By Daniel Hunter
Today (Sunday) marks the 30th anniversary of the launch of the £1 coin. To celebrate, MoneySupermarket has launched The Story of the Pound Coin, looking back at the history of the coin and comparing the buying power of £1 now, compared to 1983.
Launched at the height of the Conservative Government, the £1 coin was reportedly disliked by the late Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, however, its popularity, and distinctive design led to its forerunner, the £1 note, eventually being withdrawn from circulation in 1988.
Although 30 years have passed since its first became legal tender, the similarities between then and now couldn’t be clearer. The UK was recovering from recession in 1983, while politically motivated chart hits weren’t uncommon!
However, the buying power of £1 has changed considerably in 2013 compared to 1983. In 1983, £1 would buy 1.4 pints of beer compared to 0.3 pints currently, while you could get 5.9 Mars bars for £1 compared to just 1.7 now.
In 1983, £1 would let you watch 34 minutes of a Manchester United match, while you wouldn’t even manage to watch injury time at Old Trafford, with £1 buying just three minutes of action. Fans of Glastonbury would be able to see over 6 hours of entertainment for £1 in 1983, compared to just under an hour now.
“So much has happened over the last 30 years, with the cost of living having risen significantly. This has had a major impact on what £1 will buy you now compared to when it was launched in 1983," Clare Francis, editor-in-chief at MoneySupermarket, said.
"The average family’s shopping basket has rocketed in price, with a loaf of bread increasing over 300 per cent, milk increasing over 250 per cent and the cost of eggs having surged by more than 400 per cent.
“The £1 coin is so familiar to us now, but few of us probably give a second thought to its history. To mark its 30th birthday, we’ve launched an interactive tool so people can track the journey it has come on.”
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