The circulating British one pound (£1) coin is minted from a nickel-brass alloy of approximately 70% copper, 24.5% zinc, and 5.5% nickel. The coin weighs 9.50 grams (0.34 oz) and has a diameter of 22.50 millimetres (0.89 in.). The coin was introduced on 21 April 1983 to replace the Bank of England one pound note, which ceased to be issued at the end of 1984 and was removed from circulation (though still redeemable at the Bank's offices) on 11 March 1988. It was given the nickname "round pound" on introduction, although this term did not remain in common use.
The £1 coin has the standard obverse designs used on all contemporary British coins, namely the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Arnold Machin in 1983 and 1984, by Raphael Maklouf between 1985 and 1997, and by Ian Rank-Broadley since 1998. All have had the inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D date.
Uniquely amongst modern British coinage, the £1 coin has a mint mark: a small crosslet found on the milled edge that represents Llantrisant in South Wales, where the Royal Mint has been based since 1968. An interesting feature of this denomination is that the design of the reverse of the coin changed each year between 1983 and 2008 to show, in turn, an emblem representing the UK, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and England, together with an appropriate edge inscription.
Edge inscription: NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT ("No-one provokes me with impunity" – the Latin motto of the Order of the Thistle).
Edge inscription: PLEIDIOL WYF I'M GWLAD ("True am I to my country" – from the chorus of the Welsh National Anthem).
Date Reverse Description
1983 Ornamental royal arms.
1984 Thistle sprig in a coronet, representing Scotland.
1985 Leek in a coronet, representing Wales.
1986 Flax in a coronet, representing Northern Ireland.
1987 Oak tree in a coronet, representing England.
1988 Crown over the Royal Shield.
1989 Thistle sprig in a coronet, representing Scotland.
1990 Leek in a coronet, representing Wales.
1991 Flax in a coronet, representing Northern Ireland.
1992 Oak tree in a coronet, representing England.
1993 Ornamental royal arms.
1994 Lion Rampant in a double tressure flory,representing Scotland.
1995 Dragon Passant representing Wales.
1996 Celtic cross and pimpernel, representing Northern Ireland.
1997 Three lions passant guardant, representing England.
1998 Issued in collectors' sets only, not for circulation.
1999 Issued in collectors' sets only, not for circulation.
2000 Dragon Passant representing Wales.
2001 Celtic cross and pimpernel, representing Northern Ireland.
2002 Three lions passant guardant, representing England.
2003 Ornamental royal arms.
2004 Scottish Forth Railway Bridge
2005 Welsh Menai Straits Bridge
2006 Northern Ireland Egyptian Arch at Newry
2007 English Millennium Bridge
2008 The shield from the Royal Coat of Arms.