MORE than £120million worth of old pound coins are still missing three years after they stopped being legal tender.

The Royal Mint said that while over the last three years £1.58billions worth of old pound coins were returned, 122 million were never sent back.

The new 12-sided coins were made by The Royal Mint, based in south Wales, to replace the old design in a bid to stop counterfeits being created.

The old coins were replaced by the newer versions in October 2017 because fake coins “could not readily be distinguished from the genuine” coins.

Some 122 million old coins are still outstanding despite the tender no longer being legal.

The Royal Mint said the old pound coins can still be deposited at most high-street banks.

Some 1.5million counterfeit coins were among the one pounds returned and melted down.

A Royal Mint official said their "internal records show since 2017 approximately 1.45 million counterfeits have been returned, though this is a significant underestimate".

There were roughly 1.7billion round £1 coins in circulation at the start of the six-month transition period in early 2017.

£122million pounds worth of the old coins are still outstanding despite the tender no longer being legal.

About 138 million round pound coins have been melted down to help create some of the new ones at The Royal Mint's base in Llantrisant, near Cardiff.

The newer design has been described by The Royal Mint as the most "secure in the world", with a string of anti-counterfeiting details embedded into it.

These include a hologram and micro-sized lettering inside both of the rims.

It also has material inside which can be detected when electronically scanned by coin-counting or payment machines.