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
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".
Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt
When teaching the meaning of Christmas backfires
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...
£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...