Britain reveals new 12-sided pound coin

The Royal Mint announced plans Wednesday to replace the weighty flat piece with a 12-sided coin made with two separate metals. It resembles a "threepenny bit" — a coin that circulated in Britain from 1937-1971.

Two-tone coin to be released in 2017 will be more difficult to fake

The new 12-sided pound coin made with two separate metals is supposed to be more difficult to counterfeit. (HM Treasury/Associated Press)

After 30 years of work, Britain's pound coin is ready for a makeover.

The Royal Mint announced plans Wednesday to replace the weighty flat piece with a 12-sided coin made with two separate metals. It resembles a "threepenny bit" — a coin that circulated in Britain from 1937-1971.

Like the Canadian two-dollar coin, it uses two different coloured metals.

British officials say the new coin will be harder to fake — as many as 45 million, or three per cent, of the pound coins now in circulation are said to be counterfeit.

The new coin, which will circulate beginning in 2017, will feature a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II or whoever the monarch is at the time.

Royal Mint chief executive Adam Lawrence says the goal is to "produce a pioneering new coin" that will boost confidence and cut fraud.

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