Collectors editions of the new £1 coin are being sold from today ahead of the currency's release into general circulation.

Prices range from £10 for the uncirculated coin to £1,995 for the gold proof two-coin set.

The coin's design pictures the Welsh leek, the Scottish thistle, the Northern Irish shamrock and the English rose emerging from a royal coronet.

It was created by David Pearce, who was just 15 when it was chosen to feature on the coin.

The design beat more than 6,000 other entries submitted by the public to a competition in 2014.

The government says the new coin will help to combat counterfeit coins.

Dr Kevin Clancy, director of The Royal Mint Museum, who helped choose the design, said: "The winning idea combined traditional elements but also symbolised a modern United Kingdom in an elegant and a succinct way.

"It was a young person's interpretation of an idea while still being steeped in history and tradition."

As well as being the same shape as the old threepenny bit the government says that the new coin will help to combat counterfeit coins, some 45 million of which are estimated to be in circulation.

The tender's full roll-out will be released on March 28 with the old £1 coins to be withdrawn from circulation by 15 October 2017.

Other upcoming currency changes:

  • 5 May 2017 - old 'non-polymer' £5 note withdrawn

  • September 2017 - New polymer £10 note launched

  • 2020 - New polymer £20 note launched