The new 12 sided £1 coin is set to enter circulation in a couple of weeks .

The new design will be rolled out on Tuesday March 28 in a bid to crack down on counterfeiting and the number of fakes in circulation.

It has been revealed by the Royal Mint that one in 30 of the current £1 coins , which have not been replaced for more than 30 years, are counterfeit.

So the new 12-sided version of the coin has "state of the art" security features built in to prevent counterfeiting.

It has a hologram image that changes from a £ sign to the number 1 when seen from different angles, plus micro-lettering on the lower inside rim on both sides of the coin.

But the alarmingly high number of fake pound coins in circulation means most people will have handled one at some point, the Derby Telegraph reported.

Chances are there is one in your purse, wallet or pocket right now.

It may not always be easy to spot a counterfeit £1 coin without close inspection.

However, the Royal Mint says features of counterfeit coins to look out for include:

  • The date and design on the reverse do not match. The reverse design is changed each year. A list of designs and dates is available here .
  • The lettering or inscription on the edge of the coin does not correspond to the right year.
  • The milled edge is poorly defined and the lettering is uneven in depth, spacing or is poorly formed. The obverse and reverse designs are not as sharp or well defined.
  • Where the coin should have been in circulation for some time, the colouring appears more shiny and golden and the coin shows no sign of age.
  • The colour of the coin does not match genuine coins.
  • The orientation of the obverse and reverse designs is not in line.

To find out more visit The Royal Mint website, www.royalmint.com .

And here are the all important dates:

  • March 28 - The new one pound will enter circulation.
  • March 28 until October 15 - Both the new and old one pound coin can still be used.
  • October 15 - From this date, shops will be under no obligation to accept the old pound coin.
  • After October 15 - For a limited period, old one pound coins can still be deposited at the Post Office and into bank accounts.

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