The introduction of the new £1 coin begins today, with 1.5 billion to enter circulation in the coming months.
The 12-sided coin, the first new £1 coin for over 30 years brought in to try and tackle counterfeiting, will start appearing in shoppers’ change within days.
Retailers across the country have been advised to train their staff and alter equipment to accept both coins as the old £1 is gradually phased out over the next six months.
This “co-circulation” period will cease in Autumn 2017, after which retailers will only accept the newly-minted coins, although old coins will be able to be deposited in banks and post offices.
“This is a giant step forward to help stamp out counterfeit coins and save businesses and the taxpayer millions of pounds every year,” Treasury commercial secretary Baroness Neville-Rolfe said.
“Today marks the start of the six-month transition period, so I’d urge everyone to make sure they spend, return or donate their old round pounds before October 15.
“We have been working hard with businesses over the last three years to help make this changeover as smooth as possible.”