Quids in: How to spot if you've got a fake one pound coin
Royal Mint says there are an estimated £45m fake £1 coins in circulation
Wednesday 19 March 2014
It may not buy you much these days but is the pound in your pocket actually worth anything at all?
With an estimated £45m fake £1 coins in circulation the Royal Mint is set to introduce a new 12-sided version which it says is designed to be the "most secure in the world".
The coin will be introduced in 2017 amid concerns about how easy it is to counterfeit the current 30-year-old design.
The Royal Mint believes 3% of existing £1 coins are fake, and that the move to update the coin will increase "public confidence" in the UK's currency and reduce costs for banks and other businesses.
So, with all these worthless coins floating around the currency system how do you know if you've got one?
Depending on the quality of the counterfeit coin they may be easy to spot. Indistinct lettering or the wrong typeface on the edge of the coin is the most obvious give away.
The Queen's head and the pattern on the reverse of the coin should both be upright when the coin is turned over.
A fake coin can also be slightly different in colour. The markings on the coin could also be 'soapy' - an industry term to describe blurred and indistinct details.
The Royal Mint has issued guidance on how to spot one of the 3% of coins that could be fake as follows:
- 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 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.
The counterfeiting of coins is a criminal offence under the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981.
Earlier this year the Bank of England announced that from 2016 banknotes would be made of plastic saying the move would "enhance the security and integrity of the currency".
- 4 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
- 5 Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Who should I vote for in the general election? Take The Independent's interactive quiz to find out which party is the right choice for you
Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Mysterious 'X-Files' sounds heard miles above the Earth
US gameshow gives woman in wheelchair incredibly awkward prize
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...
£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...