Counterfeit One Pound Coins | The Royal Mint

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£1 Counterfeit Coins

The Royal Mint takes counterfeiting and fraud extremely seriously. To help identify genuine £1 coins we have prepared an easy-to-use guide and poster for you to download.

The Royal Mint regularly conducts surveys to estimate the level of counterfeit £1 coins in the UK. A survey undertaken in May 2015 found that the rate of counterfeit UK £1 coins in circulation at the time was 2.55%, compared to 3.03% in May 2014.

Provisions for various offences connected with the counterfeiting of coins are included in the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981. Enforcement of these provisions is entirely a matter for law enforcement agencies, such as the police and the Crown Prosecution Service.

Any amount of counterfeiting must be a matter of concern, and the Royal Mint is working closely with the Banks and Post Office to identify and withdraw counterfeits at cash centres.

It may not always be easy to spot a counterfeit £1 coin without close inspection. Features of counterfeit coins to look out for are set out below.

  • The date and design on the reverse do not match (the reverse design is changed each year). A list of designs and dates is available here.
  • The lettering or inscription on the edge of the coin does not correspond to the right year.
  • The milled edge is poorly defined and the lettering is uneven in depth, spacing or is poorly formed. The obverse and reverse designs are not as sharp or well defined.
  • Where the coin should have been in circulation for some time, the colouring appears more shiny and golden and the coin shows no sign of age.
  • The colour of the coin does not match genuine coins.
  • The orientation of the obverse and reverse designs is not in line.

Download Links

The United Kingdom's 1 Coin Designs

If you are unable to view the documents, you can download a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader for free from

Find out more about the New 12-sided £1 coin at