Is that a pound in your pocket, or is it a fake?


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It's annoying, isn't it? You've got just enough change to feed the parking meter, but the last pound coin you chuck in comes straight back at you. According to new figures from the Royal Mint, the number of fake £1 coins in circulation now stands at 44 million – up from 30 million in 2008. And as anyone using a fake pound coin is breaking the law, here's how to spot a forgery:

The biggest giveaways are the date and design on the reverse not matching and a poorly defined milled edge. Also check its appearance – if it's far brighter than its date suggests, it's most likely a dud.

If you do come across a fake, your best bet is to refuse to accept it, and if that fails you should hand it in to the police. Sadly, you won't get a real one in return.