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Britain's old pound coins prepare to bow out
From:Xinhua  |  2017-10-09 19:38

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LONDON, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- Days before the cease of circulation of old pound coins in market, it was announced on Monday that more than 1.2 billion old round coin have been returned to Britain's Royal Mint in just six months.

The 1.2 billion returned in six months equal the weight of 3,500 elephants or 900 of London's double-decker buses.

After over 30 years in circulation, the round coins are making way for the high-security, tamper proof 12-sided replacement, as the circulation of the old coins will stop this weekend.

From midnight on Sunday the round pound will lose its legal tender status and no longer be accepted in shops and restaurants.

HM Treasury and The Royal Mint Monday called on people to hunt down any remaining coins and spend, bank or donate them to charity.

"The round pound has been in circulation for over 30 years but, as the deadline approaches, we are keen to encourage everyone to track down their final coins and use them," said the Deputy Master of The Royal Mint, Adam Lawrence.

"After the Oct. 15, the 12-sided one-pound coin will be the only pound coin being spent in the UK. As the deadline is triggered, we are proud that the security features on the 12-sided coin will help to safeguard our currency for years to come," added Lawrence.

First introduced in 1983, the old pound coin became vulnerable to sophisticated counterfeiters, with as many as one in 30 thought to be a fake, said the Royal Mint.

Although the old coins will disappear from circulation, they can still be handed in at major banks after the deadline passes.