Shield of the Royal Arms representing the United Kingdom
||2008 - Present
(70% copper, 5.5%
nickel, 24.5% zinc)
||Portrait of Her Majesty the Queen
2008 Ian Rank-Broadley
||DECUS ET TUTAMEN
About This Design
Featuring the complete shield of the Royal Arms, the £1 coin is the unifying coin of the 2008 definitive reverse designs - from the 1p to the 50p - by Matthew Dent.
With a long history of featuring on British coins, in particular the £1 coin, it is not surprising that Matthew Dent chose the Royal Arms, and in particular the shield of the Royal Arms, as the theme for his innovative range of designs. The central part of the Royal Arms is divided into four parts: England being represented by the three lions passant guardant in the first and fourth quarters, Scotland by the lion rampant in the second and Northern Ireland by the harp of Ireland in the third.
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.