News & Blog

Fake £1 coins

Posted on Mon, 22 September 2008 by Phil Mussell - General News, Coin News

Apparently the number of "fake" £1 coins in circulation has doubled in the past five years according to this report.

If you're worried about fakes in your change there are some easy ways to tell if what you've got is genuine or not, as well as those mentioned in the report here are a few other ways to spot those counterfeits!

1) know your metal. The metal used by forgers isn't the nice nickel-brass the Royal Mint use - it's likely to be a lead alloy and not capable of holding a decent "strike". This will mean that the image on the coin is faint compared with a real one, it wears more easily and the coin itself will be softer - capable of being scratched easily. The chances are it will be "painted" in some way too - lead is dull silver, not the gold of the £1 coin - so if the colour comes off - it's fake!

2) Know your coins - forgers often get their dates wrong and will marry up the incorrect reverse to an obverse or use a picture that shouldn't be on the coin for that date at all - look in the COIN YEARBOOK to find out which dates had which reverses!

3) Know your inscriptions! Round the edge of many pound coins are mottoes or legends, forgers often don't bother to get the right ones on the right coins. For example if you find a Welsh legend on the edge of a pound coin with a Scottish Lion on it you can bet you've got a wrong 'un!

4) Know your countries - not all "odd" looking £1 coins are forgeries - some may be from Guernsey or Jersey and are perfectly legal tender - in the Channelk Islands!They can't be spent in the UK unfortunately but that doesn't mean they're worthless, charity shops will be glad of them!