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Manchester Evening News

New £1 coin to be released in 2023 which will celebrate 'history of the UK in the 21st century'

A brand new £1 coin will enter circulation in 2023 to mark the 40 years since the first ever one was released into the public.

The new coin will be designed by Kenyan born British artist Michael Armitage, which will celebrate the culture, creativity, heritage and history of the UK in the 21st century. It will be minted at The Royal Mint early next year alongside a special collector's edition.

The new design will be the first change to the £1 since 2017, when it was crafted to have 12 sides to replace the former 'round pound' and to include a range of anti-counterfeit features. The design will too include the current world-leading high security features to protect against counterfeiting and will still feature the fifth effigy of Her Majesty the Queen on the opposite side.

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Michael Armitage was chosen by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak on advice provided by an independent panel with expertise in coin design and art, established to assess the artistic merits and ideas behind proposals put forward by selected candidates. During a Royal College of Art’s (RCA) reception on Tuesday evening (10 May), Rishi Sunak announced that Michael Armitage’s new design will celebrate the “culture, creativity, and heritage and history” of the UK in the 21st century.

Michael is the son of a Yorkshireman and Kikuyu mother, and was born in Nairobi, Kenya in 1984. He now lives works between London and Nairobi. He trained at the Slade School of Fine Art, London and the Royal Academy Schools. In January 2022, the Royal Academy of Arts, London, elected him a Royal Academician in the category of painting.

A brand new £1 coin will enter circulation in 2023 (Pixabay)

Speaking at a celebration of the RCA’s new design and innovation campus, which includes the Rausing Research and Innovation Building, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: "I am delighted that Michael will lend his vision to the creation of this new £1 coin design in its 40th anniversary year. This coin will symbolise the rich tapestry of modern Britain and honour our deep heritage and history."

Coin artist Michael Armitage, who says it is a great privilege to have the opportunity to collaborate with the Royal Mint said: "It is an honour to be part of the lineage of coin-making in the United Kingdom and I am grateful to the Chancellor and the selection panel for the opportunity to contribute to this history in considering what it is to be part of Great Britain today.

Chief Executive of the Royal Mint, Anne Jessopp said: "The £1 coin is a symbol of Britain that is recognised around the world. As such we are delighted to work with Michael Armitage to create a new design that celebrates the people of Britain and our diverse culture. It is the first new £1 design since 2017 and will combine our 1,100 years of craftsmanship, with cutting edge design to champion modern Britain."

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