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Schoolboy’s design to grace new British £1 coin

 Handout photo from the Royal Mint shows the new 12-sided pound coin to be introduced in Britain/AFP

Handout photo from the Royal Mint shows the new 12-sided pound coin to be introduced in Britain/AFP

LONDON, Mar 18- A design drawn by a schoolboy has been chosen to grace one side of Britain’s new 12 edged £1 coin when it is introduced in 2017, the government said on Wednesday.

David Pearce, 15, from Walsall in central England, received a surprise phone call from finance minister George Osborne this week to congratulate him on winning a competition launched by the Royal Mint.

Pearce beat 6,000 other applicants with his design incorporating a rose, leek, thistle and shamrock — symbolising the four countries of the United Kingdom — and a royal coronet.

“I spent a lot of time researching what coin designs looked like and what sort of designs would represent all parts of the UK before submitting my idea, and I honestly cannot believe I have won,” he said.

The £1 coin that has been in used for the past 30 years is being replaced with a 12-edged piece that officials say will be harder to fake.

An estimated three percent of all £1 coins — about 45 million — are forgeries, according to the Royal Mint.

The new piece will be made of two metals in two different colours and will have the same shape of the old “Threepenny bit” used between 1937 and 1971.

As with all British coins, the ‘heads’ side will feature the image of Queen Elizabeth II and a rendition of Pearce’s design will grace the ‘tails’ side.

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