Fake £1 coins in the UK have reached epidemic proportions as new figures indicate there are £41 million counterfeit pound coins in circulation.

The record level of fake £1 coins means that one in every 36 is now a forgery.

No wonder we’re always cursing the machine when we try to top-up our Oyster card.

Experts and MPs said the level of fake £1 coins is now so high there is a risk that consumer confidence in the coin is damaged beyond repair.

Robert Matthews, the former Queen’s Assay Master at the Royal Mint, said: “If the number of fakes keeps increasing at this rate, there will have to come a point when the Treasury makes the decision whether to remint or not.”

Shopkeepers are the biggest loser in the fake £1 coin epidemic, as banks refuse to refund and counterfeits found in their tills.

How to spot a fake £1 coin

  • Poorly defined ribbed edge
  • Lettering on edge is indistinct or in the wrong typeface
  • Queen’s head and pattern on reverse should both point in the same direction
  • The design on back of coin should correspond with official design for year of its issue
  • Fake coins are often thinner, lighter and more yellow
  • Most fake coins won’t operate in vending machines

Tags: Fake coins, counterfeit coins, fake £1, counterfeit £1, Royal Mint