This image supplied by the Royal Mint on March 19, 2014, shows the new design for a 12-sided one pound coin.
Handout—Getty Images
March 19, 2014 11:14 AM EDT

The Royal Mint unveiled Wednesday a new 12-sided pound coin made with two separate metals, in a radical redesign of the old coin’s look.

The new currency has been in the works for 30 years and will replace the current weighty flat piece, the Associated Press reports. It looks similar to the “threepenny bit,” a coin that circulated in Britain from 1937 to 1971.

Great Britain has long faced a problem with counterfeit coins, and as many as 45 million, or 3 percent of the current pound coins are thought to be fakes. The new coin, which will begin circulation in 2017 and feature a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, is said to be harder to fake.


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