British coin valued at one pound sterling.

Alloy: Nickel-brass


  • 70% Copper
  • 5.5% Nickel
  • 24.5% Zinc
Weight: 9.50 gram
Diameter: 22.50 mm
Edge Thickness: 3.15 mm

There are over 84 million pound coins in circulation in Britain, the pound coin has been with us since 1983 and are unique in that they were the only coin to have an inscription on the outside edge. The two pound coin also has this now. The various inscriptions are:

NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT - No one provokes me with impunity. This is on the Scottish pound coin and is taken from the motto of the Order of the Thistle.

PLEIDIOL WYF I'M GWLAD - True am I to my country. This is the inscription on the Welsh coin and is taken from their national anthem.

DECUS ET TUTAMEN - An ornament and a safeguard. This is taken from Vergil's Aeneid. It is on the coins for the United Kingdom, England and for Northern Ireland.

The coins all have the Queen's head on the "heads" side, and the tail varies.

The Scottish pound coin has either a thistle if it was minted in 1984 or 1989 or a lion if minted in 1994 or 1999.

The Welsh pound coin has a leek if it was minted in 1985 1990 or a dragon if minted in 1995 or 2000.

The Northern Irish coin has a Flax plant if minted in 1986 or 1991 or a Celtic collar superimposed upon a cross if minted in 1996 or 2001.

The 1988 United Kindom coin has the Royal Shield of Arms, the 1983, 1993 and 1998 coins depict the Ensigns Armorial of the United Kingdom.

England's pound coin from 1987 and 1992 has an Oak Tree and in 1997 it has the Three Lions. This was minted the year after the song of the same title was release in England. Coincidence?

The head's side has seen some changes. Although the Queen's portrait (always facing the right) is on them all. The first pound coin had the portrait created in 1964, followed by an updated portrait made in 1985. The latest portrait was introduced in 1998. This new portrait was on the flip side of the United Kingdom pound coin, which featured the Ensigns Armorial, the same as the 1983 mint.


Of note is the fact that Swaziland's one Lilangeni coin is minted from the same blank as the Pound. What this means is, the shape, color, and weight of the coins are virtually identical, and what THAT means is that you can usually pass off one for the other. In fact, much in the same way that US residents will occasionally receive a Canadian dime rather than one of their own, as change, UK residents will occasionally receive Lilangeni coins.

And why, pray tell, is that, given that the UK and Swaziland are separated by about a third of the globe? Simple! As of today (February 23, 2002), the exchange rate is about 16 to 1, in favor of the Pound. So if you ever travel between the two, why not recoup some of your costs by bringing back a sack of Lilangeni coins, and making all your future vending machine purchases for next to nothing?

Isn't fraud fun?

The new One Pound Coin designs

Commencing 2004, the Royal Mint is changing the One Pound coin designs to depict various bridges around the United Kingdom. The new designs are as follows:

These new designs represent a departure for the Royal Mint, all previous £1 designs (apart from occasional special editions) have depicted national emblems and Royal insignia, rather than tangible objects, in this case famous bridges. Perhaps something more subtle is going on, the Euro notes also depict bridges in various architectural styles. Are these new coins preparing us for a Euro changeover?

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