News story

New £1 coin design competition opens

The Chancellor invites the nation to design the ‘tails’ side of new £1 coin.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The new coin

The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has today (Friday 12 September) launched a nationwide competition for one lucky person to win the once in a lifetime opportunity to put their art in everyone’s hands for years to come on millions of new UK £1 coins.

At Budget 2014, the Chancellor announced that the Royal Mint would manufacture a new £1 coin, which will be the world’s most secure circulating coin, helping to reduce counterfeiting and reinforce enhance the integrity of the United Kingdom’s currency.

Read more about the competition and enter via the Royal Mint website.

Now, members of the general public are being offered the rare chance to put forward their creative ideas for the design of the reverse, or ‘tails’, side of the new £1 coin, which will enter circulation from 2017.

The final specification of the coin is to be finalised following a public consultation, but the proposed £1 coin is distinctly British, with a twelve-sided shape similar to the pre-decimalisation threepence piece, popularly known as the “threepenny bit”.

And it’s expected its design will have a similarly British flavour, as budding designers are being asked to suggest designs that show what Britain, or ‘Britishness’ means, drawing on all of the qualities and quirks that make our nation unique.

In addition to seeing their design on the nation’s most important coin, the winner will be invited to visit The Royal Mint to strike their own design on a new £1 before the coins enter general circulation, where when they will ultimately see their design on currency used by millions of people every day. They will also receive a fee of £10,000 in exchange for the right to use their design.

The design competition is open to anyone who wishes to enter, irrespective of age or nationality. The Royal Mint’s dedicated competition webpage includes helpful hints, design tips, a short film showing the minting process and images of previous designs for inspiration.

Entries and designs will only be accepted on an official submission form, which can be obtained by downloading the Design Brief pack. All entries must be submitted by Thursday 30th October.

Today, alongside the competition, HM Treasury has also launched a public consultation, which invites all interested parties to provide responses in relation to the final specification of the new coin and its planned introduction in 2017. The final specification of the coin will be confirmed after the completion of this process. The public consultation opens on 12th September and runs until 21st November 2014.

Rt. Hon George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said:

Today we’re asking people across the UK to help us design the new £1 coin.

Think about your favourite landmark, or a great British achievement or a symbol from our Islands’ story.

The winning design will be in millions of people’s pockets and purses. It’ll be heads you win; tails, it’s your design.

Rt. Hon Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said:

This is a great opportunity for the people of the UK to help design our new one pound coin.

I hope that the design of this coin represents all of the best aspects of a diverse nation and that it will be used in all parts of the UK for many years to come.

Adam Lawrence, Chief Executive of The Royal Mint, said:

We are thrilled to have the opportunity to support Her Majesty’s Treasury and work on such an exciting project, which will not only modernise the current £1 coin for the first time in thirty years but also potentially change the way that coins are made in the future.

We are giving people the rare and unique opportunity to create a new design for an iconic coin.

They will have the pleasure and pride of seeing their artwork replicated on millions of coins that will be used by people in Britain, and recognised across the world, for years to come.

Key rules of the competition

  • the government expects that the coin will be 12-sided and bi-colour, with a gold-coloured outer ring and a silver-coloured centre. Designs should be based on the specification of the proposed coin, on which the government is currently consulting. The Royal Mint will work with the winning entrant to ensure that their design fits the final specification

  • a portrait of Her Majesty The Queen will be used for one side of the coin. Entrants will need to provide a design for the tails, or reverse side, only

  • the denomination ONE POUND must appear as part of the overall design but it is left up to you precisely where it is placed within the design. The expected diameter of the coin will be between 22.5mm and 24.5mm. For design purposes you may like to assume the midpoint of this range, however the final specification will only be announced following the completion of the public consultation process

  • your design should be orientated with a point of the proposed12-sided shape at the base

  • designs must not include a recognisable likeness of a known person, whether living or dead

  • your design must be your own work, must not be copied from someone else and must not contain any third-party materials and/or content that you do not have permission to use

  • all designs submitted should be presented on the supplied template, which can be downloaded from The Royal Mint website

  • designs can be submitted in pencil, ink, paint or using computer drawing or design software. We cannot accept 3D entries, including collages or models

  • to ensure the competition is fair, please do not include any initials or identifying marks on your designs. The winner will be identified via their unique reference code, and it is therefore very important that the registration process is completed correctly

  • three-dimensional models will be made of the designs that are short-listed towards the end of the selection process. A fee of £1,000 per model will be paid to those invited to prepare models of their designs. This payment will be reduced to £250 per model if the models, by agreement, are prepared by The Royal Mint

The Royal Mint will work with the winner to adapt their design to the final specification of the coin, following the public consultation.

Read the full terms and conditions on the Royal Mint website.

Published 12 September 2014