Circular, flat piece of metal alloy
Where and how is it used?
Can purchase oneself a packet of 5 chocolate freddos, half a packet of percy pigs, or use it to experience the safety of being able to lock a locker when you go for a swim, or experiencing the joy of being able to release a trolley at tescos.
Sadly, this little piece of roundness will loose its status as legal tender.
What did you or someone else pay for it?
Why do you want to add it to the museum?
Because it's about to become a piece of history.
How was it made?
Is made in a factory
Is produced by local cottage industry
Is made to particular specifications
Is craft / hand-made
Is a service
Materials & Making
Who made or produced your commodity?
The Royal Mint/possibly some counterfeit organisation if you own one of the 3% estimated to be fake
Who was paid to make it?
Not answered yet
What skills does it take to make it?
CNC machinery, presses, some serious D.T. skills
Where was it made?
What does it cost to make it?
Not answered yet
What is it made from?
Buying & Owning
Who decides how much it costs?
Royal Mint, international currency conversion rates vary
Who or what assesses its quality?
Where is it sold?
Not answered yet
Who or what sells it?
Moves from owner to owner, in exchange for item (e.g.- half pack of percy pigs)
How did this thing arrive from where it was made to where you got it?
Arrived from the till of the local tescos where it had been temporarily resting in a small compartment with its other pound coin siblings.
Where is it used?
In UK shops (until 15th October), in shopping trolley's, to pries open lockers
Where is it kept?
In purses/wallets, car compartments, trouser pockets, piggy banks, under sofas
How and by whom is it cared for?
Various owners for varying degrees of time
How long will it last?
Until October 15th, then it will become an item of historical significance (perhaps!)
Where will it go when it's finished with?
Returned pounds are to be melted down and used in new coins.
What is it worth?
How do you and others value this commodity?
See the values contributed by visitors and those of the donor. And add your own values to this commodity.
|Total times valued||2|
|Controversy||41.25 (0 = most controversial)|
What do these numbers mean?
This data that we have collected over time in our database means nothing without interpretation. A relational database, which we are using here, is technology that enables designers of websites and software to compare, contrast, interrogate and infer relations within data. The act of designing a database is not objective but driven by the agency of its creators and owners.
Within the MoCC Collection data is used to help think through the relations between values, commodities and data. Can we describe our values using sliders and numbers? How do we infer meaning such as controversy from data?
Below is a brief explanation of the some calculations and how these help make decisions about what is shown on the site.
(Total Positive Values) + (Total Negative Values)
The closer the value is to zero the more controversial it is in relation to other commodities. Used to infer that values associated with one commodity divide opinion more than another.
Average Value Score (used in the sliders):
(Total Positive for Value + Total Negative for Value) ÷ Total Times Valued
Used to infer a collective value associated with a commodity.
How do you value this commodity?To add your own values click VALUE THIS COMMODITY and move the sliders left and right to add your own values - then click SUBMIT
Questions and answers
Help to reveal unknown quantities, properties and uses of this commodity by answering this MoCC curator's questions.
Oooh this question has a rather sinister tone to it and I love it!!
You have until October to get rid of ‘round’ £1 coins after which The Royal Mint comes after the family dog! (ok I may have taken it too far…)
Basically, people are being urged to return the old £1 coins before they lose their legal tender status before October 15, but don’t worry you can still return them to the bank after that point! http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/new-12-sided-1-coin-12389262 So if you’re one of those people that make up the £1.3 billion worth of coins stored in saving jars across the country (1/3 of these coins are £1 coins) get a move on! Hopefully then, the only cost for you, the consumer would be a slight inconvenience of going to the bank (maybe some difficulty with lockers, vending machines, washing machines and trolleys! But I’m sure this is more of a cost to businesses rather than yourself). http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/new-12-sided-1-coin-12389262
According to the Guardian updating a vending machine would cost around £100, parking machines between £90-£130 per machine for the simplest software upgrade to most parking meters, £250-£350 if the validator needs replacing and “considerably more” if the meter must provide change. In total the British Parking Association said it could cost up to £50 million just to adapt Britain’s Parking meters – more optimistically, the Royal Mint put the cost of changing “all the machines in the country” at just £15-20 million. Owners of older, simpler mechanisms – lockers, washing machines, shopping trolleys – have four unappealing choices. They can pay to have all the locks replaced. Will Knight, general manager of Locker Shop, put a “purely ballpark” estimate of £40-£50 a locker on this, not including labour. A gym with just 50 lockers could therefore end up spending £3,000. Faced with a bill like that, some businesses may just refurbish the entire changing room with new lockers, if a refurbishment was due. Options three and four, which I’m guessing will be most popular, are to switch to pound-shaped plastic tokens, which is a constant hassle, or, in gyms with more lockers than members, to give everyone their own key. Although, as Knight points out: “It only works if you’ve got an administration system that is capable of issuing the keys when they need to be issued, and retrieving the keys when they need to be retrieved.”
One comforting thought, at least, is that this may never happen again, since all coins bar the 20p and the coppers have been recently updated, and card payments look likely to take over soon. “Probably in about 15 years’ time there will be no machines with coin mechs on them,” Sucksmith says. “That’s my prediction.” https://www.theguardian.com/money/shortcuts/2016/nov/01/new-pound-coin-uk-march-how-much-cost
I’d say, keep one for old times sake!
Question: How are pound coins made?
Hi I’m Lizzie and I’ll be your Commodity Consultant today,
1) Making the strip
A nickel brass alloy is poured into the casting equipment where it is set solid between two slabs of water cooled graphite. This continuous moulding process produces an endless strip of metal, because of the heat the metal has reacted with oxygen in the atmosphere and has gone all black so tools are used to scrape the surface clean with the aid of a white lubricating fluid. At this point the metal is still far too thick and so it must be squeezed between rollers working under ENORMOUS pressure. Precision rolling produces a strip that is exactly as thick as a pound coin should be wound up like a wash spring.
2) Making blanks
Next the metal is headed into the mouth of a blanking press which apparently sounds like a machine gun! (fingers best avoided with this one). The real joy of this press is around the back, here these little discs begin to look familiar – they still haven’t got the queens head on them yet, but they soon will have!
Metal is a pretty tricky material because the more you push it about the tougher it gets, this is called work hardening so before the blanks can get the queens profile they have to be cooked in an annealing oven. After a good long bake the metal is malleable again which means that it’s soft but the heat has oxidised the surface again!!!!!
A bath with abrasive ball bearings provides the answer, a cauldron filled with a solution of sulphuric acid works a charm. After twenty minutes the shine is restored again. The acid is washed off and the ball bearings fall through a sieve to be recycled. Now the shiny blanks dance into the drying chamber.
The the old days criminals would clip coins around the edge so that they could sell the precious metal leaving the poor old coins getting smaller and smaller! By pressing a pattern into the edge of coins they are decorated and protected from clipping! Still to come is their obverse and reverse pictures (aka heads and tails).
3) Design and die making
Next the coins make their way to the engraving department. The pictures and writing that we see on coins are created by patterns of relief (ups and down – have a feel with your finger!). Engravers skilfully cut a three dimensional coin into a block of plaster – which in years past would have functioned as a model to make a hard metal copy known as an electrotype. The pattern on the electrotype would then be reduced on one of the mints magnificent old Janvier machines. As the electrotype rotates the design is traced by a fine metal point fixed to one end of a pivoted bar, at the same time the movement of the tracer is scaled down onto the tip of a tiny spinning cutter. Over the course of several days the cutter produces a reduction punch from which working dyes will be made.
After more than one hundred years of service the Janvier machine has now been replaced by more modern technologies, this update happened through a round ruby tipped probe scanning an original plaster model, a digital recording of every tiny movement was then transferred into the memory banks of a computer. The record of the scan can then be used at any time by a cutting machine (it may be faster than the Janvier but boy does it make a racket!)
4) Striking coins
Coins can be struck using hydraulically controlled equipment with the weight of a blue whale behind them! Such high pressure pounding produces a coin that is almost perfect in every way but will take far too long to create coins that are in mass circulation. For these there is a machine which works at a much sharper rate! 25,000 coins can be produced by one machine every hour.
These beautiful, shiny new coins are wrapped and stacked before being taken away for storage in ‘the long room’ (aka a burglars dream – a room stacked to the ceiling with cash!) before making their way to their new homes.
The Royal Mint estimates that around 2.5% of £1 coins in circulation are fake and in a 2009 survey, 99% of these fake £1 coins found in cash centers were made of a nickel-brass, of which three fifths contained some lead and a fifth were of a very similar alloy to that used by the Royal Mint. The remaining 1% were made of simple copper-zinc brass, or lead or tin, or both.
So how is The Royal Mint making the new pound coins to stop this forgery!?
Apparently it’s a secret….
At the heart of its originality, Gordon Summers, the chief engraver at The Royal Mint, explains, is a top-secret, "high-security feature", which he can't give away the details of. "It's something you need a machine to detect." He added that this feature is only being used on coins by the Royal Mint, but says it has been used on bank notes previously. "It is currently impossible for those counterfeiting coins to copy – it's not difficult to do, it's impossible". Since the new pound coin was released, speculation has been rife about how this feature works. It is believed that the top layer of metal on the surface contains pigments that form a "secret binary code", invisible to the naked eye. The code can only be read using a specific frequency of ultraviolet light installed in the Royal Mint's special fake coin detection machines.
Although I can tell you that the new pound coin is Bimetallic, made of two metals. The outer ring is gold coloured (nickel-brass) and the inner ring is silver coloured (nickel-plated alloy).
Slightly off topic but really interestingly the old pound coin began circulation on the 21st April 1983 after it became apparent that with the general decline in purchasing power, the £1 unit of currency was more appropriate to a coin than a banknote. The note was in constant use on average lasting only nine months, whereas a coin can last as long as forty years or more! To make the pound easy to identify, the £1 coin is thicker than other coins, while the ‘yellow’ colour helps it stand out from the cupro-nickel ‘silver’ coins that were already in circulation. The weight of the coin was decided largely on the grounds of cost and the need to allow for higher denominator coins in due course.
The pound coin is 22.5 mm in diameter, weighs 9.5g, and is 3.15mm thick. It is composed of Nickel-Brass, specifically 70% copper, 5.5% nickel and 24.5% zinc, and it has milled edges.
Follow this link to see how the coin faces of the pound coin have changed through the years http://www.royalmint.com/discover/uk-coins/coin-design-and-specifications/one-pound-coin
Thank you for your excellent question!