When Was The £1 Coin Introduced?

Enjoy one of the most famous images on British currency with a 1983 £1 coin, also called the Royal Arms Coin.

Even though the coin is no longer considered legal tender, there are millions still out there for collectors to acquire.

How Much Is The 1983 £1 Coin Worth?

In the early 1980s, it was becoming very apparent that the purchasing power of the one pound unit of currency was declining and would be more appropriate in a coin than a banknote. So, what became known as the Round Pound was put into circulation.

The One-Pound coin was introduced on April 21, 1983, for the Queen’s birthday, with a mintage of 443,053,510. It is also called the Royal Arms £1 Coin and is part of what was referred to as “the round pound” coins.

For coin collectors and others looking to find one to buy or sell, the average sales value is about £1.80, according to eBay, for a coin in circulated condition. Of course, the individual physical condition of the circulated coin is going to make a difference to its collector value.

The 1983 coin was also issued in Silver Proof with a mintage of 50,000 and Silver Proof Piedfort with a mintage of 10,000.

When Was The £1 Coin Introduced?

The British One Pound coin is a denomination of the pound sterling. The original One Pound coin replaced the Bank of England one-pound note that was no longer issued after 1984 but was not removed from circulation until March 11, 1988.

Eventually, a newly-designed coin was introduced in an effort to stop counterfeiting. This new coin would be a different shape and include an Integrated Secure Identification System iSIS along with a bimetallic makeup.

When the 12-sided, dodecagonal, version of the coin was issued in 2017, both the new and the old coins were in circulation at the same time until the round coin design was taken out of circulation in 2017.

After 2017, the older One-Pound coins could only be redeemed at banks. For a limited time, some retailers would also accept them. Although, they remained in use in the Isle of Man.

1983 £1 Coin Design

1983 £1 Coin Design

The £1 coin is 22.50 millimetres in diameter and weighs 9.50 grams in Nickel-brass alloy with a thickness of 3.15 mm. The metal was copper, zinc, and metal and is the only UK coin to have this specific yellow colour.

The obverse of the 1983 and the 1984 one-pound coin features the Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II designed by Arnold Machin. The Queen is wearing the “Girls of Great Britain and Ireland” Tiara with the legend ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 1983. Translated, the inscription means Elizabeth II Dei Gratia Regina, by the grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith.

The obverse of the One-Pound coin would change in 1985 until 1997 with the Queen’s portrait by Raphael Maklouf featuring the George IV State Diadem. From 1998 through 2015, the portrait on the obverse would be the design of Ian Rank-Broadley. In 2015, the portrait featured would be by Jody Clark.

The reverse of the 1983 One-Pound coin is the design of ornamental royal arms to represent the United Kingdom. The designer was Eric Sewell, the chief engraver at the Royal Mint at the time. It features the United Kingdom’s Royal Coat of Arms. On the left is a guardian lion, and on the right is a Scottish unicorn.

Under the image are the words ONE POUND. Within the “Royal Arms” crest is a belt with the words HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE of which some letters are covered. Translated these words mean “Evil unto him who thinks evil of it”. On a ribbon banner toward the bottom of the image are the words ‘DIEU ET MON DROIT. Translated, these words mean “God and my right” which is the motto of the British Monarchy.

The reverse was changed each year from1983 to 2008 to reflect a design that represented the United Kingdom, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and England.

The edge of the 1983 coin is milled with an inscription and a small crosslet as a mint mark that represents Llantrisant in South Wales where the Royal Mint has been based since 1968. The 1983 inscription reads DECUS ET TUTAMEN. Translated, this means “Ornament and a safeguard,” taken from Virgil’s Aeneid. The inscription was used on 17th-century coins in an attempt to protect them from debasement.

The term legal tender may sound as if it determines whether the coin can still be used to exchange for goods or other currency. However, the term actually refers to whether it is legal to use for paying off debts.

Referring to a coin as legal tender does not necessarily mean you can go to a store and spend it. The One-Pound round coin was officially withdrawn from circulation and lost its legal tender status in October 2017.

Will Banks Still Take Old Pound Coins?

Even though the coin was removed from circulation, there are still many in the hands of collectors and others. As of the end of 2020, an estimated 131 million old round One-Pound coins have not been returned to the Royal Mint.

Many that were returned were completely removed from circulation and melted down. Among those, more than a million were found to be counterfeit. The Royal Mint estimates that about 2.5% of all One-Pound coins that were being exchanged in circulation are fakes. That is the main reason the coin was drastically redesigned.

For a while, after the 1983 coin was no longer in circulation and the coin design had changed, banks would still take them. The coins can still be deposited at most high-street banks.

If you acquire an old £1 Coin you can’t spend it, but you can take it to a bank to deposit it at the Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Clydesdale, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds, Nationwide, NatWest, The Post Office, RBS, Santander, Ulster, and Yorkshire Bank.

Keep in mind, however, that the banks are under no obligation to exchange coins with those who are not a customer of the bank. They could even impose deposit limits.

Where Can You Buy The 1983 £1 Coin?

As always, eBay is a quick and easy way to find coins. Just make sure you do your homework, so you are sure of exactly what you are buying. The exact price the coin sells for is going to depend upon what condition the coin is in as well as the year it was minted.