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25 years of the 'nugget' Pound coin's silver anniversary.

Byline: Katie Bodinger

IN 1983, Michael Jackson released hit song Thriller, Bonnie Tyler was high in the charts and Return of the Jedi was the new big film.

It was also the year when the first pounds 1 coins hit the streets, replacing the old green pounds 1 notes.

Nearly25years on it is now an established coin alongside our coppers and silvers.

Pensioner Marjorie Dolan said she remembered when pounds 1 coins first came into use.

The 84-year-old grandmother, from Hendy Street, Roath Park, said: "The old pounds 1 notes were very grubby. It took a while to get used topounds 1 coins. They were a lot heavier.

You could buy an awful lot for pounds 1 in 1983."

To celebrate the anniversary, a limited edition 22-carat set of 14 pounds 1 coins, each bearing one of the 14 reverse designs that have appeared over the last quarter of a century, was launched this week. It will cost pounds 4,995 for the set.

Dave Knight, marketing director of the Royal Mint, based in Llantrisant, said: "The 25th anniversary of the pounds 1 coin is a milestone in the history of coinage and we are extremely pleased to be offering this unique coin set to celebrate the prestigious occasion."

InApril of 1983, the pounds 1 note was changed to a coin when it became apparent that due to increasing prices and the relatively short lifespan of the pounds 1 note, the unit was more appropriate as a coin.

The design on the reverse of the pounds 1 is changed each year within a five-year cycle, each drawing inspiration from the heritage of Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England.

The most recent "Bridges" series was designed by Edwina Ellis to reflect Britain's industrial heritage and features four bridges from the UK including the Gateshead Millennium Bridge. Norman Sillman's "Heraldic" designs were introduced in 1994 and depicted renowned national emblems including the Welsh Dragon.

The series of coins introduced in 1984 featured the "floral" emblems of each country including the Scottish thistle and Welsh leek and were designed by Leslie Durbin.

Dave said he expected the limited edition coins to be much sought after by collectors.

"We anticipate that they will be in high demand but of course will be owned by just 150 collectors throughout the world," he said.

What your pounds would have bought in 1983...

The average house cost pounds 34,795

A gallon of petrol was pounds 1.25

A pint of Brains bitter cost between 68p and 70p.

A pint of milk was 11 and a half pence.


LIMITED EDITION Royal Mint marketing director Dave Knight and the new coin.
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Mar 6, 2008
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