By 1980 it had become apparent that with the general decline in purchasing power, the £1 unit of currency was more appropriate to a coin than a banknote. After consultation with many groups including retailers and special interest groups, the Government announced on 31 July 1981 that a new £1 coin that was to be issued on 21 April 1983.
The £1 coin in base metal (as opposed to the gold sovereign, which has a nominal face value of one pound too), nickel-brass was introduced in 1983, as a replacement for the £1 banknote. The reverse design of the first £1 coin showed a depiction of the Royal Coat of Arms, representing the United Kingdom as a whole. It was issued until 2015 in rotation with other designs representing Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England, alternating each year in that order.
According to the Royal Mint, "The reverse design of the 1985 £1 coin featured the national emblem of Wales - the leek - encircled by the Royal Diadem. It was the second in a series of four issued to represent the four constituent parts of the United Kingdom; Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England." This design was issued again only once, in 1990. Wales was later represented by the Dragon type of one pound, the 2005 Menai Bridge One Pound coin, the 2011 Cardiff One Pound and the 2013 One Pound with the floral emblem of Wales.
The edge inscription PLEIDIOL WYF I'M GWLAD means "True am I to my country".
Coins issued in 1985 circulated for 32 years until they were demonetised in 2017 and replaced with the current bimetallic one pound coin.