How To Spot A Fake £1 Coin

Pound coin

Apparently there are now 30 million fake £1 coins in circulation in the UK, so there’s a good chance that if you don’t have one in your wallet at the moment, you’ve probably unknowingly used one to liberate a trolley at the supermarket in the past.

The odd dodgy coin might not seem like a big problem, but when forged coins reach such a level it’s possible for confidence in that coin to “collapse” (everyone starts to think, “this must be a fake, I’m not going to accept it”), as happened in South Africa a few years ago, meaning a new coin design had to be minted.

So how do you spot a fake £1 coin?

Well, some aspects of a fake coin are fairly obvious, with poor markings and detail, such as on the queens head.

It’s also worth seeing if the designs on the 2 sides are ligned up – hold the coin with the Queen’s head upright towards you. Flip the coin over and the design on the reverse should also be upright – many fakes will have them misaligned.

It’s also possible to tell a fake by matching up the year the coin is said to be issued with the design on the reverse. This design changes each year, and you can see which design corresponds to that year on the Royal Mint website (the Latin motto should also match).

The fake coins could also be slightly different in colour and also might have the wrong typeface.

You can find out more on spotting fake £1 on the BBC website.

What should you do if you find a fake £1 coin?

This is where there is a problem – what should you do with a fake £1 coin? Well, you shouldn’t spend it, and you should probably hand it in to the police. But you’ll be a quid worse off. Which is why most people will probably try to spend the coin in a vending machine, or pass it off to an unsuspecting shopkeeper, and of course the problem just gets worse. Best to take the hit and hand it in though, I’m afraid.

One thought on “How To Spot A Fake £1 Coin

  1. I have two shield 2010 £1 coins. Put the coins design side down on the table so the Queen’s head is facing up and visible. The edge words Decus Et Tutamen are upright on one coin and upside down on the other. Is either a fake because of this?

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