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Design Errors on One Pound Coins - Forgeries
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.

Counterfeit £1 coins

The following information has been reproduced from the Royal Mint website

It may not always be easy to spot a counterfeit £1 coin without close inspection. Features of counterfeit coins to look out for are set out below.

•The date and design on the reverse do not match (the reverse design is changed each year). A list of designs and dates is available at our One Pound Coin Design page.
•The lettering or inscription on the edge of the coin does not correspond to the right year.
•The milled edge is poorly defined and the lettering is uneven in depth, spacing or is poorly formed.The obverse and reverse designs are not as sharp or well defined.
•Where the coin should have been in circulation for some time, the colouring appears more shiny and golden and the coin shows no sign of age.
•The colour of the coin does not match genuine coins.
•The orientation of the obverse and reverse designs is not in line.

The following information has been produced from the Fake One Pound Coins Blogalism Website


Counterfeiting the UK one-pound coin.

Reproduced from http://www.coinauthentication.co.uk/newsletter1.html

On July 9th 2003 Paul Boateng, from the Treasury, stated in a Parliamentary answer that independent analysis commissioned by the Royal Mint, on a sample of one pound coins collected in late 2002, showed just under one percent were counterfeit. He stated that there is uncertainty as to the extent to which the sample could be regarded as reliable. This was slightly amplified by Gerald Sheehan, Deputy Master of the Royal Mint, in evidence to the Treasury Sub-committee on November 5th 2003. He emphasised that it was only an estimate but the survey showed about 13 million counterfeit one-pound coins were in circulation. He said it was very difficult to prove this figure one way or the other but stated that the anecdotal evidence from the banks and Post Office was that it was significantly less than 13 million. The Mint is to initiate a major study on the subject, in the next few months.

There are two main classes of one-pound counterfeits being produced, ref.1. The first are cast lead or tin based pieces coated with brass. The second are struck brass pieces. The lead or tin pieces can vary in quality but wear rapidly and are eventually identified by the banks and Post Office and withdrawn from circulation. It is my opinion that, if this estimate of numbers is correct, the vast majority of the pieces are the brass counterfeits. The banks estimates of numbers are probably not worth very much because their sorting machines and tellers cannot identify these pieces.

Examples of one-pound counterfeits

The next questions that spring to mind are from where are the coins originating? And are the police being successful in stopping their manufacture? After scouring the local press of the last four or five years, I can find four court cases for manufacturing the lead or tin based pieces. They were in Scotland, the Midlands and the North of England. The most serious case involved two Blackburn men who had a "factory" in Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire. In 2000, they were arrested with £20,000 worth of counterfeits on them.

It has only been possible to find two court cases involving brass pieces that had been put into circulation. The first involved the use of brass slugs in gambling machines. 90,000 pieces were innocently manufactured by a Sheffield company for a group involved in an estimated £900,000 fruit machine scam. Although details of the one-pound pieces have not been published it is presumed that they did not have any design on the faces. The second case involved a "factory" striking one-pound counterfeits in Essex. This appears to have been a substantial operation making thousands of counterfeits a day but little detail has been published.

Ref.1: "Caution--forgers at large" by D.J.Cane, COIN NEWS, February 2000.


The number of counterfeit British one-pound coins withdrawn from circulation remains low

Reproduced from http://www.coinauthentication.co.uk/newsletter6.html

The British Royal Mint released to the editor the annual number of one-pound counterfeit coins withdrawn by the banks over the last five years. These figures shown no significant increase in withdrawals since Royal Mint surveys in 2002 and 2003 showed that just less than 1 per cent of circulating one-pound coins were counterfeit.

No. counterfeit coins withdrawn*

[*This is, "the number of one-pound coins declared as counterfeit by the banks and returned to the Royal Mint". It traditionally includes any counterfeits seized by the police and sent to the Royal Mint for destruction. This figure does not include counterfeits included with worn and damaged coins sent to the Royal Mint by the banks for recycling.]

The average withdrawal rate over the five-year period is 119,600. In December 2004 1,410 million one-pound coins had been issued into circulation. One per cent of counterfeit coins in circulation means about 14 million counterfeits. At the current withdrawal rate it would take more than 120 years to remove the current counterfeits from circulation. It would appear that the banks and coin handlers are failing to meet the challenge being presented to them by the counterfeiters.

The photographs show an example of a typical cast, coated, lead-based counterfeit one-pound coin. Correspondent Yuan Shen received this in change in London in 2004. Click on the image to see an enlargement.

[Sources; The Royal Mint; House of Commons Hansard; Yuan Heng]

Champion collector of fake UK one-pound coins?

Reproduced from http://www.coinauthentication.co.uk/newsletter7.html

Correspondent Alan Humphries is from the North of England. In addition to his more conventional interest in ancient coins he has been collecting one-pound counterfeits. He now has more than two hundred distinct varieties. It is difficult to believe this is not a record, unless somebody out there knows better? Alan's samplings lead him to believe the number of counterfeits is about two percent of circulating one-pound coins. This is twice as much as the Royal Mint's estimate. The difference may be due to regional variations or sampling differences.

      Among Alan's most interesting examples are a number of counterfeits from the recently produced "Bridges series", 2004-2007. He has found a number counterfeit 2004/Forth Bridge examples and a 2005/Menai Bridge example. He admits to not being one hundred percent sure about his Menai Bridge example. The editor's understanding is that the Royal Mint has seen almost no "Bridges series" counterfeits. These counterfeits demonstrate that counterfeit one-pound coins were recently being manufactured.

A 2004 counterfeit one-pound from Alan Humphries' collection

Some observations on counterfeits of the UK Bridge series one-pound coins

Reproduced from http://www.coinauthentication.co.uk/newsletter8.html

In 2004 the United Kingdom started on a new series of annual one-pound coin designs based on famous bridges; one for each of its four constituent countries. Unfortunately the new designs included replacing the edge lettering introduced with the first one-pound coin in 1983. Up to this time a fault in the edge lettering was one of the easiest methods for detecting a struck brass one-pound counterfeit coin. The Royal Mint described the new edge design as an "incuse decorative feature symbolising bridges & pathways".

In the last Counterfeit Coin Newsletter it was reported that collector Alan Humphries had found counterfeits of the 2004 and 2005 Bridge series one-pound coins. Alan now reports he was recently given a fake 2006 Egyptian Bridge reverse coin in his change. The editor has fully examined six twenty-first century counterfeit coins including one 2005 "Bridge" counterfeit. The full results from these examinations will shortly be posted as one of the poundfiles pages on this site. From these results and Alan's and another correspondent's observations some tentative advice can be made about detecting some of the current "Bridge" counterfeits.

The counterfeit one-pound coin recently identified by Alan Humphries. Click on the counterfeit to see an improved image.

Die cracks on a 2005 one-pound counterfeit

The evidence suggests that some of the Bridge series counterfeits are significantly different in a number of ways from the type NP counterfeits. The editor had previously classified these NP type pieces as the predominant struck brass counterfeits. The differences include use of a different brass alloy, use of a coin die with a very "rough" surface and the frequency of die cracks found on the counterfeit coin. It is not possible to know whether this means the counterfeits are manufactured by a different organisation or the organisation previously considered the most important has just change some of it manufacturing processes.

Identifying some of the Bridge series counterfeits

Reproduced from http://www.coinauthentication.co.uk/newsletter8.html

The texture of the surface is often the most obvious sign if a coin from this series is a counterfeit. The counterfeit surface has a dull, matte finish as if made from a spark-eroded die that had not been polished. Under an eyeglass or microscope the surface can be seen to be very granular and uneven. Also often found on the coin faces are a number of small raised meandering lines. These are caused by cracks in the surface of the coining die.

Incuse edge lines misaligned at one of the two breaks on a 2005 counterfeit

Missing millings on a 2006 counterfeit

The quality of the edge on these counterfeits varies from the superficially good to poor. In at least two counterfeits the incuse lines of the edge design were "misaligned at one of the two breaks". Also found were horizontal breaks in the millings giving a "chequerboard appearance" and missing millings

[Sources: A.Humphries, an anonymous collector of Roman coins known to the editor and the editor]

Man gaoled for counterfeiting one-pound coins

Reproduced from http://www.coinauthentication.co.uk/newsletter9.html

In late December 2007, Marcus Glindon, 37, from Enfield, north London, was gaoled for 5 years for making over 14 million counterfeit one-pound blanks and coins. He made the blanks and coins over a seven-year period; within this time was a two-year period when he did not make any counterfeits. Of the estimated 14 million coin blanks made by Glindon, he struck an estimated two and a half million into coins. The remainder are believed to have been taken elsewhere for coining.

Glindon was arrested after an anonymous tip off. Police raided his home and near by business premises, MG Engineering, in March 2007. As well as counterfeit blanks and coins, they found a blanking press, coining press and coinage dies.

Glindon claimed he worked alone producing blanks and coins for two men he knew as Tom and John. They provided him with the materials required and removed the coins and blanks. At times he appeared to be making up to 10,000 to 12,000 coins per day and was paid about £2,000 per week by the men.

Metropolitan Police Det. Con. Dan Roberts, was quoted by the BBC as saying: "As a result of a collaboration between the police, the Royal Mint and the counterfeit agency at the Serious Organised Crime Agency, we have disrupted a nationwide criminal network and put a substantial dent into the illegal production of £1 coins."

[Sources: BBC News, look for the very informative film report available via this page, "This is London", "Daily Record", editor]

Viewing the stills of Glindon's workshop in the BBC News film it is possible to identify: a blanking press with narrow strips of brass scissel [scissel is the strip remaining after blanking] and a hydraulic coining press. No equipment able to be used for the manufacture of coining dies could be seen in the film. The coining press is very similar to a type used in 2001 in an Essex-based illegal mint. In this illegal mint, blanks were delivered from elsewhere, cleaned, coined and packed for distribution.

The estimated 14 million one-pound blanks and coins manufactured by Glindon are over half the total number of counterfeits previously estimated to be in circulation. The editor has no special knowledge as to the type of counterfeit produced by Glindon. However significant levels of brass counterfeit one-pound coins have been circulating since the mid 1990's. This is prior to the time that Glindon is reported to have started operation. It would appear that either there have been at least two organisations manufacturing these counterfeits or this organisation has a number of branches.

Obverse side of a nominal 2005 counterfeit one-pound coin. This counterfeit was found in the editor's change. There is no evidence to connect it to Marcus Glindon.
The reverse side of the nominal 2005 counterfeit one-pound coin. Click on the image to view a larger one.

A section of the edge of the nominal 2005 counterfeit one-pound coin. Click on the image to view a larger one.

The British authorities struggle to withdraw counterfeit one-pound coins

Reproduced from http://www.coinauthentication.co.uk/newsletter11.html

There was a flurry of reports on one-pound coin counterfeits in the British press in September 2008. These followed the reporting by the BBC of a Royal Mint survey finding that two percent of the one-pound coins in circulation were counterfeit. Subsequently Conservative MP, Christopher Chope, asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer a number of questions about the issue. Treasury Minister, Angela Eagle, replied giving the number of counterfeit one-pound coins returned to the Royal Mint over the last five financial years [note: previously these figures have been reported on a calendar year basis].

Financial Year
Number of counterfeits withdrawn

Based on the Royal Mint survey results it can be calculated that between two to three million counterfeit one-pound coins are entering circulation every year. Based on these results the inadequacy of this withdrawal rate becomes obvious. The Royal Mint informed the editor that in the nine months up to and including December 2008 a provisional figure of 360,000 counterfeits had been returned to the Mint. Providing the Royal Mint's inspection confirm these coins as counterfeit this is a very welcome, but still inadequate, increase in the withdrawals of counterfeit one-pound coins .

The reason why the British banks and cash centres are struggling to cope with these counterfeits becomes apparent in the answers by APACS to some queries from the editor. APACS defines itself as:

"APACS is the UK trade association for payments and for those institutions that deliver payment services to customers."

APACS firmly stated to the editor that: "APACS does not have an oversight role as regards coin processing or coin processing equipment." Although one of its objectives is: "3.1.10 To facilitate and promote the development of industry measures to reduce payment-related fraud and criminal activities in payments;". This raises the question who is responsible for the efficiency of the banks and cash centres in weeding out counterfeit coins. APACS says:"There is no UK equivalent to the European Commission's Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)" and "no list of certified sterling coin authentication machines." APACS continued that, "On to the subject of "standards/good practice guides" we feel that the Royal Mint as the "manufacturer" of the coin is best placed to issue these". To the best of the editors knowledge no such guides exist. The editor has had a problem finding a body that accepts responsibility for the oversight/regulation of the banks/cash centres coin operations. In the last analysis it should be the British Treasury but they are refusing to talk to him.

When asked what percentage of circulating one-pound coins the banks and cash centres authenticated prior to re-issue APACS could not give a definitive answer. They did say that, "The bank and security company cash centres use Scan Coin 4000 machines to count, sort and check for counterfeits. This year, Scan Coin has worked with the Royal Mint to review its settings and has recalibrated all the processors' machines using samples provided by the Mint. This has resulted in a significant increase in the number of counterfeits being identified and returned to the Mint for checking and destruction. It should be noted, however, that the two models of Scan4000 currently in use cannot identify all counterfeits: the newer bi-metallic model can identify up to 40-45% of known counterfeits whilst the older model can only identify 12-20%." Obviously there is a urgent need to at least replace all of the older Scan Coin 400 machines. Also needed is work with companies such as Scan Coin to investigate further improvement to their technology. It would appear that usefulness of automated, visual inspection techniques needs investigation but who will fund such an investigation?

STOP PRESS: in January 2009 "The Independent" newspaper reported the Royal Mint's autumn 2008 survey of one-pound coins had found 2.58% were counterfeit.

[Sources: Hansard, Royal Mint, APACS]

Photographs of the latest addition to the editor's reference collection of one-pound counterfeit coins. P45 nominally dated 2004. Click on the photograph to see a larger image.

British one-pound coin counterfeiting: a further update

Reproduced from http://www.coinauthentication.co.uk/newsletter12.html

The size of the problem

The first six months of 2009 saw an unprecedented amount of coverage by Britain's national media of the number of counterfeit one-pounds in circulation. This started on 29th January when Martin Hickman, "The Independent", unveiled the results of the Royal Mint's autumn 2008 survey of circulating one-pound coins. This survey showed an increase of of counterfeit one-pounds found from 2.06% in autumn 2007 to 2.58% in autumn 2008. These latest figures meant one in every forty one-pound coins circulating was counterfeit, a total of about 37.5 million counterfeit coins. The survey sampled 15,481 coins from 31 places in October and November 2008. The highest level of fakes was found in Northern Ireland at 3.6% with London and the South-East second highest at 2.97% counterfeits found. As is current Fleet Street practice this story was copied, without acknowledgement, by a number of the other national daily papers.

On 8 April Ben Ando, BBC News, reported the views of Andy Brown, Willings Services Ltd, that the number of counterfeit one-pound coins in circulation was much larger than found by the Royal Mint. Willings make machines to check coins for other organisations such as local council car parks. They had found that up to 5% of the one-pound coins they tested were counterfeit. This is twice the Royal Mint findings and would mean one in every twenty one-pound coins is a counterfeit or up to 73 million counterfeit coins. Again this story was picked up by a number of national media outlets with very little original input.

Finally at the end of July, Ken Peters, President of the Counterfeit Coin Club, release the results of a survey carried out by the club. Their volunteer "checkers" examined over 15,000 one-pound coins and found 3.26% were counterfeit. This would mean one in every thirty circulating one-pound coins being counterfeit or 48 million counterfeits. The survey did not include any "checkers" from Northern Ireland or Scotland, and London was under represented. Based on the Royal Mint's regional figures this survey would have been expected to find less than the 2.58% found by the Royal Mint's survey. Unfortunately this significant survey was not reported by the national media.

Police activity, arrests and court cases

12 March 2009, the Italian financial police reported the arrest of two brothers, in the Tuscany region, and the seizure of an illegal mint making one-pound counterfeit coins. The police believe the minting equipment was about to be dismantled and sent to England. One of the brother had previously been a long term resident in Britain. The press(es?) and notching(?) machines seized by the police were reported to have been supplied from companies that normally supply the gold jewellery trade. A photograph of a supposedly seized fake one-pound coin shown in "Arezzo Notizie" is a copy of the relatively recently introduced 2008 coin with the reverse designed by Matthew Dent. The only UK report of these arrests appeared as a brief paragraph in London's "Evening Standard". The Google translation of the "Arezzo Notizie" report concludes with, "..investigations are continuing at the international level to determine whether criminal organisations are involved".

4 May 2009, "This is Stanworth" reported that a twenty-year old Birmingham man was arrested after allegedly fleeing from the Tamworth branch of the National Provincial Bank where he had attempted to change a £500 bag of counterfeit one-pound coins.

28 May 2009, "The Liverpool Echo" reported on a court case that saw the conviction of a local businessman and another man described as his "foot soldier". In 2006 the businessman used his six petrol stations to laundered up to £200,000 of counterfeit one-pound coins into accounts at the NatWest Bank. A drum of counterfeit one-pound coins was found at a storage room at the businessman's home. The police found £22,500 fake coins in bags of the home of the "foot soldier", who was responsible for bagging and depositing the money. The prosecution stated that the practice of using steel drums to contain one-pound coin counterfeits was proved when police stopped a van containing identical drums near Heathrow airport. They contained £400,000 in fake coins. Although Hounslow is near Heathrow airport, see CCN10, it seems informative that the airport was used to describe the location rather than just London. The businessman was gaoled for two years and the "foot soldier" for eight months.

29 May 2009, "Kent on Line" reported the arrest of four men after a raid on an illegal mint making fake one-pound coins on a farm just outside Sittingbourne, Kent. Three of the men were charged with possessing, producing and manufacturing counterfeit coins. The forth was bailed pending further enquiries. Police confirmed that, "thousands of pounds of counterfeit coins and a press machine were found". The farmer who owned the barn involved said that it had been rented out to the same person for five or six years.

[Sources: The Independent, BBC News, Ken Peters, AGI News, Toscana TV, Arezzo Notizie, La Nazione, IGN, Evening Standard, Mail Online, This is Tamworth, Liverpool Echo, This is Kent, Kent News]

British one-pound coin counterfeiting reaches a "level of political significance"

Reproduced from http://www.coinauthentication.co.uk/newsletter13.html

The British Treasury posted a number of documents onto their website in January 2010 in response to a "Freedom of Information" request by an unknown party. The documents consist of a thirty-page narrative group of minutes and memos from November 2008 to May 2009. Also posted were the last three of the Royal Mint's reports of their six-monthly surveys on the number of counterfeit one-pound coins found in circulation. Individual names and the names of propriety instruments and equipment have been hidden in the documents. However apart from this, they presumably present all the documented information concerning the counterfeit one-pound coin problem involving HM Treasury over this period. It is usual to exempt advice to ministers in such cases.

The first narrative group document is the minutes of a meeting between HM Treasury and the Royal Mint, APAC (the group representing banks, cash centres etc.) and SOCA (the Serious Crime Agency) on the sixth November 2008. The meeting chairperson opened the meeting by stating that it was, "the first opportunity that all parties had met to discuss the issue". The meeting chairperson also advised that, "the issue of counterfeits had achieved" (a) "level of political significance and the Treasury Minister had been briefed accordingly." For those wondering what had caused this "level of political significance" they should remember that on 22nd September 2008 Ben Ando's BBC News report was broadcast and subsequently picked-up by most of the British media. So although the problem of one-pound coin counterfeiting had been becoming more and more serious since 2002 it was only after it became a major news story that HM Treasury felt the need to rouse itself.

For the record these documents tabulate all the results of the Royal Mint's surveys of the number of counterfeit one-pound coins in circulation.

Survey Date
Percentage counterfeits found
November 2002
November 2003
November 2004
November 2005
May 2006
November 2006
May 2007
November 2007
May 2008
November 2008
May 2009

These documents also record the annual number of counterfeit one-pound coins withdrawn and sent to the Royal Mint for destruction. It is obvious that in 2008-2009 the banks and cash handlers suddenly awoke to the need to start removing more of the counterfeit coins from circulation. The documents appear to imply that this increase came with a problem of increasing numbers of genuine coins being wrongly identified as counterfeit.

Number of counterfeits withdrawn

The documents show that only about ten percent of the one-pound coins passing through the cash centres were authenticated in automatic machines. These machines were only identifying about thirty percent of the counterfeit coins they examine. There did not appear to be much confidence that this figure could be increased with the current technology. APACS which has now renamed itself the Payments Council said in a letter they sent to HM Treasury on the 27th November 2008 that, "..the unpalable fact is that good quality counterfeits cannot be identified by machine". The Royal Mint in a briefing paper to HM Treasury admitted that full authentication by the current machines would, "..reduce the counterfeit level to around two percent." This estimate seems to ignore the future input of further "good quality counterfeits" into the system.

Other points from the documents include:

•In November 2008 SOCA, "..estimated that currently there is only one major group of counterfeiters in operation."
•SOCA also stated, "Counterfeits are usually distributed in bulk at supermarkets or laundered through legitimate accounts or over time, through small businesses."
•HM Treasury is of the opinion that the Banking industry etc. has a responsiblity not to pass on counterfeit coins under the Counterfeiting and Currency Act. This appears to be disputed by the Payment Council.
•HM Treasury authorised the payment of up to £50,000 to non-Payment Council members to cover the cost of transportation of any counterfeit coins found to the Royal Mint for destruction. It would appear financial arrangements already existed for Payment Council members.
•The Royal Mint was of the opinion that the measures planned: new literature, training courses for cash handlers, a hopeful increase in the counterfeit withdrawals by the cash handlers, increased activity by SOCA etc. "..should reduce the high profile nature of the problem for the time being."

Another six months news on one-pound counterfeiting

August 2009 to January 2010 provided news of many developments in the UK's counterfeit one-pound problem. This news seemed to vary from the serious through the frivolous to the farcical.

In September 2009 the operator of the Mersey Tunnels, Merseytravel, announced that £86,000 of counterfeit one-pound coins had been passed in their tollbooths in the previous six-months. A spokesman said that the counterfeits, "were detected by sophisticated electronic equipment in the cash collection system." It is believed this equipment was used after the counterfeit coins had been accepted by the operator.

Police forces in a number of areas of the UK issued warnings about high levels of counterfeit one-pound coins circulating. These areas included Lancashire, the Isle of Man and Ulster. An initial police warning in Ulster caused chaos when the counterfeits were identified as being bright and shiny and with no beads around the rim. This resulted in many shops and customers refusing to accept the genuine 2008/9 Matthew Dent designed one-pound coins. These, of course, are bright and shiny and have no beads around the the rim. It required the Royal Mint to issued a clarifying statement to prevent this farce deteriorating further. A BBC Northern Ireland news story and video covers this very well.

Court cases

In December 2009 two cases involving the manufacture of counterfeit one-pound coin came to court. The first case at Maidstone involved an illegal mint found in Kent. A 49-year old man pleaded guilty to two charges of making counterfeit £1 coins, and having counterfeiting materials. His uncle was found not guilty and the jury could not reach a verdict on his father. There is likely to be a retrial of the 70-year-old father. £8,000 of struck counterfeit coins were found at this mint along with 14,000 coinage blanks.

In the second case, Yasin Patel, 45, of Blackburn, pleaded guilty at Sheffield Crown Court to three charges of conspiracy to supply counterfeit currency. The case involved both counterfeit banknotes and coins. Patel was accused of being part of the gang supplying the north-west of England with counterfeit bank notes obtained from London. He was also accused of manufacturing one and two-pound counterfeit coins. He supposedly melted metal on a stove and cast it into molds to produce the counterfeit coins. He then used electroplating equipment to coat the counterfeits. 6,000 counterfeit one-pound coins were seized. Mr. Patel's sentencing was deferred. He had previously been part of the so called "Heckmondwicke counterfeiting case" in 2000.


Coin handling equipment company, Willings Services Ltd, have posted on to the web a catalogue of the counterfeit one-pound coins they have identified.

"Brian" has started a FaceBook site calling for a boycott of one-pound coins because of the counterfeiting problem. He aims to get two million members for the group but at the time this newsletter was being published only 130 people had signed up for the group. CCN shares "Brian's" concerns but does not agree with his proposed solution.

Also see the November entry in the Diary section.

[Sources: HM Treasury, BBC News, Click Liverpool, Wirral News, Newry Democrat, Belfast Telegraph, Kent On-line, This is Kent, Blackburn Citizen, Willings, YouTube, Facebook]

The above photographs show a 2007 dated counterfeit one-pound coin found in Shepherd's Bush Market, London, in August 2009. The coin had the correct alignment and weighed 9.295g.

Note:- This page is under construction and some of the information will NOT be accurate at present!!!!


Type 1 - 1996

Inscription is half missing, Not centred correctly and Coin is only 80% milled.Should be a Celtic cross butShows rampant lion from 1994's pound coin

Type 2 - 1992

Colour on this coinSilver of the metal below is blatantly showingSlightly too large and misshapenThe year, edge inscription and reverse picture again all tie up

Type 3 - 2001

Texture of the front of this coin just looks wrongHas a 'sprayed' lookEdge inscription is of very poor quality and is only partially milledReverse Celtic cross isn't as clear as it should be and is obviously lacking in any detailVery slightly too bigThe year, edge inscription and reverse picture again all tie up

Type 4 - 1992

Face on this fake isn't quite centrally stampedThe edge is 90% milledQuality of the lettering on the face stamp isn't marvellous"DECUS ET TUTAMEN" is stamped around the edgeThe reverse shows a thistle sprig in a coronetShould be an oak tree in a coronet

Type 5 - 1995

Colour of it is truly awfulIsn't as clearly and centrally stamped as it should be1994 Scottish rampant lion has been used Should have a Welsh dragonHas "DECUS ET TUTAMEN" arpound the edgeShould have an edge inscription of "NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT"Edge font isn't even spaced properly

Type 6 - 1997

Front of this coin is again poorThe lettering is blobby Can't see any of the small holes in the 'A', 'B' or '9'Border often merges with the surrounding dotsHas the royal coat of armsShould havethree lions on the reverseEdge is only about 60% milled and the Edge inscription isn't actually in a straight line.


Type 7 - 1996

Reverse of the coin. It's not clearly stampedHardly read the letteringBig gap between the edge and the dotted border around the top left hand sideOn the bottom right the dots merge into the edgingBasically not been stamped centrallyEdge font used in the is clearly wrongDepth of the inscription varies, The 'D' of "DECUS" is practically non-existant, Whereas the 'A' of "TUTAMEN" is quite deep

Type 8 - 2001

Both front and back are quite clearly stampedFront isn't quite centralSome of the border dots are missingCoat of arms shownShould be Celtic cross on the reverseEdge inscription is so faintOnly 60% of the edge is milled and most of the letters are practically invisible!

Type 9 - 2000

Should have "PLEIDIOL WYF I'M GWLAD" inscriptionHas "DECUS ET TUTAMEN" insteadEdge is only partially milled and The 'cross crosslet' or 'Llantrisant Mint Mark' is pretty much totally missing

Type 10 - 2000

Front and back are quite clearly stampedNot been stamped totally centrally, but it's 99.9% there Can see the slightly raised edge on the reverse side Should have Welsh Dragon Has Celtic crossHas "DECUS ET TUTAMEN" correctly inscribedPoor quality of the inscription

Type 11 - 1989

colour is a bit too dark Should have a Scottish thistleHas the 89 Ornamental Royal Arms should have had "NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT" as the inscriptionHas "DECUS ET TUTAMEN" inscriptionvery poorly inscribed only half the coin has a milled edge

Type 12 - 1997

Front and back which don't look quite as sharp as it should andThe colour being very slightly offThree Lion reverse does match correctlyShould have "DECUS ET TUTAMEN" inscribed Has Welsh "PLEIDIOL WYF I'M GWLAD" insteadEdge has been well milled, but The lettering is pretty dire in places.



Forged pound obverse

Obverses of 1986 pound coins
Brass forgery on the left, genuine coin on the right.
Note the weak strike, uneven edge beads, and curved field of the forgery

Forged pound reverse

Reverses of 1986 pound coins
Brass forgery on the left, genuine coin on the right.
Note the weak strike, uneven edge beads and the curved field as for the obverse

Edges of forged pound coins

Edges of Forged One Pound coins
The edges are usually the real giveaway, and are strikingly odd when compared with a lot of other pound coins.


Fake on the top

Extracts from http://blog.alism.com/fake-one-pound-coins-part-one/#comment-4

Example #1:

As far as crooked £1’s go, this is pretty good and will easily pass as real from a ‘quick glance’. The front and back have been stamped centrally and clearly and the colour is good.

It’s much harder to achieve a readable edge inscription “DECUS ET TUTAMEN” though and it’s this that gives this coin away as being fake when inspected more closely. The inscription is half missing, not centred correctly and the coin is only 80% milled.

The year on the front of this coin is 1996. The reverse for this year should be a Celtic cross. Oops! Those not so clever fakers have stamped a Rampant Lion from 1994’s pound coin on the back.

Example #2:

In contrast to the previous example, it’s the colour on this coin that tips you off to it being a fake. I’d imagine that when this coin was freshly counterfeited, it was a pretty good copy. A few years in circulation and the signs of wear give it away now though. But, the fakers aren’t really going to give a toss if it doesn’t stand the test of time, are they.

As you can see from the picture, the silver of the metal below is blatantly showing. You can see on the reverse where I’ve scratched off the ‘gold top coat’ with my fingernail! When compared against a real pound coin, this fake is also very slightly too large and misshapen. Doh! You’d have trouble passing this bad boy through a vending machine then.

Example #3:

The texture of the front of this coin just looks wrong. It has a ’sprayed’ look, which probably doesn’t come across that well in the picture. Both front and back are centrally stamped, but the edge inscription is of very poor quality and is only partially milled. The reverse Celtic cross isn’t as clear as it should be and is obviously lacking in any detail. When compared to a genuine £1 coin, it’s again very slightly too big.

Having said that, it’s another fairly good copy and could easily be passed off.

Quite remarkedly, the year, edge inscription and reverse picture again all tie up. It’s unbelievably common for them to not match, as you’ll see…

Example #4:

The face on this fake isn’t quite centrally stamped. The edge is 90% milled. The quality of the lettering on the face stamp isn’t marvellous.

As you can see, the face is stamped 1992 and “DECUS ET TUTAMEN” is stamped around the edge. The reverse shows a thistle sprig in a coronet. Doh!! Those pesky fakers have got it wrong again. 1992 was an oak tree in a coronet!


Example #5:

This was the first ever counterfeit coin that I noticed when I was given it in change. How did I spot it? Well, frankly because it’s a piss poor copy! It’s perhaps not obvious from the above picture, but the colour of it is truly awful. Take a look at this - it’s the same coin compared to a real pound. You can see how the colour would stand out in a pile of real £1 coins. It’s also easy to see that the fake isn’t as clearly and centrally stamped as it should be.

Oh… shock horror! The reverse image is wrong (yet again). The front has been stamped 1995, which was a Welsh £1 coin year. We should have a Welsh dragon, but a 1994 Scottish rampant lion has been used instead. Clang!

1995 should have an edge inscription of “NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT“, but on this coin we find “DECUS ET TUTAMEN“. The edge font isn’t even spaced properly, so it just looks odd.

Quite a few mistakes there then! Don’t worry, it can only get better…

Example #6:

The front of this coin is again poor. It’s a shame as the colour is pretty good. The lettering is blobby and you can’t see any of the small holes in the ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘9′. The border often merges with the surrounding dots.

1997 had three lions on the reverse. Oh dear, oh dear. Here we have the royal coat of arms (which has incidentally been stamped very well - even if it is the wrong picture!). The edge is only about 60% milled and the edge inscription isn’t actually even in a straight line.

Example #7:

Wow, this is strange! A coin where the year, the edge inscription and the reverse picture all match what they should be! Amazing. What gives this away as being fake then?

Take a look at the reverse of the coin. It’s not clearly stamped. You can hardly read the lettering. Is that just wear? Nope.

Take another look, this time at the dotted border around the coin. There’s a big gap between the edge and the dotted border around the top left hand side. Then, on the bottom right the dots merge into the edging. It’s basically not been stamped centrally.

Still not convinced?

It’s difficult getting a good picture of the edge of a coin, I’ve made you take my word for what’s on the edge in previous examples, but here I took the extra effort to show you.

In the picture above, the coin at the top is genuine the other is the counterfeit. The ‘T’s from the start of the word “TUTAMEN” on each coin have been lined up.

The ‘N’ from the end of the word “TUTAMEN” should therefore line up. It doesn’t. You can see the font used in the counterfeit is clearly wrong. In fact, it looks more like a small soldering iron has been used to inscribe it by hand as the lettering is very uneven. The depth of the inscription varies, the ‘D’ of “DECUS” is practically non-existant, whereas the ‘A’ of “TUTAMEN” is quite deep.

Phew. I only have one other fake… currently!

Example #8:

Here’s another that could easily pass for real. Both front and back are quite clearly stamped, however if you look closely, the front isn’t quite central. The reverse is, however you’ll notice that some of the border dots are missing. Strange.

The year on the front is 2001. We should be seeing a repeat of the 1996 design - a Celtic cross on the reverse. We’ve got… another coat of arms instead. A clear counterfeit then.

The edge inscription on this is what gives the coin away though. Mainly because it’s so faint! I’ve lined up the ‘D’ of “DECUS” on both coins this time…




Example #9:

As far as fake pound coins go, this isn’t bad. Actually, none of the fakes in this post are particularly poor. They could all be quite easily passed on.

Here we’ve got a year 2000 coin (at least that’s what it’s stamped). We should find ourselves a nice Welsh dragon on the reverse. Oooh, we do! So far so good.

We can also expect a Welsh “PLEIDIOL WYF I’M GWLAD” inscription. Ahhh. This is where it goes a bit Pete Tong and we get a quite poorly inscribed “DECUS ET TUTAMEN” instead. The edge is only partially milled and the ‘cross crosslet’ or ‘Llantrisant Mint Mark’ is pretty much totally missing. That’s the little cross that sits between the word “TUTAMEN” and “DECUS” before you ask! Oh, you can see a picture of this at the end of the post…


Example #10:

I would probably say that this is one of the better quality fakes I’ve seen! The front and back are quite clearly stamped. In fact, there’s a surprising amount of detail on both sides. It’s not been stamped totally centrally, but it’s 99.9% there. You can see the slightly raised edge on the reverse side at the top right which shows it’s not quite perfect.

Moving on. You can see it’s another year 2000 coin, this one has got a Celtic cross on the reverse though, not the Welsh Dragon that a genuine would have. It does have “DECUS ET TUTAMEN” correctly inscribed. But again, it’s the poor quality of the inscription that alerts you that this is a counterfeit coin.

Example #11:

Probably the worst of the bunch. The colour is a bit too dark and makes it just look suspicious. I’m sure most people would think that it’s been discoloured naturally however.
1989 was a Scottish year and had a thistle on the reverse, which only goes to prove that this ‘89 Ornamental Royal Arms backed coin isn’t legit.

We should have had “NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT” as the inscription, but yet again the fake reads “DECUS ET TUTAMEN“. I guess this is the phrase most people associate with one pound coins, regardless of the image on the reverse. It’s very poorly inscribed and only half the coin has a milled edge.

Last one then…

Example #12:

This just looks a bit dodgy! It’s difficult to explain and doesn’t really come across in the scan above, but I guess it’s the detailing on front and back which don’t look quite as sharp as it should and the colour being very slightly off.

It’s been stamped 1997 and the Three Lion reverse does match correctly. Shock!

Most fakes seem to have “DECUS ET TUTAMEN” inscribed around the edge, so you’d almost expect this to have it too. It’s a fakers favourite and it would also be the correct inscription after all. Rather oddly then, this one has the Welsh “PLEIDIOL WYF I’M GWLAD” instead. Hmmm, odd! It’s this coin that made me think that perhaps these mistakes aren’t always intentional. The edge has been well milled, but the lettering is pretty dire in places.

…and finally…

I probably should of thought out this part a little more, but not to worry! The pic above has got all the coins I mentioned above, sandwiched inbetween 2 genuine coins for comparison. The first stack shows the coins lined up with the ‘cross crosslet’ I mentioned earlier. The second stack is rotated slightly to better show the quality of the lettering.

In order then, the coin stack is:

1st (top): Genuine 1985
2nd: Example #12
3rd: Example #11
4th: Example #9
5th: Example #10
6th (bottom): Genuine 2001