Published on February 2nd, 2015 | by Sally Wenham

Check The Change In Your Pockets And Purses

As many of us start to spend a little more freely following pay-day after what seems a very long January tightening our belts after Christmas, the Post Office Shop is interested to find that recent studies indicate that a staggering one in 30 One Pound coins are counterfeit. This is certainly a reason for you to check your change!

It is quite staggering to think that there are an estimated 30 million fake coins in circulation, which is one of the reasons why the Royal Mint has decided to change the design of the coins from 2017 onwards to protect them against counterfeiting. The new coin will use the same two-metal construction as the current £2 coin, however it will have 12 sides.

Given that there are such large numbers of fake coins currently in circulation, an obvious  question that springs to mind is ‘how do I spot one’? Although it is difficult to spot counterfeit coins due to the quality of them, here are some tips which could help you identify a counterfeit £1 coin:

Check The Date

Each face design of a coin corresponds to a particular year it was released into circulation. Here is a list from the Royal Mint which you can use to check your coins to make sure they match.

 Check The Edge

On genuine coins, the inscriptions on the edge of them are very distinct. Check the edge of your coins for poor or missing lettering as that could be a sign of a counterfeit. Also, genuine coins are a uniform depth.

Check The Design

A genuine £1 coin will have perfect alignment on both faces. If you hold the Queens head upright, the design on the opposite side should also face perfectly upright.

Check The Colour

Due to the nickel and brass mix used within £1 coins, they have a particular colouration. Counterfeit £1 coins will differ in colour from genuine coins. Another way to spot a counterfeit coin is to check for ageing, as legitimate coins age by passing through circulation, they lose their shine whereas imitation coins will maintain it.

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