The Royal Mint has revealed that the billionth new one pound coin has been struck, as the deadline for spending old one pound coins looms.

The new 12-sided one pound coin includes a ‘hidden high security feature’, designed to help combat the production of counterfeit money.

Andrew Jones, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said: ‘This coin is the most secure of its kind in the world and was brought in to clamp down on the multi-million pound cost of counterfeits.’

The old ‘round pound’ will cease to be legal tender on 15 October. Individuals are being urged to spend, bank or donate their old pound coins ahead of this deadline.

After this date, retailers will not be obliged to accept old pound coins, and consumers will be required to take their old coins to a bank to exchange them.

Commenting on the demonetisation of the old ‘round pound’, Adam Lawrence, Chief Executive and Deputy Master of the Royal Mint, said: ‘Many of the old round pounds returned will be melted down to make the new coins, so we’re asking everyone across the UK to make sure they check their coin jars and piggy banks for round pounds.’