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Well, looky what I got today

And I’m pretty sure Uncle B gave it to me, too.

No, no…penicillin won’t be required — it’s a counterfeit £1 coin. The one on the left; there’s no writing along the edge. I was about to pass it to a shopkeeper when I noticed.

The pound coin has been counterfeited pretty much from the get-go. A pound is worth a buck sixty or so at the moment, so I guess the economics work out for somebody.

Upwards of one in thirty-six pound coins is a fake, despite banks and post offices pouring incoming coins through automated systems that detect fakes by weight. So somebody’s seriously pumping bad coin into the system.

Tips for detecting fakes are hilariously impractical: make sure the date on the front matches up with the design on the back, the two are properly aligned and the motto around the edge is correct for that year. Like I’m going to glance at my handful of change and exclaim, “my god, it’s got a Scottish Lion on the back, but the motto around the edge is ‘DECUS ET TUTAMEN +’ instead of ‘NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT +’! Plus, the date is 1998! And the Queen’s head is rotated 20° relative to the design on the back! BAH! Obvious forgery!”

Well, actually, these are Brits we’re talking. Maybe not so impractical. The geek gene runs powerfully through these people.

Mine is a weird one. The design on the back is correct for the date on the front and the two sides are in correct alignment, but the forger hasn’t attempted the edge motto at all. Also, the casting is a little soft and the color is a little brown. But, honestly, if they’d made ANY attempt at the motto, I would never have noticed.

It’s a crime to pass a counterfeit along once you’ve noticed; I’m supposed to get it to the Royal Mint somehow. So I’m out a buck sixty.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 20, 2011, 9:30 pm

Trivia: the design around the edge is stamped into the blank before the design on the two sides, so it’s about 50/50 which way up it reads.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: July 20, 2011, 11:10 pm

You lost a pound, eh? Must be a new weight loss system…..


Comment from Mark Matis
Time: July 21, 2011, 12:50 am

You’re out more than a buck sixty unless Her Royal Highness’s Postal Service will deliver the fake to the Royal Mint for free. I mean, surely you weren’t planning to hold on to a counterfeit coin now, were you?

Comment from Allen
Time: July 21, 2011, 1:18 am

Well, look on the positive side. If they had kept up the old hanging, drawing, and quartering for passing counterfeit coins, you might have been out a touch more.

Wasn’t soiling the till considered treason in ye olde times?

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: July 21, 2011, 1:27 am

It always surprises me how often we get students passing counterfeits at school. At least once a year, and when there’s one there’s usually a rash of them–that part’s not surprising, I suppose.

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: July 21, 2011, 2:06 am

1 in 36?

One wonders how many counterfeits Tesco, Boots, Harrods, etc turn in each year. Or do they just pass them on without checking?

Does the Yard have a counterfeiting unit? I would think so; have there been any significant busts? Or do the fakes come in from overseas?

Comment from JeffS
Time: July 21, 2011, 3:39 am

Throw it in a donation jar for some charity that you don’t like, Swease. Greenpeace, maybe.

Comment from Harbqll
Time: July 21, 2011, 4:43 am

My Dick arrived! Yay!!! And just in time for, um, Saturday! I’d actually forgotten about it, so when the package arrived, Evil Wife was asking what bizarre thing I had bought on eBay this time. I told her I didn’t remember, so she should leave the room while I open it, in case it was a bomb.

You can’t be too careful when it comes to packages from Britianistan.

Imagine my joy when I discovered not only had I not been killed in an explosion, but that I held in my hand not one, but TWO little dicks!

Comment from Carl
Time: July 21, 2011, 11:33 am

If I find any dubious coins in my change I put them aside to use in parking meters. Then it’s my local council’s problem.

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: July 21, 2011, 11:41 am

Be careful, Carl. The meter maids are carrying counterfeit detectors these days, and they have Tasers and guns…

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: July 21, 2011, 3:32 pm

If I ever win the dicks, you just keep them. That way you’ll be about even.

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: July 21, 2011, 5:24 pm

Here you can drop counterfeit moolah at the bank and let them take care of it. Can you do that here?

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: July 21, 2011, 6:24 pm

Errrr…can you do that there, not here. I already mentioned here.


Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: July 21, 2011, 7:01 pm

“One wonders how many counterfeits Tesco”

Am I the only one thinking about counterfeit tacos right now?

Comment from Mitchell
Time: July 21, 2011, 8:33 pm

Soft taco = counterfeit taco.

Comment from J.S.Bridges
Time: July 21, 2011, 10:36 pm

Just hang onto the lead quarter until you come across another one (to match, hopefully – people who pass that stuff tend to do so in bunches, I’m told); then, make a set of cufflinks or earrings or some such and sell them for a tenner – profit, or at least break-even, and it’s not illegal, since they’re phonies to begin with.

Life gives you lemons, make lemonade, then zest the peels, plant the seeds and feed the remainder to the chooks…

Comment from Mitchell
Time: July 21, 2011, 10:46 pm

Saw this and thought of you Stoaty: When weasels attack.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 21, 2011, 10:56 pm

Heh. That apparently was a real cover.

Comment from Sporadic Small Arms Fire
Time: July 27, 2011, 3:57 am

@mitchell, weasels ripped my flesh was frank zappa lp.
you ought to check _that_ lp cover someday

no discussion of weaselses’ formative influence on mankind can be had until someone with a great deal of chemical kentuck courage brings up http://wickedweasel.com/en-us

your stoatliness, is the weasel bikini a 3+ piecer?
how many sets of blouse kittens…
and is there a slender tube for the tail fur?

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