New £1 Coin Is 'Most Secure In The World'
The Chancellor has used his Budget to introduce a major change for the nation's pockets - a new pound coin to be introduced in 2017.
The high-tech coin will have the same shape as the 12-sided threepenny bit and will be the hardest in the world for criminals to copy, the Government said.
"After 30 years loyal service, the time is right to retire the current £1 coin, and replace it with the most secure coin in the world," a Treasury spokesman said.
"With advances in technology making high value coins like the £1 ever more vulnerable to counterfeiters, it's vital that we keep several paces ahead of the criminals to maintain the integrity of our currency.
"We are particularly pleased that the coin will take a giant leap into the future, using cutting-edge British technology, while at the same time paying a fitting tribute to past in the 12-sided design of the iconic threepenny bit."
Currently, 3% of the current pound coins are fake, meaning a total of more than £45m in circulation are forgeries, according to the Treasury.
Several features of the new £1 coin should make it harder to fake, including its shape and its construction from two differently-coloured metals.
It will be similarly coloured to the gold and silver euro and the £2 coin.
The historic three pence piece, fondly known as the threepenny bit, was in circulation from 1937 until decimalisation in 1971 and was in the first group of coins to feature a portrait of Queen Elizabeth.
As with all coins now, the Queen's face will be on the heads side of the new coin, but there is to be a public competition to decide the design for the tails side.
The design, which will be roughly the same size of the existing £1 coin, means vending machines and parking meters will have to be overhauled.
But it already has the backing of the Automatic Vending Association, which said the cost for adapting existing machines would be "minimal".
Kelvin Reynolds, of the British Parking Association, added: "Parking operators have long expressed concerns about a rise in counterfeit £1 coins and the inconvenience this causes to motorists when coins are rejected by parking payment machines and the losses incurred as a result."