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Second Portrait Used in 1983 & 1984
Second Portrait Used in 1983 & 1984

Royal Arms Reverse Design Used in 1983, 1993,1998 & 2003
Royal Arms Reverse Design Used on First Pound Coin in 1983

The Return of the One Pound Coin to Circulation

Nickel Brass
The new One Pound coin in base metal, nickel-brass was introduced in 1983, as a replacement for the £1 banknote. Banknotes, being made of paper suffer from wear and tear more readily than metal coins. By 1983, the life expectancy of the £1 note was about 6 months, and that of a coin is about 100 years. The £1 note had become too popular, and was too expensive to produce and replace. Notes are more suitable for higher value denominations where they are handled less, and therefore last longer.

The Gold Sovereign
A £1 coin denomination is not, of course, new. The gold sovereign has been struck from 1489 until 1932, although it started to be replaced during the first world war. It has again been issued intermittently from 1957, although as a bullion and collectors piece rather than for circulation.

An Ugly Duckling?
The £1 coin was not very popular when it first appeared, but this is often the case. It promises to be quite an interesting series, as in its first 16 years it has had 13 different designs, only repeating a previous design in the three years 1990, 1991, and 1992. In my personal opinion, the ordinary nickel brass version is not particularly attractive, but the silver proof versions transform it into an attractive and beautiful collectors piece.

Silver Proof Issues in Original
Royal Mint Leatherette Cases

DateObverseReverseStockPrice £Price $
1983DecimalRoyal ArmsYes£25$41
1984DecimalScottish ThistleYes£25$41
1985Third PortraitWelsh LeekYes£22$36
1986Third PortraitNorthern Ireland FlaxYes£22$41
1987Third PortraitEnglish OakYes£22$41
1988Third PortraitRoyal ShieldYes£25$41
1989Third PortraitScottish ThistleYes£25$41
1990Third PortraitWelsh LeekYes£25$41
1991Third PortraitNorthern Ireland FlaxYes£23$38
1992Third PortraitEnglish OakYes£29$47
1993Third PortraitRoyal ArmsYes£30$50
1994Third PortraitScottish LionYes£45$70
1995Third PortraitWelsh DragonAsk£28$45
1996Third PortraitNorthern Ireland Celtic CrossAsk£35$55
1997Third PortraitEnglish 3 LionsAsk£35$55
1998Fourth PortraitRoyal ArmsYes£28$45
1999Fourth PortraitScottish LionYes£29$47
2000Fourth PortraitWelsh DragonYes£26.50$40
2001Fourth PortraitNorthern Ireland Celtic CrossYes£26.50$40
2002Fourth PortraitThree Lions - EnglandYes£24.95$36
2003Fourth PortraitForth Bridge - ScotlandYes£24.95$36
2004Fourth PortraitForth Railway Bridge - ScotlandYes£24.95$36
2005Fourth PortraitMenai Straits Bridge - Wales2005£24.95$36
2006Fourth PortraitEgyptian Arch - Northern Ireland2005£24.95$36
2007Fourth PortraitGateshead Millennium Bridge - England2005£24.95$36

Silver Proof Piedfort Issues
Piedfort means literally "heavy weight", from the French pieds = weight, and fort - strong or heavy. The pronunciation should be pea - ed - four, with the final t sounded only softly if at all.

These are struck on a flan of about double the normal weight and thickness.
DateObverseReverseStockPrice £Price $
1983DecimalRoyal ArmsYes£95$155
1984DecimalScottish ThistleYes£45$74
1985Third PortraitWelsh LeekYes£45$74
1986Third PortraitNorthern Ireland FlaxYes£45$74
1987Third PortraitEnglish OakYes£45$74
1988Third PortraitRoyal ShieldYes£45$74
1989Third PortraitScottish ThistleYes£50$82
1993Third PortraitRoyal ArmsYes£50$82
1994Third PortraitScottish LionYes£55$90
1995Third PortraitWelsh DragonYes£50$82
1996Third PortraitNorthern Ireland Celtic CrossYes£50$82
1997Third PortraitEnglish 3 LionsYes£45$74
1998Fourth PortraitRoyal ArmsYes£45$74
1999Fourth PortraitScottish LionAsk£45$70
2000Fourth PortraitWelsh DragonYes£46.50$69.95
2001Fourth PortraitNorthern Ireland Celtic CrossYes£45$70
2001Fourth PortraitNorthern Ireland Celtic Cross - Special OfferYes£35$55
2002Fourth PortraitThree Lions - EnglandYes£45$65
2003Fourth PortraitRoyal ArmsYes£45$65
2004Fourth PortraitForth Railway Bridge - ScotlandYes£45$65
2005Fourth PortraitMenai Straits Bridge - Wales2005£45$65
2006Fourth PortraitEgyptian Arch - Northern Ireland2005£45$65
2007Fourth PortraitGateshead Millennium Bridge - England2005£45$65

Silver Proof Collections & Piedfort Collections
With each new series of designs, the Royal Mint have issued sets or collections consisting of one of each of the four different national types, but excluding the "normal" design, which uses the Royal Arms.
The first set was from 1984 to 1987 inclusive, and features the four designs of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England.
The second set was from 1994 to 1997, and retains the same rotation of countries, but with a new and different reverse design for each.
Each of the two collections is available in silver proof and also in piedfort editions.
Each set is housed in a four-coin case, and comes complete with certificates.
We often have the complete four coin series collections available for sale.

Pound Collections For Sale
DatesTypeMintageAvailablePrice £Price $
1984 - 1987Silver Proof50,000Yes£90$150
1984 - 1987Piedfort10,000Yes£175$280
1994 - 1997Silver Proof25,000Ask£100$165
1994 - 1997Piedfort10,000Yes£195$315

Postage & Packing:
UK: At buyer's Risk £3.50 or
Fully Insured £9 (Usually by Royal Mail Special Delivery)
USA: Airmail at buyer's risk $10 or
Fully Insured $20
For further details, please see our Postage & Packing page.

Order Form - UK

Order Form - USA

Type Chart of Every Pound Coin Design

If you want to find the value of a coin you own, please take a look at our page I've Found An Old Coin, What's It Worth?

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