1986 & 1991 One Pound Coin | The Royal Mint

1986 & 1991 One Pound Coin

Flax Plant and royal diadem representing Northern Ireland


Issued 1986, 1991 
Diameter 22.5mm
Weight 9.5g
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 coin, the third in the series of four, was introduced into circulation on 21 April 1986. Appropriately, Northern Ireland was represented by the flax plant, whose fibres have - for centuries - been woven into world famous linens. The coin carried the edge inscription DECUS ET TUTAMEN, ‘an ornament and a safeguard’. On the obverse was 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 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.

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