Reports that a counterfeit version of the new £1 coin have been spotted by a member of the UK public are likely false, says the Royal Mint.
Several newspapers are carrying the story that a charity worker was given a counterfeit of the new 12-sided coin – which is packed with anti-counterfeit features – at a supermarket in Addlestone, Surrey. SecuringIndustry.com contacted the Royal Mint for its take on the story, and received this statement in response.
"The Royal Mint has not had an opportunity to examine the coin, but is confident that this is not counterfeit," said Jenny Manders, who the organization's press office and campaigns manager. "We are not aware of any counterfeits entering circulation but welcome the public's caution," she added.
The new coin came into circulation in the UK last month amid claims it was the "most secure coin in the world", with new safety features including a hologram-like image and a covert authentication feature. The unnamed recipient of the supposedly fake coin says it is heavier, has more rounded edges and lacks detail. He also claims there is no hologram.
The Mint suggests that that the changes may result from the sheer volume of coins being struck, and variations introduced during the production process.
"The organisation produces around five billion coins each year, and will be striking 1.5bn new £1 coins in total," said Manders.
"As you would expect, we have tight quality controls in place, however variances will always occur in a small number of coins, particularly in the striking process, due to the high volumes and speed of production."