Outraged Brits have been left feeling shortchanged (pun intended) after learning that the British one-pound coin will take on a new shape next year, losing its roundness in favor of a pristine (and controversial) 12-sided polygon.
According to The Royal Mint, which is responsible for making and distributing all British coins, the replacement will begin circulating in March, with a six-month window before the old coin is phased out that September.
But it won’t be all plain sailing: U.K. retailers are already anticipating chaos amid concerns that millions of machines accepting cash—parking meters, vending machines, and ticket machines, for example—don’t have a slot that can accommodate the updated silver and gold colored tender.
But if the introduction of the new coin—the first time for the pound since 1983—is such an inconvenience, then why is it happening at all? The current pound has grown increasingly vulnerable to counterfeiting over the years, with around one in 30 one-pound coins discovered to be fake.
The updated design, the Royal Mint says, will be the most secure piece of currency in the world, and even has a hidden high-security feature built in to make it less replicable, in turn cutting costs for business owners who lose money by accepting fake currency, and for taxpayers, who have to pay for new currency to be made.
The U.S. is not immune to the forgery problem, either: In 2015, almost 70 percent of the $78 million fake currency found within the United States was produced via 3D-printing, says USA Today.
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While the introduction of the new coin bears no relation to Brexit, it does come as the latest in a string of burdens inflicted on the British—back in September, the news arrived that U.K. citizens may have to obtain visas to travel within Europe, and earlier this month, the pound plummeted in value to a 168-year low.
The mRoyal Mint is urging retailers to start preparing for the transition now, which could cost as much as £32 million (around $39 million) to ensure every vending machine can take the new coin, and even more to replace parking machines. Still, the process won't be without snags: If you're planning a trip to Britain any time after March, especially considering how affordable it is for U.S. travelers right now, it's probably best to exchange any pound coins you have.