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. Since its launch the £1 has always represented the United Kingdom and its constituent parts; England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
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 England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, alternating each year.
According to the Royal Mint, "Tuesday 24 April 1984 saw the beginning of a new chapter in the history of United Kingdom coinage with the Scottish £1 coin being introduced into circulation. Designed by renowned silversmith Leslie Durbin, the reverse appropriately depicted the Scottish thistle encircled by the Royal Diadem." The design from 1984 was issued again only once, in 1989. Scotland was later represented by the Rampant Lion type of one pound, and the 2014 One Pound with the floral emblem of Scotland.
The edge inscription NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT can be translated as "No one attacks me with impunity".
Coins issued in 1989 circulated for 28 years until they were demonetised in 2017 and replaced with the current bimetallic one pound coin.