Pop Coin 1983
Back in 1983 we really knew the pound in our pocket was worth less when the Royal Mint introduced the pound coin on 21 April and started to phase out the one pound bank note (remember those?).
The Mint's argument was that the coin would last forty years, whereas the pound note only lasted a year, so the coins were cheaper, and the Banking Information Service declared that that the pound was now a unit of change rather than of value.
The pound coins were also more suitable for vending machines. The Royal Mint was wary of the public's reaction, as there were some who tried to refuse to accept pound coins, but there was nowhere near the outcry that came when the Mint had phased out the ten shilling note in 1969, to replace it with the fifty pence piece.
Pound notes did not disappear straight away. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was in favour of keeping them. Nevertheless the writing was on the wall and the unit of change became small change.
The new coins were a shiny gold colour, presumably meant to be reminiscent of the Sovereign and Guinea coins of times past. Of course they contained no real gold, but were an alloy of copper, nickel and zinc. They were also just the right size and weight to roll out of a trouser pocket when you were sitting down.
The perfect solution was a pound coin holder, like the Pop Coin, above left. There were also tubes into which you could store the coins.
You can still purchase something similar on eBay, but I must admit to not really seeing them much in use since the 80s.
Add your comments
"I am still using my pop coin holder today and wish I had another one as it is showing its age" David Fisher 31/05/2015
"Looking for the blue coin holder could you help me" Rosa Graham 08/06/2015
"i found one of these today in red at a recycling plant!" Natalie hiddlestone 19/07/2015
"i have a brand new one of the above in black/dark blue and a "ten coiner" similar in design to hold 10 one pound coins and two folded notes. Both in original sealed packaging - let me know if interested! :)" alison mills 29/01/2016
"I use one all the time. It's blue and I don't want to be without it. Thing is, they're redesigning the coin into a 12 sided one. Any news of a new Pop Coin for the (not so new now) Millennium?" Andrew Poole 31/10/2016
"New £1 coins fit OK. Sadly mine is partly broken so only takes one.
Someone needs to bring these back! Firm behind them Minverose Limited closed in 1992.
Here is the US Patent http://www.freepatentsonline.com/4836365.html
Company was run by one Paul Reginald Baseley, also ran POPCOIN PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS LIMITED but closed in 2008." Stephen Salter 02/03/2018
"can be bought by the bucket load in 'bargains galore' holyhead" dave 03/06/2018
"World Cup Sunday I had my green Pop Coin and its £5.00 stolen from my car on our drive. I was gutted! My fault as I hadn't centre locked. At least they only took the Pop Coin and the money and not my MP3 player. Fortunately I still have a couple of spares, one green and one red. They were notorious for breaking if you dropped them. So glad the new pound coin fitted perfectly. A design classic and a pity they are still not available..." Chris Bower 21/07/2018
Retrowow Established 2002
Vintage, retro & social history: articles and collectors' guides