accounts. However, there may be specific limitations and rules applied by individual institutions, so it will be important to check policy well before the cut-off date.
It should be possible to use the new pound coins in most vending machines, ticket machines, etc. from the date of introduction as businesses were made aware of the upcoming change three years ago. However, it's likely that not all machines will accept the coins from day one of their circulation.
Make the most of your round pounds now!
While it may seem like a fairly small scale change, making sure you use all your pound coins before they become obsolete is showing good financial sense.
The financial advisers at Blacktower can further help you make the most sensible decisions in every area regarding pensions, regular savings, and investments – whether it's moving your pension into a QROPS in France or helping you come up with the best savings plan to enable you to send your children onto higher education.
Contact one of our advisers today, and see how you can make your money go further.