What's the deadline for spending my old £1 coins?

Esther Shaw / 13 October 2017

And what can you do with them afterwards? All you need to know about the old and new pound coins.

The old £1 coin went out of circulation at midnight on October 15 2017, so old round coins are no longer legal tender, and shops, restaurants and other retailers aren't accepting them. The old £1 coins has been replaced by thinner, lighter 12-sided coins. These were introduced on March 28 this year by the Royal Mint. These new, highly secure coins are harder to counterfeit due to a range of features which include the distinctive 12-sided shape, the combination of two metals (gold and silver), and a hologram.

What if I still have old £1 coins after October 15?

While the new £1 coins may be brimming with benefits, the problem is, there are still around 500 million old £1 coins in circulation, according to the Treasury and Royal Mint. The good news is, if you are one of the many people who still have some old coins tucked away in a wallet or jar at home – or hidden down the back of the sofa – all is not lost. Here are your options:

The new £10 note

Take them to a bank or Post Office

You won’t be able to spend your old £1 coins after the official deadline, but most high banks and Post Offices will still allow you to deposit them. The Post Office says: “Everyone can deposit old pound coins into their usual high-street bank account at their local Post Office branch after October 15 and until further notice. But we cannot exchange old £1 coins for new ones.” Note, however, these are only temporary options – so don’t rely on this as a long-term solution. Take action now and conduct a thorough sweep of your home, car, wallet and handbag.

Give them to charity

You'll still be able to donate old £1 coins to charity after the October 15 deadline. Pudsey’s Round Pound Countdown is collecting old £1 coins for BBC’s Children in Need, and you can donate yours at more than 3,000 Post Office branches until November 17. The Co-operative Bank is accepting donations of round £1 coins on behalf of its charity partner, Centrepoint, with proceeds being used to help young homeless people. Donation points are available at the bank’s 95 branches. Jennie Bond is part of a campaign to urge people to donate any old £1 coins they have to Barnardo’s, the charity which helps the UK’s most vulnerable children. Old pounds can be handed in at Barnardo’s charity shops.

How to leave a legacy in your will

Some stores will continue to accept them

Even though shops and businesses are no longer supposed to accept old coins from October 16, some retailers have pledged to let shoppers go on using the round coins. Tesco has said it will continue to accept old £1 coins for at least an extra week to help customers, while Poundland has said it will continue to accept old £1 coins until October 31.

Keep some handy

While firms have been updating their machines to accept the new coins, some are still unable to take them. With this in mind, you may want to hang on to one or two “round pounds” to use in supermarket trolleys, lockers, vending machines, and those parking machines and train ticket machines which may not have been upgraded yet.

Keep one as a souvenir

You may want to hold on to the odd £1 coins as a souvenir or keepsake. Then you could pass them on to your children – or grandchildren – a little further down the line.

Are my old coins worth anything?

Check if you have any collectable coins

It’s also worth noting that if you have one of the rarer designs, you may want to keep hold of them, as your pound coin could be worth more than its face value. While the “Royal Arms” is the most common design, there are a total of 24 different designs in circulation, and certain coins could fetch you up to £20. Some reports suggest the very rarest have sold on eBay for up to £35.

Eight of the most valuable £1 designs If you’ve got one of the less-widely circulated designs, it may be worth trying to sell it, as you could net yourself a bit of cash. But remember, there are no guarantees. • Scotland: Thistle and Bluebell • England: London • Wales: Cardiff City • Scotland: Edinburgh City • Northern Ireland: Flax and Shamrock • Daffodil and Leek • Rose and Oak Branch • Belfast City.

What should you do if you get an old £1 coin in a shop after October 15?

After October 15, it will be illegal for businesses to hand out old round coins in change. If you do get handed old coins, you should not accept them, and ask for new ones instead.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.