On Sunday the 15th October, the old £1 coins went out of circulation and ceased to be legal tender.
The new 12-sided, bi-metal coin came into circulation on 28 March as part of efforts to cut back on counterfeits. The old pound, which had been in circulation since 1983, was one of the most counterfeited coins in the world.
Estimates suggest that up to 1 in 30 old £1 coins were a forgery, and the new 12-sided coin contains enhanced security features to make counterfeiters lives a little bit tougher.
While seemingly good news, where does that leave the rest of us who failed to dig out the old piggy banks and spend those useful little quids, or exchange them. With the shops now no longer required to accept them, and Royal Mint estimates suggesting there could but up to 450 million coins in circulation, have we just made ourselves poorer?
Luckily, the fact that stores now no longer legally have to accept them, doesn’t mean that they won’t. With half a billion GBP out there up for grabs, many retailers see it as a way to entice customers into their stores.
Some retailers, such as The Food Warehouse, Iceland supermarkets and toy retailer The Entertainer will accept old £1 up until the 31st December 2017.
If one of those aren’t near you, then some high street banks will take old £1 coins as deposits into bank accounts, but they have different policies on how long they will continue do so and whether they will exchange old coins for new. The Royal Mint has said it is entirely up to individual banks.
So, check with your local bank, or search for local retailers near you. There’s still time!