View Full Version : The Fake Pound

22nd Sep 2008, 02:26
random sampling tests carried out earlier this year showed that approximately 2% of pound coins are fake

I think I had one earlier today given as change; my 14 y.o son looked at it, muttered something about it being pony and then threw it in the charity collection bin in the shopping centre.

Can't we just collect all the dud ones and give them as bonus's to the nice squeaky-clean city traders?

BBC NEWS | UK | Number of fake 1 coins 'doubles' (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7628137.stm)

22nd Sep 2008, 02:30
Friend of mine from Oz who came to visit in London was given counterfeit notes by a prominent Australian bank. Poor bastard tried to pay a bar bill with a 50, they did the old pen test and told him it was counterfeit. Went into NatWest to try and get it sorted out, and they took all the 50s off him.

22nd Sep 2008, 02:40
Ouch! No comebacks and no returns I guess.


22nd Sep 2008, 02:42
Yeah, things were sorted out when he got back to Australia, but the bank maintained it was an "honest mistake"

One has to wonder how many other notes etc being held for foreign exchange aren't legit.

22nd Sep 2008, 02:45

Imagine all those hotels and railway-station/high-street exchange dives that 'know' they have bogus currency but don't want to take the hit themselves. I'm sure it goes on all the time.


22nd Sep 2008, 05:14
One is reminded of the tale about the small Furrin country which delved into its vaults for some gold with which to pay a foreign account, only to find said yellow metal had been switched for iron bars with a paint job, perhaps, it turned out, as long as eight years previously. Can't remember the name of the nation in question, but I think it was Germany who sent the bullion back with a terse note requesting the real stuff instead.

22nd Sep 2008, 05:37

22nd Sep 2008, 08:50
Are these pound coins being made by the same Irish forger who used to cut the corners off 50p pieces to make them into 10s? Just a few hours work and 2.50 worth of metal and he creates a nearly-perfect pound coin??


tony draper
22nd Sep 2008, 08:55
Bloke on the telly said if you get one and recognise it as snide, hand it in because it is a offence to pass it on, yer shure thing mate.:E

Dan D'air
22nd Sep 2008, 09:14
Several years ago, one of the South African nations (Lesotho) used a coin which was exactly the same size and weight as a 1 coin, but with different symbols on it. Minted by the Bank of England (which, incidentally has a nice little earner going on producing coins and notes for many other countries) it was worth about 8 pence over there. Imagine therefore, how long it took for some bright spark to hit on the idea of shipping them back here for use in vending machines etc..........

22nd Sep 2008, 09:20
Thanks Rollingthunder, I think that tallies with recall :ok:

'Tis all coming flooding back now, I do remember that two Austrian Schillings, stuck together with the gum off a bit of sellotape (transferred and applied with a spit-licked finger), used to fool the vending machines into believing they were a pound coin, which was very worthwhile when one had returned from the continent with a pocketful of Furrin schrapnel, and the Schilling was fourteen to the Pound.

Ee, them were't days. :E

22nd Sep 2008, 09:22
I know a guy who did very very well, out of manufacturing coin mechanisms. Unsurprisingly, the whole shabang was about weeding out fakes using pretty sophisticated scales and even lasers somehow, all built into the machines. Seems that since some fruit machines take thousands a day, it was well worthwhile going to the trouble.

22nd Sep 2008, 09:26
In the Olden Days, the validators in vending machines worked on a simple size-weight-density ratio thingy, based on the nickel content of a coin, much like Archimedes in his bath. Dunno if they still do.

22nd Sep 2008, 09:50
The end part of the article states;-

"It is a criminal offence to make or use counterfeited coins. Any member of the public who suspects they have a counterfeited coin should not attempt to spend it."

OK what do we do the said article, the coin not BBC, bring it to a bank and say this is a ringer or shove the afforementioned coin in our left nostril

This is a poorly written article - no sensible advice content - Ya typical BBC that we all (in the UK) pay for. PS where can I Buy Keuger Rands - go for gold. The Squids days are numbered - Off to E Bay for a big mattres.

PS 2% fakes - What is the margin for error in this statistic ?


Effluent Man
22nd Sep 2008, 10:26
I had a couple of twenties in a bundle given to me in payment for a car.Luckily I used them at an auction where I am a well known customer and they gave them to me back.I passed them on to my 19 year old son and he used them in a pub with no trouble.All about confidence in the currency.

22nd Sep 2008, 10:32
I do remember that two Austrian Schillings, .... and the Schilling was fourteen to the Pound.

I remember a similar thing used to apply when in Germany before the Euro. An old 10 pence piece was interchangeable with a 1DM coin. Therefore getting packets of cigarettes from German vending machines for 30p was all the rage at the time.


22nd Sep 2008, 10:49
2% are dodgy? How's that compare with 30%, the figure I've heard quoted for the percentage of USD100 bills circulating in the Middle East that are counterfiet. This, apparently, thanks to the fact that the main offenders counterfieting these notes "have access to printing presses available only to soverign governments". (How's that for politically correct diplospeak?) I will leave it to the imagination of the reader as to what Middle Eastern government that might be.

tony draper
22nd Sep 2008, 11:08
Uttering snide coins was heavily frowned upon int olden days, I believe the punishment for same was to be burned alive.
Prolly a hundred hours community service now,that'll discourage em.:E

22nd Sep 2008, 11:38
I'm afraid I must confess to taking part in the 10p/1 mark scam....

I recall that one of my brother-in-law's mates (b-i-l was in Germany for sometime) was actually nicked for hauling over 100 quids worth of 10 pences from Blighty.

He was done for the German equivalent of 'conspiracy to defraud'.

22nd Sep 2008, 11:51
I'm afraid I must confess to taking part in the 10p/1 mark scam....

In fact I am wavering slightly; if my aging memory serves me correctly it may even have been the old 5p pieces that did the job.. So long ago.


22nd Sep 2008, 12:13
Definitely the old 5p :ok:

22nd Sep 2008, 12:53
Oooer, I've just spoken to my b-i-l and you are quite right gents. It was the old 5p.

He remembers his mate getting nicked. It effectively ended his army career --not that he was too worried since they were off to the cuds....

22nd Sep 2008, 13:37
Correct. It was the old shilling -value, ermmmmm one shilling or 5 new pence.

At that time One DM was about 25p.

So using Shillings in the puggy or vending machine got you 5 times as much for your money.

I never had the foresight to bring a bunch of shillings back after my leave. Always too skint I expect.

What was that other scam involving pre 1948 shillings/ Florins etc?

22nd Sep 2008, 13:58
Was it a scam Barbie?

Seem to recall that pre-1948 coinage was worth more than its face value due to the higher silver content. Or was that the scam?!

22nd Sep 2008, 14:29

Can't remember. Something to do with the value of the metal- more nickel maybe?

Not a scam at all, but there was some way of making money with the older coins

mr fish
22nd Sep 2008, 17:13
dontcha just love the feeling you get when supermarket drones hold your notes up to check their validity, once in a while do the same back and watch their faces.:ok:

tony draper
22nd Sep 2008, 17:19
Had a go at making lead half crown in sproghood,they were never a great success, the faces used to get bubbles from the plaster of Paris mould,me Grandad told me to make the Plaster of Paris wi cold tea and that cured the bubble prob,one side used to be perfect but getting both sides perfect was beyond me ten year old mind,so one had to take up a honest trade.

22nd Sep 2008, 17:25
Have you seen the price of lead these days?
(and copper pipe for plumbing - is that a misnomer, 'plumbing' when it doesn't involve lead?)

Yer wiped joints are a thing of the past nowadays . . .

22nd Sep 2008, 17:41
There was a time (about thirty years ago) when the ring pulls from drink cans served very well for use in parking meters in London, not that one ever participated in the scam. :rolleyes:

22nd Sep 2008, 18:25
and with the rising price of copper, is it now the case the US one cent coin is worth more as scrap metal and if memory serves me right is being melted down for scrap by some - although I imagine you'd need alot of coins for it to be worthwhile

22nd Sep 2008, 18:40
Whereas the chaps that relieved Brinks Mat of a (significant) quantity of pure gold bullion had to smelt it and add copper coins before they could 'fence' it.
I suppose it went further after being 'diluted' . . .

22nd Sep 2008, 21:55
Read an interesting thing re. copper coins and Zimbabwe, I think the numbers are right, apparently at the time when a loaf of bread cost $Z 114,000 the one cent coin was still legal tender, and someone worked out that $Z 114,000 in one cent pieces contained about four and a half tons of copper, which was worth about $US 36,000.

mr fish
22nd Sep 2008, 22:39
G-CPTN--i read once it comes from the latin 'plumbum', as all roman water pipes and courses were made from lead.
some current theories postulate that lead poisoning brought about the decline of the roman empire.
certainly would explain why so many of the rulers were off kilter!! (er, you may already know that):ok:

22nd Sep 2008, 22:47
would explain why so many of the rulers were off kilter!!

So what's the current mob's excuse? :p

22nd Sep 2008, 23:04
They're just plumb crazy.

22nd Sep 2008, 23:16
When at uni we used to make 50p coins out of ice and feed them into the laundry machines.

22nd Sep 2008, 23:24
Now that is smart - no evidence remaining (apart from water, of course). I suppose that nowadays they might be able to trace DNA from the water, but not if it had evaporated?

James 1077
22nd Sep 2008, 23:25
I remember from back in school times that a 1993 penny coin would be accepted as a 20p coin in the various public phone boxes around the place.

We used to collect them and sell them for 5p each.

It only took a couple of months for the phone boxes to be recalibrated though - and it didn't work with anything other than 1993 penny coins.

22nd Sep 2008, 23:47
From:- Decimal Coins of the UK - The Change to Decimal Coinage (http://www.tclayton.demon.co.uk/dec.html)
In 1992 the metal used for the one penny and two penny coins was changed from bronze to copper coated steel. The use of a pure copper coating means that the colour of mint coins is slightly different. Also, as the density of steel is less than bronze and the weight was unchanged, the newer coins are noticeably thicker than the older ones.
The versions of these coins issued in the 1992 Mint and Proof sets are said to be bronze - only the circulation issue coins of that date were steel.
one pound coins were not issued for circulation dated 1998 and 1999.

22nd Sep 2008, 23:49
Now that is smart - no evidence remaining (apart from water, of course). I suppose that nowadays they might be able to trace DNA from the water, but not if it had evaporated?

Except that water in a washing machine doesn't arouse suspicions, does it?!

Another trick was to get some of those very thin plastic bags from the fresh veg aisle in the supermarket, insert coin into bag, feed coin into machine, turn knob to activate wash cycle then retrieve coin, et voila!

Those were the days...

23rd Sep 2008, 00:57
Not Friday yet but:

Judge: "So you saw this lady pass the one pound coin to the newsagent?

Policeman: "Yes sir".

Judge: "Counterfeit?"

Policeman: "Yes sir, she had two".

23rd Sep 2008, 01:52
And then of course there's the old Guinness label stuck to the car windscreen as the rego/tax label

23rd Sep 2008, 02:13
G-CPTN--i read once it comes from the latin 'plumbum', as all roman water pipes and courses were made from lead.
some current theories postulate that lead poisoning brought about the decline of the roman empire.
certainly would explain why so many of the rulers were off kilter!! (er, you may already know that)

Lead is still found in plumbing throughout the world... though being gradually replaced by other metals. It is not so very reactive and therefore not so actively dangerous as long as the pipes are kept filled with non-acidic water.

What reportedly did-in the affluent Romans at a rapid rate was the custom of flavouring their wine with lead salts -- to "sweeten" wines that were probably consistently too acidic for serious imbibing. A slow and inevitable decline in sense and health comes on inexorably when doing that.

23rd Sep 2008, 08:29
Can somebody please tell me how you can identify the fake pound??

23rd Sep 2008, 08:48
Fake Pound Coins Blog:

Part 1 (http://blog.alism.com/fake-one-pound-coins-part-one/)

Part 2 (http://blog.alism.com/fake-one-pound-coins-part-two/)

Part 3 (http://blog.alism.com/fake-one-pound-coins-part-three/)

23rd Sep 2008, 14:17
ORAC, thank you

23rd Sep 2008, 14:56
Apart from the initial transaction (when, presumably, the forger (and maybe the distributors) derived a greater return than their outlay) it matters not one fig if the pound token is false or not.
Provided every successive 'customer' gets a full reward in return for their tokens, Shirley, everything carries on unchanged (it is only when someone calls foul that the previous customer becomes 'unchanged' . . . )
After all, because some factory has been approved by HM Government doesn't mean that the content matches the face value.
Of course it would be wrong for anybody to manufacture their own 'coin' - as that would be fraud in that you would receive more in return than you have invested (but isn't that how most businesses operate?).

Scumbag O'Riley
23rd Sep 2008, 15:27
Quite right capn'.

Here's another fake pound


but they seem to take them in exchange for goods and services so why should I care.

I remember maybe twenty years ago an artist, think he was Swiss, who would offer to pay for meals with cartoon bank notes he would draw as he was dining. So he would have a meal costing, say, $20 and would draw a cartoon $100 bill which he would offer as payment. He would take the change in 'real' cash so he could spend it elsewhere. His work was very good and it was worth more than $100 so most restauranteurs would happily do the deal, if not he would pay for his dinner in the cash he made from his previous meal.

He travelled the world, and was considered a star. Until he came to England. Where he was jailed for counterfeiting.

Ever since the copyright symbol has been put on the notes of the realm so they could do him for something else too.

I would google him but that would be too easy.

23rd Sep 2008, 15:53
Don't really know what you're all rabbiting on about - forgery, counterfeit, whatever...

This bloke:

pictured on the Australian paper 10-dollar note, is Francis Greenway (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Greenway), an English bloke, as it happens, who was convicted in 1812 of forging a financial document, and sentenced to 14 years transportation.

So we got him, and revered him so much we printed his face on our money!