I’m not sure whether I’m just particularly unlucky when it comes to being passed counterfeit pound coins, or whether I just happen to notice them more often. Either way, the amount of dodgy one pound coins in circulation must be enormous (1% I’m told).

Anyway, how do you spot them? Well here’s a few good examples of bent coins. It’s easier than you might think, as fortunately counterfeiters aren’t the sharpest tools…

Example #1:

Fake Coin #1 (click on image for larger version)

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:

Fake Coin #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:

Fake Coin #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:

Fake Coin #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!

Anyway, that’s enough dodgy pounds for now… more another time!

Part two and part three.

Comments on: "Fake One Pound Coins – Part One" (140)

  1. Dear Sir ,I have a pound coin with the inscription ” Amicus. Christi.Georguis. on it with a picture of a man o a horse and what appear’s to be j.j writte underneath the picture.Is this just a normal pound coin and I am unaware of it till now? It’s dated 2003 so recent.

  2. I have got a £1 coin, on the front is a coat of arms on the rear it has the queens head and written around the head is Elizabeth II DG REG. I has no date on it. Written around the edge of the coin is Decus et Tutamen. Is this a genuine coin?

  3. steve batham said:

    I have recently found a fake £1 with the word copy engraved alongside the queens head,is this some ploy to use some legal loop hole to avoid prosecution?

    • The Dark Numismatist said:

      Hi Steve,
      Just seen your post about the fake £1.
      I have several of these with the word ‘copy’ behind the queen’s neck, although on each of mine the word is almost obliterated. I know there are some where the word is very clear.
      It may be some misguided ploy, as you mention, although I doubt it. I think it may be that somewhere someone has produced such a die (a) with the intention of counterfeiting and possible had the same thought as you, or (b) somebody somewhere is producing replica coins for some dubious reason (maybe for collectors) and the counterfeiters have used one of these to make their dies. If you compare your coin with a genuine example you will notice the whole of the obverse has been re-engraved.
      As mentioned, I have a few of these with various reverses, and I would be quite interested to hear which date and reverse is on yours.

  4. I have two pound coins that are the same and they have the same date on it, but I do not know which one is fake and which one is real. The lettering does not match up on the side of the coin from the Queen’s head to the coin.

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