RIP Round Pound Coin: Here's What You Can Do With Your Leftovers

By Tom Pritchard on at

Yesterday was the last official day the old rounded poin coins were classified as legal tender, which means from now they're much, much harder to get rid of. While there has been plenty of notice for people to get ride of all their old coins, some people might have a few lying around. Rather than letting that money go to waste, there are things you can do. Let's take a look:

Swap it

If you go to the bank and make a deposit, you can still use the old pound coins and add them to your existing balance. It's not clear how long this option will be available, since word is that the decision comes down to the individual banks rather than nationwide company policy. So if you still have a big bag of old pound coins lying around, it's probably a good idea to ring ahead and check. You should be okay for the next week or two. Most high street banks should be accepting the old coins.

Despite it being mentioned in passing over the past couple of weeks, the Post Office will not be swapping pound coins for people. The only way you can get rid of your old coins at your local post office branch is if you're making a deposit into a Post Office bank account.

Spend it

Tesco, Poundland and Aldi have all confirmed that they will be accepting the old pound coins for a short period of time following yesterday's deadline. You have a week to spend them at Tesco (22nd October is the last day), two weeks to spend at Aldi (until 29th), and until the end of the month to spend them at Poundland.

That's certainly a lot easier to deal with than queuing up at the bank, particularly if you only have one or two pound coins that need spending - especially since Tesco Expresses are more common than Manchester United fans in London.

Yesterday's deadline also means shops aren't allowed to give the old coins out as change, which means you have zero risk of getting them back if you break open a note.

Donate it

The banks are still taking the old coins, and that means businesses can deposit them en masse - which is why the above three chains are continuing to accept the old rounded coins. That also means charities will be able to do the same, so if there's a collection box near where you are you can just pop the pound coin in. The charity in question gets some extra cash to spend, and you get rid of a potentially troublesome coin in the process - it's win/win.

Children in Need has also teamed up with the Royal Mint to collect the coins, as part of the Pudsey’s Round Pound Countdown campaign. That'll be running up until 17th November, which gives you another month to give your coins to this particular charity.

Sell it

This one only applies if you have a particularly rare version of the pound coin, but there are plenty of them up for sale on eBay looking for coin collectors to provide them with a warm and caring home. You can find a list of the most valuable ones here, many of which are the unique country-specific designs.

Smelt it

This one a little more legally dubious, and not really worth the effort, but in a worst-case scenario (and if you have the right equipment) you can always smelt the coin down and try to sell the metals inside.

This one is legally dubious because there are laws designed to prevent people from melting down coins to sell the metal on for more than the full value of the coin. It's not clear whether the Coinage Act of 1971 applies to currency that's no longer legal tender, but there's a very good chance it does.

In any case, you're better off spending it or swapping it at the bank. If my calculations are correct you're only going to get a few pence-worth of metals anyway. Each old pound coin is supposed to be 9.5 grams in weight, 70 per cent of which is copper. If the calculator I was using was accurate, that 6.65 grams of copper is worth about four pence. The 2.32 grams of Zinc and half a gram of nickel are both worth even less that that.

Use it for some sort of wacky art piece

Finally you can always use the pound coin for something the Royal Mint never really intended: art. If you have enough pound coins you can probably use them to tile your floor, or decorate a coffee table. You might also want to frame one as a little memento from days gone by. Basically do whatever you like with it, if you can't be bothered swapping it at this point you might as well put it to good use.