If you’ve read the previous two parts in this ‘series’, you’ll probably be quite familiar with common mistakes that counterfeiters make. It never really occured to me before, but perhaps fakers intentionally make ‘errors’ so that they can distinguish their own dodgy currency lying around from the pukka stuff that can be easily spent / laundered / exchanged / banked etc…? You’ll perhaps see what I mean later.
Anyway, remember, about 1 in every one hundred poind coins is supposedly counterfeit, so you’ve probably had quite a few in the past and just never noticed… read on…!
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…
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 also has “DECUS ET TUTAMEN” incorrectly inscribed instead of “PLEIDIOL WYF I’M GWLAD”. But again, it’s the poor quality of the inscription that alerts you that this is a counterfeit coin.
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…
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.
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
I probably won’t do another of these again (“hurrah” you say!), or at least not this angle for quite a long while. Mainly because I’ve again run out of hooky quids and also as I’ve covered most of the main ways of spotting them over the last few posts. I haven’t really covered coin weight, simply because I haven’t got an accurate enough way to measure it!
Hopefully that little lot has been mildly interesting. Good job I gave a geek warning before I began isn’t it! ;-)