UK decimal coin errors
Pound coins with apparent errors such as the wrong reverse or edge inscription for the year, and/or poor quality edge inscriptions are forgeries.
Some forgeries are plated metal of poor quality, but others are made of brass. These can sometimes be identified by a slight difference in colour to the normal. The inscriptions may be less clear than normal, but as some of the early designs of genuine coins wear very badly, this is not a sole indicator of being a forgery.
A sure test is to examine the bottom of the incuse edge inscription with a
powerful lens. The genuine coins show a clearly defined flat base to the hollows
forming the inscription, which is almost certainly absent in the case of a forgery.
In November 2008 a number of 20p coins were incorrectly minted resulting in their having no date.
This problem affected less than 250,000 coins of the 136 million 20p pieces
minted in 2008-09 and was due to the previous obverse (the 'Heads' side) being
used with the new reverse (the 'Tails' side) design, meaning the year of issue
did not feature at all.
These coins remain legal tender and still have a face value of 20p.
Check the images below to see the difference between the correct 20p coin and the undated 20p coin.
2008 20p coin - the Royal Shield of Arms (correct)
2008 20p coin - the Royal Shield of Arms (undated)
2008 20p coin - Tudor Rose
UK 20P ROYAL SHIELD COAT OF ARMS COIN WITH A MINT ERROR - KNOBBLY LIONS KNEE
THIS COIN HAS THE CORRECT DATE SHOWING AS 2008, BUT ON THE REVERSE SIDE OF THE ROYAL SHIELD COAT OF ARMS, IF YOU LOOK CLOSELY AT THE LIONS KNEE, THERE IS AN EXTRA NOTCH, MAKING THIS LION HAVE 'KNOBBLY KNEES'.
A NUMBER OF THESE WERE CIRCULATED BEFORE BEING CORRECTED
Bi-metallic Type 11 - 400th anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot
Obverse: Third Portrait in cupronickel centre, with inscription ELIZABETH II DEI GRA REG FID DEF starting low left in the nickel-brass ring.
Reverse: Maces, croziers and swords in 'Catherine Wheel' arrangement, stars representing fireworks around, 1605 2005 above, TWO POUNDS below.
Designed by Peter Forster.
Edge: REMEMBER REMEMBER THE FIFTH OF NOVEMBER
At least one copy is known with an edge inscribed STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS
OF GIANTS in error.