Another rise in counterfeit £1 coins
by Gill Montia
Story link: Another rise in counterfeit £1 coins
The Royal Mint has reported that the number of counterfeit £1 coins in circulation is on the rise.
In a routine sampling of British coinage, the Mint found one in forty of the coins to be faked, the highest proportion since their introduction in 1983.
In terms of value, faked £1 coins could therefore account for £37.5 million of cash in circulation.
The increase represents a worsening of the situation in September of last year, when one in fifty of the coins were found to be the work of forgers. It also represents a 26% rise on 2007.
Northern Ireland had the highest proportion of fakes at 3.6%, followed by the South East, with 2.97%.
The majority of the counterfeits will not work in vending machines but are otherwise difficult to detect, even by bank counting machines.
The Royal Mint’s head of corporate affairs, Martin Cragg, says work is underway with banks, the Post Office, the police and the vending industry to remove the coins from circulation.
Consumers are being reminded that it is a criminal offence to use a counterfeited coin, so someone discovering a forgery should not attempt to spend it.
Anyone wishing to establish the credentials of a genuine £1 coin can consult the website of the Royal Mint, which contains details of design and specification.
The Mint’s sampling process is based on 15,481 coins supplied by banks and post offices from 31 locations across the UK.