|Issued||1983, 1993, 1998, 2003, 2008|
(70% copper, 5.5%
nickel, 24.5% zinc)
|Obverse Designers||Portrait of Her Majesty the Queen
1983-1984 Arnold Machin
1985- 1997 Raphael Maklouf
1998 to date Ian Rank-Broadley
|Reverse Designer||Eric Sewell|
|Edge Inscription||'An ornament and a safeguard'|
|1998: Not issued|
The £1 coin in base metal, nickel-brass was introduced in 1983, as a replacement for the £1 banknote. The reverse design of the first £1 coin showed a detailed and intricate depiction of the Royal Coat of Arms. Designed by Eric Sewell, Chief Engraver at The Royal Mint, it became one of the most famous images on British coinage. The coin’s edge inscription was in Latin - ‘DECUS ET TUTAMEN’ - which may be translated as an ‘ornament to safeguard’.
By 1980 it had become apparent that, with the general decline in purchasing power, the £1 unit of currency was more appropriate as a coin than a banknote. After consultations with many groups, including retailers and special interest groups, the Government announced on 31 July 1981 that a new £1 coin 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.