One Pound Coin Designs and Specifications | The Royal Mint

1986 & 1991 One Pound Coin

Flax Plant and royal diadem representing Northern Ireland

Flax Plant and royal diadem representing Northern Ireland

Issued 1986, 1991 
Diameter 22.5mm
Weight 9.5 g
Thickness 3.15mm
Composition Nickel-Brass
(70% copper, 5.5%
nickel, 24.5% zinc)
Obverse Designers Portrait of Her Majesty the Queen
1986 Arnold Machin
1991 Raphael Maklouf
Reverse Designer Leslie Durbin
Edge Inscription DECUS ET TUTAMEN
Edge Milled
  1986: 10,409,501
1991: 38,443,575*

About This Design

The Northern Ireland £1, the third in the series of four, was introduced into circulation on 21 April 1986. Appropriately, Northern Ireland is represented by the flax plant, whose fibres have for centuries been woven into world famous linens. The coin carries the edge inscription DECUS ET TUTAMEN, ‘an ornament and a safeguard’. On the obverse is the Maklouf portrait of Her Majesty The Queen.

History Of The £1

By 1980 it had become apparent that with the general decline in purchasing power, the £1 unit of currency was more appropriate to a coin than a banknote. After consultation with many groups including retailers and special interest groups, the Government announced on 31 July 1981 that a new £1 coin that was to be issued on 21 April 1983. Since its launch the £1 has always represented the United Kingdom and its constituent parts; England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.