MANCHESTER: If you’re a hoarder with jars or boxes full of old £1 coins, or you just have lots of them lying around the house, it is time to cash them in. The classic round £1 coin will start disappearing in March as the new 12-sided coin is introduced. This means the old coins will soon be useless so it’s time to use them before it’s too late, The Mirror have reported. Don’t panic just yet though as the old coin will not stop being legal tender until October 15. After that date it cannot be spent. The switch has raised fears that millions of children with piggy banks, elderly people with jars of savings and householders who keep loose change for odd purchases will be out of pocket. The rollout is being executed with speed in an attempt to stop forgers cashing in on replicating the coin. It is estimated that there are now £45 million worth of fake £1 coins in circulation. Websiteis urging piggy bank owners, charity box collectors and Brits who pop their loose change into a jar to save for a special item or event to take their stash to a bank ahead of the deadline.
The site, founded by consumer champion Martin says: “There may be a few months left to sort it out, but it’s worth doing now as it’s all too easy to squirrel money away in piggy banks and forget about it. “Carting a bag of coins to the bank is a real faff – particularly if there isn’t a branch near you. So it’s much better to spend them now.” And the Treasury is also calling on £1 hoarders not to get caught short. Baroness Neville Rolfe, commercial secretary to the Treasury said: “ Our message is clear – if you have a round one pound coin sitting at home or in your wallet, you need to spend it or return it to your bank before 15 October.” Karl Talbot, of MoneySavingExpert added while piggy banks were “a great way to show children how to save”, cash was safer in a bank or building society. He said: “Some people cherish their piggybanks from childhood and want to keep them, while others just use them as an easy way to gather change to pay for a pint of milk. “Yet everyone with a piggybank really should consider going the ‘whole hog’ and depositing their savings into a UK protected bank or building society. “What’s more, top kids’ savings accounts offer rates to compete with their adult counterparts.”