50 years in the making – from 3d to £1: the story behind the new £1 coin

In just a few weeks, Britain’s one pound coin will undergo a major makeover. The familiar round pound will change to become bi-metallic and 12-sided and will also have several new security features. But the shape of this new £1 coin is actually a throwback to the thrup’nny bit – an old favourite from the pre-decimal era.

The 12-sided threepenny is fondly remembered for its individuality. There was quite literally nothing like it before, and it holds the proud title of Britain’s first non-circular coin.

But, of course, it’s not the first major change in the nation’s £1.

I’ve taken a look back at some of the key changes for Britain’s coinage over the last 50 years to welcome the brand new 12-sided £1 coin, when it is issued on 28th March.

The 28th March 2017 is sure to become a historic day as we welcome the new coin which has been billed to become the most secure circulating coin in the world. This will be the first specification change to our £1 coin in more than 3 decades.

But the Thrup’nny Bit deserves recognition for being the inspiration behind our new £1 coin which is sure to become a collecting sensation. The Thrup’nny Bit was eventually withdrawn from circulation in 1971  after the introduction of decimal coinage which didn’t include Three Pence as a denomination. However, its legacy lives on, and is still widely regarded as one of the most iconic coins in British history.

The Story of the new £1 Collector’s Pack

Click here to secure the ‘Story of the £1 Collector Pack’ which has space for you to house the new 12-sided £1 coin once you find it in your change, alongside the UK Brass 12-Sided Threepence Coin.


  1. ELIZABETH SERFONTEIN on March 9, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    I am looking for the thistle and bluebell 1 pound coin in good condition do you have any suggestions as to where i can get one.

  2. wordyduck on March 2, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    I have a 50p coin that isn’t in your catalogue… It’s of two motorbikes and dated 1997, with Isle of Man on it.

  3. Raymond Painter on February 28, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    i highlighted a glaring mistake in your article and rather than replying you simply delete my comments. Charming!

    • Raymond Painter on February 28, 2017 at 12:36 pm

      My apologies, my message was missing but I can now see it!!!!

  4. Raymond on February 28, 2017 at 11:00 am

    The obverse and reverse of the 1967 Threepenny piece do not match. The obverse can only be 1953 as it contains in Latin a title only used in 1953 – Britt Omn – it was omitted after 1953.

    • Raymond Painter on February 28, 2017 at 11:07 am

      The mystery deepens further – there is no sign of F.D. or FID DEF on the obverse – Defender of the Faith, something is definitely amiss…….

    • Yasmin Britton on March 1, 2017 at 10:46 am

      Hi Raymond, sorry for the delay in getting back to you, I have only just got round to replying to messages. You are correct, the obverse of the 1967 Threepence should say F.D – we are just in the process of getting this updated. Thanks for spotting. Thanks, Yasmin

  5. Terence Drury on February 27, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    I believe the new pound coin is not as pronounced as the old Threepenny Piece. The Royal Coat of Arms is my favourite £1 Coin design.

    • Raymond Painter on February 28, 2017 at 11:03 am

      From a distance, the new £1 coins almost look circular