09/04/2017

Dodecagonic!



Yesterday I got one of the new pound coins and someone said if it was a 2016 one it could be worth about £40. Some people are already selling them on ebay for as much as £250 even though there are lots of them at the moment! My one is a 2016 one so I’m reasonably sure of my long term fortune. All I have to do is keep it for about 150 years and then it will be worth hundreds of thousands of credits or whatever currency they have in the future. I suppose we should enjoy the launch of new coinage while we can because before too long- or so we’re told- coins and notes will no longer be used. It’ll be all contactless payments. While the latter are quick when they work - which is by no means every time- they lack the feeling that you are spending anything. This is probably the idea!



The new coin is supposedly 100% security proof so cannot be copied, faked or otherwise counterfeited. There’s an image in it that is like a hologram and changes the £ symbol to a 1 when you look at it from different angles. It’s also got edges that are difficult to copy as well as tiny lettering. Best of all is what is described on the Royal Mint’s website as a “hidden high security feature” which is built into the coin but nobody knows what it is. It might be a micro device that can take over anyone in the vicinity to create an instant army. But it’s probably not that.

The coin is what is known as bimetallic with an outer band of gold coloured nickel brass around an inner silver coloured cupro-nickel disc. Interestingly in view of all the recent referendum kerfuffle it includes visual references for the different areas of the UK namely a rose, leek,  thistle and shamrock. Probably not the ingredients for a tasty soup though if Scotland does ever leave then the coin will have to be re-done.

The new coin is slightly larger but both thinner and lighter than the old one. In actuality, it doesn’t look too different amongst a bunch of change- at first I didn’t even notice I had one till I realised the metal is a darker shade. The much vaunted 12 sides do look a slightly awkward fit and you wonder why they bothered to fit so many sides. Never mind that though because we have a new word in our everyday language – the coin is a dodecagon.  This is what we call a twelve sided polygon. Not that we ever talk about 12 sided polygons much do we?.

“Marj, have you seen that dodecagonic shed in Wilf’s garden?”
“I know. Him and his twelve sided polygons”

So the new pound coin is as a boffin (almost certainly sporting a white coat) would tell us convex, cyclic, equilateral and even isotoxol. Whereas the thing we all want to know is “Will it work in them automatic check out thingys?” It seems unlikely as they have enough trouble with current coins.

By the way we’ve got till 15 October to spend any old pound coins after which they cease to be legal tender. I’ve got one with 2017 on it- I wonder if that, too, is worth keeping for a long time so someone can go on the Antiques Roadshow in 2117 and join a long queue full of people with pound coins.


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