A coin of British currency with the value of one pound sterling.

First launched in 1983 to replace the one pound note, it was suggested by some wags that they should be nicknamed Thatchers after the Prime Minister of the time, on the grounds that they were both thick and brassy. It never caught on.

A pound coin is round, about 3mm thick and 22.5m in diameter, weighing 9.5g. It is a golden colour, with a nickel-brass composition.

Every year, the design on the 'tails' side of the coin is subject to change - the different designs have included emblems representing the Royal Arms, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

Along with the two pound coin, the one pound coin is the only British coin to feature lettering around its edge. This is intended to make the coins harder to forge. It has been estimated that 1% of pound coins in circulation are forgeries.

There are three versions of the lettering which have appeared on different mintings - one each for England, Scotland and Wales. The Northern Irish coins share the English inscription.

  • England / Northern Ireland: "DECUS ET TUTAMEN" - Latin for "An ornament and a safeguard", originally seen on 17th century coins to prevent people clipping the edges.
  • Scotland: "NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT" - Latin for "No-one provokes me with impunity", the Order of the Thistle's motto.
  • Wales: "PLEIDIOL WYF I'M GWLAD " - Welsh for "True I am to my country" from the Welsh national anthem.