It’s been touted as the world’s most secure currency but days after it emerged there could already be fakes, the new £1 coin has been hit with another scandal.
Sellers on eBay are parading a number of the 12-sided coins with apparently alarming design faults.
Coins are being offered for sale where the middle has fallen out – so they resemble Polo mints – while others are showing cracks or are warped.
And they are looking to make a few quid on the face value, offering them as a collector’s item for several thousand pounds.
The 12-sided coin was launched last September and officially went into circulation in March. It was billed as the most secure currency in the world thanks to the combination of metals, milling, holograms and design.
There are thought to be at least 30 million fake old round pounds in circulation, hence the Royal Mint move to replace it.
However, the new design appears to have hit some early teething issues.
One eBay seller is advertising a new coin which does not appear to have an effigy of the Queen engraved on it for £163. Another is offering a similar coin without the Queen for £2,500.
Others are offering damaged ‘Polo mint’ coins for several times their face value. And another was looking to get £5,000 for his cracked and damaged coin.
The Royal Mint has admitted there will be mistakes made in a production run of an estimated 1.5 billion.
A spokesman said: “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.”
The old and the new shape will co-exist until October when the round pound ceases to be legal tender.
Just days ago, charity worker Roy Wright claimed to have been given a fake new £1 coin.
He pointed to a number of subtle yet tell-tale engraving errors on the coin.