WITH about 45 million fake pound coins in circulation and a suspected counterfeiter on the loose in Bolton, we have put together a handy guide on how to spot a forgery.
It comes as chancellor George Osborne announces that a new £1 coin, designed to help reduce counterfeiting, will be introduced in 2017.
Mr Osborne revealed plans to introduce the new coin — billed by the Royal Mint as "the most secure coin in the world"— in his budget statement to the House of Commons.
In the meantime, check the pound coins in your own wallet and look for these tell-tale signs of a fake:
- The date and design on the reverse do not match (the reverse design is changed each year).
- 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.