Introducing the 1983 1 Pound Coin
After it was discovered that one pound notes, on average, only survived for about nine months in circulation, the Royal Mint issued this one pound coin in 1983 on 21 April, for the Queen’s birthday. A one pound coin can survive at least for 40 years. The one pound note would be removed from circulation by 1988. This coin’s design, also known as ‘the round pound,’ would be used four more times in 1993, 1998, 2003, and 2008.
On 15 October 2017, this round £1 coin lost its legal tender status and was pulled out of circulation in favour of the current dodecagon design with a silver centre and outer gold ring. The change was made, in large part, due to the higher difficulty to counterfeit the new design.
Royal Arms 1983 1 Pound Coin
The 1983 1 pound coin is designed by Eric Sewell, the chief engraver at the Royal Mint at the time. It features the UK’s Royal Coat of Arms, with the guardian lion to the left and the Scottish unicorn to the right. The crest contains the words, ‘Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense Dieu et Mon Droit,’ or ‘Evil unto him who thinks evil of it God and my right.’ The coin also has the edge inscription, ‘Decus et Tutamen,’ translated to ‘An Ornament and a Safeguard,’ taken from Virgil’s Aeneid. This inscription was used on 17th-century coins to protect it from its debasement.
Despite its gold appearance, the coin is actually an alloy of copper, zinc, and metal. It’s the only UK coin to have this yellow color.
(Caption: UK Royal Coat of Arms by Sodacan is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)
How Much is the 1983 1 Pound Coin Worth?
The mintage for the 1983 coin is the highest of all the round pound coins: 443,000,000. Not surprisingly, this is considered a very common coin. For a circulation coin, you’ll have to spend £2.99 on eBay as of 2019.
Other Versions of the 1 Pound Coin (Royal Arms)
As mentioned earlier, this design of the 1 pound coin with the Royal Arms design on the reverse has been reissued four more times since 1983. On the obverse side, the 1983 design has the 2nd portrait of the Queen by Arnold Machin, the 1993 and 1998 designs have the XXX portrait by Raphael Maklouf, and the 2003 and the 2008 designs have the 4th portrait by Ian Rank-Broadley. The 1998 release was not actually for circulation like the other years. It was only found in mint and proof sets.
The 1983 1 pound coin was also issued in Silver Proof (mintage of 50,000) and Silver Proof Piedfort (mintage of 10,000).
|Issued||1983, 1993, 1998, 2003, 2008|
(70% copper, 5.5%
nickel, 24.5% zinc)
|Obverse Designers||Portrait of Her Majesty the Queen
1983-1984 Arnold Machin
1985- 1997 Raphael Maklouf
1998 to date Ian Rank-Broadley
|Reverse Designer||Eric Sewell|
|Edge Inscription||‘An ornament and a safeguard’|
|1998: Not issued|