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30 million in fake Pound Coins!


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'30m fake pound coins in circulation'

The number of fake ?1 coins in circulation appears to have doubled in the last five years, it was reported today.

The results of a sampling test by the Royal Mint, obtained by the BBC, show that up to 2 per cent of all the pound coins in circulation may be fake - approximately 30 million coins.

The last time sampling test results were released was in 2003 when the number of forged pounds coins was estimated to be 1 per cent.

The BBC said it means that one in every 50 pound coins in circulation is counterfeit.

Robert Matthews, formerly the Queen's Assay Master until he retired to become a coin consultant four years ago, said confidence in coins collapsed in other countries when forgery rates reached similar levels.

He told the broadcaster: "In 2004, people started refusing to take the South African 5 Rand coin due to concerns about the number of counterfeits, and eventually the coin had to be redesigned and re-circulated.

"Independent surveys showed the number of counterfeits to be 2 per cent - the same as we've got here - and I'm worried that if we're not careful the same thing will happen to the pound coin."

In a statement, the Royal Mint said: "We track the counterfeit rate through regular surveys in the spring and autumn every year. The survey consists of taking a random sample of coins from across the country, and subjecting them to individual analytical inspection.

"It is a criminal offence to make or use counterfeited coins. Any member of the public who suspects they have a counterfeited coin should not attempt to spend it."

The BBC says that experts test for forgeries by studying lettering and the cross on the edge of the coin, whether the Queen's head is orientated the same way as the image on the reverse, and whether the marking is centred on the face.

How do you spot a fake pound coin?

The number of fake ?1 coins in circulation now stands at more than 30 million, according to the Royal Mint. How do you know if you've been given one?

That ?1 coin in your pocket could be worthless.

The number of fake pound coins in circulation has doubled in the past five years and one in every 50 is now counterfeit.

It's illegal to make or use counterfeited coins and the Royal Mint says people must hand them in if they think they have one. But how can you tell?

It all depends on the quality of the counterfeit, but key signs include a poorly defined ribbed edge, the wrong typeface and an indistinct design or bust of the Queen. A fake can also be slightly different in colour.

"Current fakes are what we call 'soapy' in the coin business," says Garry Day, who works for a leading coin dealer, AH Baldwin.

"This means the marking and detail on them, like the queen's head, are blurred and not very distinct."

Poor workmanship

Another way to identify a fake is to check the alignment of the coin. Hold it so the Queen's head is upright and facing you - when you turn the coin over, the pattern on the reverse should also be upright. Fakes can often be at an angle.

The Royal Mint's online design portfolio can also be used to easily identify what's genuine and what's not. Since they were introduced in 1983, the design on the reverse of the coins has changed every year.

Often the year and the design do not correspond on a fake. Also, the Latin motto on the edge of the coin should also correspond to the right year.

A simple test at any automated vending machine can also identify a suspect coin. A lot of counterfeit coins are rejected, often leaving you grappling to find another coin in your purse or pocket.

But ultimately, how easy it is to identify a fake comes down its quality. The good news is the fakes are getting worse, according to some experts.

"Quality is definitely dropping and fakes are now quite obvious, even to the untrained eye," says Mr Day, who has been studying the problem.

"The workmanship isn't what it used to be and most are pretty easy to spot. People just need to know what they are looking for."

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Video link...........

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7628137.stm

The number of fake ?1 coins in circulation has doubled in the last five years and now stands at more than 30 million, the BBC has learned.

This means one in every 50 pound coins in circulation is counterfeit.

Experts believe the fakes are being produced by organised criminal gangs using specialist machinery.

The Royal Mint said it was illegal to make or use counterfeited coins and said people must hand them in if they thought they had one.

Although relatively easy to detect, their sheer number creates problems for shopkeepers, taxi drivers and other small traders who deal in cash for many of their transactions.

According to figures obtained by the BBC from the Royal Mint, random sampling tests carried out earlier this year showed that approximately 2% of pound coins are fake.

Confidence in coins

The Royal Mint described the counterfeiting rate as "a comparatively low incidence of counterfeit coins by international monetary standards."

However, other experts disagree.

Robert Matthews, was the Queen's Assay master until he retired to become a coin consultant four years ago. He said confidence in coins collapsed in other countries when forgery rates reached similar levels.

He said: "In 2004, people started refusing to take the South African 5 Rand coin, due to concerns about the number of counterfeits, and eventually the coin had to be redesigned and re-circulated.

"Independent surveys showed the number of counterfeits to be 2% - the same as we've got here - and I'm worried that if we're not careful the same thing will happen to the pound coin."

Since its introduction in 1983, there have always been attempts to forge pound coins, but the numbers were relatively small.

The last time forgery figures were released by the Royal Mint, in 2003, the number of fakes were estimated to be 1%. This suggests the number of counterfeit coins has doubled in the last five years.

The euro is a far more "secure" coin when compared to the pound. In 2006 it was estimated of 13 billion circulating coins (50c, ?1 and ?2), around 10 million were fakes, which works out at less than 0.1% of the total.

Mr Matthews said: "The EU has been openly directing that Euro coins have to be authenticated after withdrawal and before reissue without creating public panic. I know of no public moves of this nature in the UK."

He said he was worried that in Britain, dealing with the fakes was falling between Royal Mint, HM Treasury, the banks and the police, with no one taking direct responsibility.

"And, at current detection rates, it'll take 120 years for the counterfeit coins that are circulating right now to be withdrawn," he added.

The Royal Mint said in a statement: "We track the counterfeit rate through regular surveys in the spring and autumn every year. The survey consists of taking a random sample of coins from across the country, and subjecting them to individual analytical inspection.

"It is a criminal offence to make or use counterfeited coins. Any member of the public who suspects they have a counterfeited coin should not attempt to spend it."

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Video link...........

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7628137.stm

?

The Royal Mint said in a statement: "We track the counterfeit rate through regular surveys in the spring and autumn every year. The survey consists of taking a random sample of coins from across the country, and subjecting them to individual analytical inspection.

"It is a criminal offence to make or use counterfeited coins. Any member of the public who suspects they have a counterfeited coin should not attempt to spend it."

Yup saw it on BBC news.

In other words my interpretation "We havn't got a bleedin' clue as to how many are out there, If you keep your mouth shut so will we, have a look at your coins and if it looks like this, tell us and we will remove you of your hard earned cash with no compensation, because we are to bone idle keep a check on it ourselves"

regards

Alex

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who makes fake coins?

I know that Iran and North Korea are the source of the vast majority of fake US 20 dollar bills, but who fakes coins?

It must be a substantial operation.

?30 000 000 seems like a substiantial amount to have wafting about in your UK economy with no real checks :speechless1:

Edit, as a percentage of the overall amount in circulation, granted small, but what happens if you win the lottery and they decide to pay you with ?1 coins and they all turn out to be fake!! :speechless1::speechless1::speechless1: , can I have my ?30m back now plaease and tough Sh@t

Edited by Alex K
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?purse or pocket.

But ultimately, how easy it is to identify a fake comes down its quality. The good news is the fakes are getting worse, according to some experts.

"Quality is definitely dropping and fakes are now quite obvious, even to the untrained eye," says Mr Day, who has been studying the problem.

"The workmanship isn't what it used to be and most are pretty easy to spot. People just need to know what they are looking for."

/quote]

Try telling that to the TR Guys!!!! :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::speechless1::speechless1::speechless1: [

Edited by Alex K
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Guest WAR LORD

Well, the law has not changed, "Bring back the TUDOR penalty for counterfeiting." The penalty is still in place. "I know Tyburn's all built up nowadays,". Well the area has a wonderful arch. This could be put to very good use.

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who makes fake coins?

, but who fakes coins?

It must be a substantial operation.

Thats the very first thing I thought of when I heard this tale of woe. There not as uncommon as you might think. Certainly when the latest ones where released people thought they were fakes. Seems to be a pretty hard way to make crime pay? I suppose if you where going to use them in cigerette machines or something maybe? But even so :speechless1:

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Yup saw it on BBC news.

In other words my interpretation "We havn't got a bleedin' clue as to how many are out there, If you keep your mouth shut so will we, have a look at your coins and if it looks like this, tell us and we will remove you of your hard earned cash with no compensation, because we are to bone idle keep a check on it ourselves"

regards

Alex

Alex thats an interesting point. I wonder just how many `dodgey` pound coins get handed in each year. Does the government offer any sort of compensation, if so this would be a good way to launder them :rolleyes: What about bank notes surely if your a shop keeper & end up with a ?50 or the like the Bank of England will, re emburse you? :speechless1:

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  • 2 months later...
  • 3 months later...

Alex thats an interesting point. I wonder just how many `dodgey` pound coins get handed in each year. Does the government offer any sort of compensation, if so this would be a good way to launder them :rolleyes: What about bank notes surely if your a shop keeper & end up with a ?50 or the like the Bank of England will, re emburse you? :speechless1:

I believe that the law on counterfeits is probably the same in most jurisdictions: you MUST by law turn in (suspected) fakes/forgeries and you WILL NOT be compensated/re-imbursed.

If you think this is unfair, and at first blush most of us would, consider this: If the mint or banknote company replced fakes at face value, or even at some fraction of face value, they would soon find themselves in the business of subsidizing the forgers by purchasing forgeries! Perhaps in great numbers, if the forgers were stupid or brazen enough to turn in their own work. And believe me, a glance through any newspaper will suggest that lots of crooks are indeed that brazen and/or that stupid!

Presumably the potential loss caused by accepting duds in the course of commerce is also meant to encourage vigilance among the public. I once received a fake $20 bill (8 pounds ?), from a bank machine as it happens. It was very pale compared to a real one but I didn't notice until the staff in our school cafeteria/canteen pointed it out. Upshot? I replaced it in their till with a real not, turned mine over to the police (like I had a choice!) and did some creative cussing. Never heard back from the police, nor do I ever expect to! :banger:

Peter

:off topic: warning

There is a story, probably apocryphal, of a WWII ephemora collecter who purchased an English 5 pound note, allegedly one of the hundreds of thousands of them forged by the Germans, using skilled engravers imprisomed in one of their concentration camps, with the intent (never implemented) of flooding the UK with them to subvert the economy. The story goes that, having paid a lot more then L5 for the note the collector sent it to the British authorities for "authentication as a forgery" :speechless: and shortly thereafter received a note saying, in effect, "Yes, it was a fake. We have destroyed it. Thank you for sending it in."

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