May 24, 2012 – Recently the press reported an increasing number of counterfeit British £1 coins, three out of hundred are alleged to be fake. It is quite easy to produce the monometallic coins. Yet officials are conjecturing the only and inevitable solution to be a costly recoinage.
In May London police arrested three persons suspected of counterfeiting coins in the East End. During a spectacular coup they had found out about the counterfeit gang locating their factory. The officers were astonished when they discovered not only fake £1 coins in a rented room in an office block, but even £2 coins amounting to a face value of around £2,000. Until then these bimetallic coins were considered to be more difficult to counterfeit. However it seems the counterfeiters hoped for a good chance to introduce their products more easily into circulation in occasion of the Olympic Games.
All coins were manufactured in the same way: metal was melted and filled into moulds. Over the centre of the fake £2 coins a penny was placed and the remaining circle was sprayed gold. Thus the men were able to produce around 1,000 coins per day.
The operation was led by Det Chief Insp Dave Evans who commented the finding: ‘With the set-up they had they could keep producing at a very steady rate – it’s just a matter of putting in the hours. It really is a cottage industry. The electricity voltage needed to run the machines is no more than to boil a kettle. It won’t have made much noise and could have been done around the clock.’
The Royal Mint informs about how to recognise counterfeit £1 coins.
Here an article reports on the recently rooted counterfeiter’s factory.