New look for British coins

London, August 18:

Britain’s loose change is to be revamped for the first time since decimalisation in 1971 after the Royal Mint announced plans yesterday to update the 40-year-old designs. The existing profile of the Queen’s head is being retained, but the Mint believes the Prince of Wales’ feathers on the 2 pence piece and the thistle on the 5 pence piece no longer reflect modern Britain and is launching a competition to find new designs for six out of the eight coins in circulation.

Anti-euro campaigners believe the decision to launch a new series of coins showed that the Treasury has no plans for Britain to sign up to the single currency. Neil O’Brien, of the Vote No campaign, said, “I don’t think anybody believes there is any prospect of us joining the euro in the foreseeable future. Today’s announcement shows institutions are planning on that basis.” But the Treasury said the redesign was entirely independent of any decision to join the euro.