New £1 coin “tails” side is designed by 15 year-old-schoolboy


15-year-old David Pearce was awarded £10,000 for his design, which was chosen for its composition of rose, leek, thistle and shamrock symbols.

56285ef2-7093-4e28-9e6b-f97ac7fc7394-2060x1236A new 12-sided pound coin has been unveiled, with a tails side designed by a fifteen-year-old schoolboy following a public competition organised by the Royal Mint.

The competition to design a “tails” side for the coin was initiated in September 2014 and has been won by David Pearce, a pupil at Queen Mary’s Grammar School in Walsall. He was awarded a £10,000 prize and was told he had won by Chancellor George Osborne.

Pearce’s design features the rose, leek, thistle and shamrock symbols associated with the home nations of the UK.

Osborne described Pearce’s design as “brilliant” and says: “The new 12-sided pound coin will incorporate designs from all four nations as we are all part of one United Kingdom.

The Royal Mint says the final design is true to Pearce’s original entry and has been honed by coin artist David Lawrence and lettering expert Stephen Raw.

Image tweeted by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne today

Pearce says: “I heard about the competition through my design teacher at school and I thought I had nothing to lose so I decided to enter.

I spent a lot of time researching what coin designs looked like and what sort of designs would represent all parts of the UK before submitting my idea and I honestly cannot believe I have won.”

There were around 6000 other entries, which, according to the Treasury featured the likes of cups of tea, flags, maps, the weather, famous, writers, seaside piers and in one case the Rolling Stones lips insignia.

The coin will be struck with the new Queen portrait on the “heads” side and it is expected to enter circulation in 2017.

The £1 coin will feature the new portrait of the Queen, created by Jody Clark
The £1 coin will feature the new portrait of the Queen, created by Jody Clark

Its twelve-sided shape harks back to the design of the three pence piece, or ‘threepenny bit’ as it was affectionately known.

The new coin will be “the most secure coin in the world” according to The Royal Mint, which estimates that around 3 per cent (45 million) of the current £1 coins are forgeries.

New security features include bi-metallic construction of two colours, the twelve-sided design and “anti-counterfitting technology”, which can be authenticated by high speed automated detection according to The Royal Mint.


The announcement of the new £1 coin follows the unveiling of a new portrait of the Queen, which will feature on all new coins and has been designed by Royal mint engraver Jody Clark.

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  • Yaiza Gardner March 18, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Nothing groundbreaking here this has been done before with leeks thistles etc within the crown, would have been nice to have seen something more modern that uses the coin shape to aid the design but that’s The Royal Mint.

  • Sherren McCabe-Finlayson March 19, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Quite agree. Not even sure that this meets the brief which, from memory, was to celebrate Britain (and its multi-culturalism) in the 21st century. Given that Scotland can’t wait to leave the Union and Wales is constantly hankering for greater independence, it seems a very strange (but safe) choice.

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