Apr 16 2012

Fake Pound Coins on the Rise

Now that the boot fair season is starting, it’s worth mentioning about the possibility of picking up fake coins – and notes – in your change at these events. By their very nature, traders at boot fairs are virtually untraceable, so it’s worth taking a few seconds to check your change, before pocketing it and walking off. By current estimates, around 3-4% of pound coins in circulation are fake.

The Royal Mint has prepared some hints on how to spot fake pound coins:

  • The date and design on the reverse do not match (the reverse design is changed each year). A list of designs and dates is available here.
  • The lettering or inscription on the edge of the coin does not correspond to the right year.
  • The milled edge is poorly defined and the lettering is uneven in depth, spacing or is poorly formed. The obverse (the front) and reverse designs are not as sharp or well defined.
  • Where the coin should have been in circulation for some time, the colouring appears more shiny and golden and the coin shows no sign of age.
  • The colour of the coin does not match genuine coins.
  • The orientation of the obverse and reverse designs is not in line.

Apart from all this, the coin night just seem ‘not right’ – however, remember that there are currently 31 different types of pound coin in circulation – they’re changed yearly. Any suspect currency should be handed in to your local police station; although it may be tempting to try and pass it off to an unsuspecting person, current advise is that this isn’t, perhaps, the best route to take…

Thanks to VT for the heads up.


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