back to article Blighty's 12-sided quid to feature schoolboy's posterior

A 15-year-old West Midlands lad has won the public competition to design the tails side of the forthcoming 12-sided British pound coin, the Royal Mint has announced. David Pearce's rose, leek, thistle and shamrock ensemble triumphed over 6,000 rival entries for the honour to grace the decidedly retro polygonal quid, which pays …

  1. JDX Gold badge


    They've infiltrated the Mint!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    See, the queen really is an alien!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gills!

      Jesus! He was right all along...

      Probably salamanders rather than lizards but that's close enough for me!

      Come back David Icke, we can see it now!

  3. Cliff

    This is a lovely story

    The kid may not get a royalty, but by goodness it's a great opener for every interview he goes to hereafter. 'Have you brought any samples of your work?' 'Why actually, dig in your pocket'.

    Overdue, I see so many hooky £1 coins and just pass 'em along as people losing faith in the currency is a bigger problem than one coin from every 40 being a pup.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is a lovely story

      1 in 40? not sure where you get your figures from but in a job where I get through between £400 and £700 in pound coins per day I expect to find about 1 in 6

      1. Cliff

        Re: This is a lovely story

        Either you're lucky, unlucky, or very bad/over vigilant at spotting fakes! Royal Mint is a pretty good source to cite...

        I was using old data, 2.5%, where the current figure is 3%. Hope this helps :)

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: This is a lovely story

        Are there any metal-bashing shops in your area. If so maybe that's what they're bashing out.

      3. tony2heads

        Re: This is a lovely story

        You deal with some dodgy customers (or dealers if the coins are as change)

    2. Nigel 11

      Re: This is a lovely story

      Overdue, I see so many hooky £1 coins and just pass 'em along as people losing faith in the currency is a bigger problem ...

      I suspect that even if every single £1 coin was a fake, the damage would be negligible compared to HMG's efforts, generally referred to as "QE". And yet, faith is not being destroyed!

      (Total value of coin in circulation in the UK: a mere 4 billion quid or thereabouts. Excluding the fakes, of course. )

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Homage to the old 'Thrupenny Bit'...

    ... with the same purchasing power in real money terms.

    1. Elmer Phud

      Re: Homage to the old 'Thrupenny Bit'...

      Not sure of the rhyming slang for the new coin. . .

      1. Nigel 11

        Re: Homage to the old 'Thrupenny Bit'...

        Not sure of the rhyming slang for the new coin. . .

        Not rhyming, but it'll remain a "Thatcher" to me. (Thick, Brassy, Rough round the edges, and trying to be a Sovereign ...)

        1. Primus Secundus Tertius

          Re: Homage to the old 'Thrupenny Bit'...

          The original seven-sided replacement for the ten-bob note was sometimes called a Wilson - cheap, nasty, and unpopular.

    2. PNGuinn

      Re: Homage to the old 'Thrupenny Bit'...

      I wonder how the sizes compare .... would be quite nostalgic to see 'em back in circulation

  5. John Robson Silver badge

    And how long will the "old" coins be valid?

    'cos they're still fakeable while they are...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And how long will the "old" coins be valid?

      Six months. Same as when they've introduced new coins recently like the revised 10p.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: And how long will the "old" coins be valid?

        "Six months"

        Sad, really. Pre-decimal coins could remain in circulation for a long time. In the mid-50s a pocket-full of change could include coins from 5 different reigns.

      2. Dr Scrum Master

        Re: And how long will the "old" coins be valid?

        "Six months."

        By the time I next return to the UK I'll have completely forgotten about this and will be left wondering why the handful of coins I keep (because it's handy to keep small denominations when visiting different countries) aren't accepted.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It would be a lot easier to tell real coins from fake ones if they didn't keep changing the design.

    I often see pound coins that look a bit odd, but it's hard to tell without a couple of others of the same design to compare it to.

    1. Anonymous Coward 101

      It would be a lot easier to create the fake ones if they didn't keep changing the design. I expect this new design is a lot more difficult to counterfeit.

      OT, but you never see many £2 coins these days.

      1. Nigel 11

        It would be a lot easier to create the fake ones if they didn't keep changing the design. I expect this new design is a lot more difficult to counterfeit.

        Yes. You need much more specialized equipment to produce bimetallic coins that stay in one piece (even the royal mint had trouble with early production £2 coins). 12-sided is also harder than round. Also assuming the density of the inside and outside metals are different, then it'll be very easy for coin-accepting machines to reject fakes made of any single metal.

        OT, but you never see many £2 coins these days.

        I suspect people tend to hang on to them, because they are rather pretty and there's a new design out almost every year. I recently got a bunch of brand new ones out of a Sainsbury self-service till when I gave it a £20 note as payment.

        1. JDX Gold badge

          re:OT, but you never see many £2 coins these days.

          Yes you do - I see loads of them. Which is good as I much prefer them.

      2. jai


        I get given £2 coins as change quite a lot.

        Probably cos i keep buying a bar of chocolate with a tenner.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice that someone's won a competition that I, and I'm guess most of the rest of the country, had no idea was even being run.

    I don't mean to detract from the quality of his entry mind you - looks like he's done a damned fine job.

  8. Chris Gray 1

    security chip???

    So what can that integrated security chip do? More importantly, what can it *remember* for later playback to someone? Or am I reading too much into the words?

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: security chip???

      I suspect an embedded RFID element in there somewhere...

      1. PNGuinn

        Re: security chip???

        A well screened one, then.

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: security chip???

      It is a secret. The Royal Mint's explanatory web pages and video say it is excellent, but does not give a word of detail. So if you get an ISIS coin, you can tell it is genuine because ... err ... erm ... well you cannot tell it is genuine because all the new security features are secret. I assume the security features are like the emperor's new clothes - if you cannot see them you are not fit for your job.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: security chip???

        Unfortunate choice of name. The videos on the site seem like a sales pitch to other countries/issuers rather than explaining our new pound, but then the Royal Mint makes a lot of money for other countries. It's one of those fun Treasury/Central bank things. To me it's a humble quid in my pocket, to them it's the cost of that coin and TCO of money. Plus the arms race between Mints and counterfeiters and the cost of replacing coinage or notes if they're too easy to fake.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On the flipside...

    I see what you did there. hurrah

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. 2+2=5 Silver badge

      It is a nice design but isn't the shamrock more of a symbol for Eire rather than NI? Any Unionists care to comment?

      1. dogged

        The shamrock isn't really a symbol of anything (except possibly the Trinity if you happen to be Sister Robbie Coltrane). The symbol for Ireland is the harp.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          And the symbol for Scotland is a lion rampant, for England one or three lions passant gardant, and for Wales a dragon.

          These are all plants which commonly represent the individual countries concerned. As I've been reminded watching the Six Nations, where they show the emblems of the individual rugby unions. The IRFU emblem (and the IRFU covers the whole island, not just the Republic) has several shamrocks on.

  11. Amorous Cowherder

    New security features? Shame 'cos I love collecting fake £1 coins, best places to pick them up are pubs.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still don't know why it's 12-sided

    Other than that nostalgic retro "because the thruppeny bit was 12-sided" argument, anyway. Particularly when it's a bimetallic design, I'd have thought the last thing the vending machine manufacturers would want is a coin bouncing up and down, rather than a constant-diameter one rolling smoothly past their sensors.

    1. Daniel von Asmuth

      Re: Still don't know why it's 12-sided

      If it was round you would mistake it for a Euro coin.

  13. William Donelson

    Does the designer get a royalty? It's a nice design, he should get 1p per thousand coins minted, or some such.

    1. Velv

      1p per thousand. Yes, that would be a nice little earner.

      By 2013 there was an estimated 1,528 million £1 coins in circulation. Not all the same design admittedly, and I'm not suggesting the kid shouldn't get something, but £15,000,000 seems a tad high.

  14. Andrew Jones 2
    Thumb Up

    Dodecaquid - I really hope that catches on!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      or DODOQUID perhaos

  15. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    Coin-swallowing machine

    This is slightly OT, but I have to tell somebody.

    I wanted to buy a 70p item from the office vending machine. I had the exact amount in my wallet. No problem with the first three 20p coins, but my 10p was repeatedly rejected. So I pushed the coin return button, and got nothing back. It seems the machine will give change, but it won't allow you to cancel a transaction if you haven't inserted enough money to buy something. I expect this would the source of a tidy profit, were it not for the cost of replacing wrecked machines. Who designs the firmware for these things?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Coin-swallowing machine

      I use the vending machne in my office to get rid of all my small change. Feed it all the 5c, 10c, 20c and 50c (euro) coins in my pocket, then push "cancel". It generally returns the deposited amount in 1 euro coins, or at worst 50c ones.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Coin-swallowing machine

        "It generally returns the deposited amount in 1 euro coins, or at worst 50c ones."

        The same applies to the self-service tills in some shops. Morrisons in particular use a big cup-like thing with a conveyor belt in the bottom but return any overage using the minimum number of coins. Asda and B&Q on the other hand are coins slots so it's a bit less convenient to just dump a pocket full of change in them.

        It's certainly cheaper than using those Coinstar machines so long as you're not dropping the entire piggy bank or penny jar in them :-)

    2. Velv

      Re: Coin-swallowing machine

      RBS have coin deposit ATMs in some branches now. Pays straight into your account and they don't charge any commission like Coinstar. Great for emptying that jar of shrapnel

    3. Whit.I.Are

      Re: Coin-swallowing machine

      The machine at our local railway station takes coins and notes, but only gives change as coins. So you buy a £21 ticket with two £20 notes and you get 19 pound coins as change - quite a pocket full...

  16. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Anyone got change for a Zonk?

    Nice to see the thistle getting prominence.

  17. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Nothing the establishment likes more than a schoolboy's posterior


    Well someone had to say it.

  18. Irongut

    ISIS Security Feature

    So does it have a hidden garrotte covered with Poisocaine?

  19. Greg J Preece

    Oh, for....

    The British pound was the *one* coin I could easily identify by feel when my Canadian and British money gets mixed up, and I'm trying to catch a bus, because there's no other coin I've encountered that looks or feels quite like it. Now they're making the bloody thing exactly like the Canadian $2 coin, as if 5ps weren't already annoyingly close to dimes, and 10ps weren't annoyingly similar to quarters. Thanks a bunch. Now the only coins I definitely know at a glance are British are the penny and 50p, because Canada doesn't have them.

    1. Greg J Preece

      Oooh, that was very old-man-ranty of me. That's what a screen full of merge conflicts does to you, I suppose.

    2. PNGuinn

      +1 for being ratty. This is el Reg after all

  20. Schultz

    schoolboy's posterior...

    am I the only one who, after reading the headline, was a bit disappointed that the coin features flowers instead of the schoolboy's posterior?

    Well, there is always the front side to redesign in the upcoming republic of GB.

    1. Ed_UK

      Re: schoolboy's posterior...

      If memory serves, the proper name for the 'rear' of a coin is the "obverse."

      1. tony2heads

        Re: schoolboy's posterior...

        less properly the 'tail'

        as in 'heads I win, tails you lose'

        1. swampdog

          Re: schoolboy's posterior...

          echo "heads I win, tails you lose" | head | tail

          ..seems like a pointless operation to me!

      2. paulf

        Re: schoolboy's posterior...

        @ Ed_UK

        "If memory serves, the proper name for the 'rear' of a coin is the "obverse.""

        The front is the "Obverse" (the bit with a pic of Her Maj). The rear is the "Reverse".

  21. 27escape

    Pay and display machine wrangling

    I doubt that the pay and display machine wranglers will bother, trying to find ones that take the £2 coin is almost impossible and they have had years to adapt to that.

    New machines get the new form, old machines get replaced as they are broken is the likely replacement route. I would also guess they may be able to get some form of compensation from the government too to help things along, sort of like the PPI botherers - have you been mis-sold a new currency....

  22. Anonymous Coward


    So how long before they change the trolley mechanisms, it will really waste my token collection. I bought enough from charaties and now I'll have to chck them out whilst waiting for the new tokens. Of course the tokens may just be more valuable than the new pound coin anyway.

    Mines the one with the trolly load of groceries in it..

  23. hi_robb


    I'll tell you what, the Queen's put on a few pounds....

  24. swampdog

    About time!

    ..and it looks quite cool.

    Here's hoping the new design won't be as efficient ripping holes in pockets as the current one.

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