Do You Have A Fake £1 Coin?

Published: 28 July 2010 By Diane Ray Leave a Comment

I was staggered to just read in the MailOnline that ‘Record numbers of fake £1 coins in circulation could force the Royal Mint to scrap the entire denomination and reissue it.’

Wow! With some 41 million counterfeit £1 coins in circulation it’s a serious issue…but then I thought how do I tell if I’m an unlucky one with any in my purse?? After all they’re not only worthless but it’s illegal to pass one on, albeit of course many do so quite innocently.

If you do innocently pass a fake onto perhaps a shopkeeper they will certainly lose out if they unknowingly try to deposit it at the Bank as it will not be accepted and they will not be refunded.

A sure way of telling a fake coin was to see it rejected by a parking meter or vending machine which can detect that the metal composition of the coin is correct. The issue now is that many fakes are so good that they are even accepted by these machines!

Other ways to tell if you have a fake £1 coin include

  • It looks too new for its supposed age according to the date on it
  • The reverse design on £1 coins is changed each year and thereofre the design must match the year date
  • The lettering on the edge of a genuine coin must also correspond with the year date.

You can see the Design and Edge lettering for each year on the Royal Mint website.

  • The design on both the ‘heads and tails’ of the coin should be aligned when swivelled but on counterfeits this is often not the case
  • A fake coin can feel thinner or lighter and the designs on the back and front may not be as well defined as on a genuine £1 coin
  • The colour may be too yellow or golden when compared to a real coin.

If you have or suspect you have a counterfeit coin the Royal Mint request you hand it in to your local police station.

And on the subject of money, hopefully you have taken action over your old Sir Edward Elgar £20 notes?

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