New Pound Coin's iSIS Security System Explained (Partially)

It's all to do with iSIS (not that one).

The new £1 coin is not only a pretty little (not everyone agrees, see below) thing but it’s also incredibly hi-tech.

Three years and £2 million in the the making, it uses technology already used in banknotes that allow its authenticity to be established incredibly quickly with a simple scan.

At the heart of the new design is the catchily titled Integrated Secure Identification Systems (iSIS, not that one), embedded into the heart of the coin.

<strong>The new pound coin.</strong>
The new pound coin.
Royal int Archive

For obvious reasons the full details of iSIS are unavailable as are the exact make-up of the materials used to make it.

In May 2015, a survey by the Royal Mint found that one in 40 (2.55%) of all pound coins were actually fake.

The coin’s 12-sided shape is its first line of defence as to replicate this is much harder that a simple circle.

Additionally, the Royal Mint, who developed the coin, use a process called aRMour full-plate technology in their production process.

This process applies a single layer that is electroplated directly onto a steel core which results in a very strong bond between the plated material and the steel core.

What the coin’s makers will tell us is the myriad of benefits the system can achieve...

  • It will reduce costs by replacing expensive clad and homogeneous coins with a more affordable full-plated option.
  • It will generate lifetime cost savings through unmatched durability, lasting up to 30 times longer than an equivalent value banknote.
  • It will have considerably lower replacement frequency than other plated coin types.
  • Both robust and secure, its issuance protects the reputation of a country, projecting a positive image of the nation and its economy.

Here’s some public feedback.

Can’t please everyone...