A charity worker believes he has been handed a fake new £1 coin – despite claims it is the world’s most secure currency.
Roy Wright says he was given the 12-sided coin in change and suspects it has subtle but tell-tale signs of being a forgery.
According to Wright, the ‘forged’ coin is heavier, features the Queen’s head slightly more to the left, the edges more rounded, it has no hologram and there is no detail on the head of the thistle.
The new coin is meant to feature a hologram at the bottom which shows a ‘£’ symbol and the number ‘1’, depending on the light.
Wright says he noticed discrepancies when he went to pay for a takeaway that had been delivered to his home in Addlestone, Surrey.
“I have a bedside lamp which casts a different shade to the main light and as the coin passed underneath it in my hands one of the coins looked a different,” said the 48-year-old.
“I started looking at it more closely and paid the delivery man with another pound coin I had on me.
“I then compared it against three of the normal pound coins and realised it was completely different. It has a different thickness and is a different colour.
“The coin is completely different and is more rounded around the edge.
“There is clearly space between the engraving lines, it’s a different size, the Queen’s head is to the left, and there is no detail of the head of the thistle – it’s just a blob,” he said.
The Royal Mint launched the 12-sided £1 coin to replace the round pound last month in response to the vast number of counterfeit round pounds in circulation, thought to be more than 30 million.
The Mint said the new coin was the most secure currency in the world, packed with new measures from holograms to the metals used, making it virtually impossible to forge.
About 1.5 billion are being minted.
Thousands of “trial piece” coins were given to retailers to help calibrate or upgrade coin-handling equipment ahead of the real coin’s introduction on March 28.
They are not legal tender and cannot be used in shops – although they are fetching decent prices on eBay.
Wright said the coin was given to his partner last Friday when she went to a local shop to buy a three-line Euromillions lottery ticket which cost £7.50.
The Royal Mint has yet to comment on his claims. The round pound ceases to be legal tender in October.