Confusion over counterfeit pound coins circulating in Northern Ireland has led to stores refusing genuine coins.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) issued a warning to retailers last month advising them to check for fake coins after several reports in the north west of the country.
Retailers were advised by the PSNI to watch out for £1 coins that are missing a ring of dots around its circumference and to refuse them if offered. However some genuine 2008 and 2009 £1 coins don’t have any dots leading to customers having genuine coins refused.
Royal Mint spokesman Kevin Clancy said that checking for dots was a “red-herring” when it comes to spotting counterfeit coins, the best ways to check are to assess the coin’s weight, colour and lettering.
The Royal Mint issued some advice on how to spot counterfeit coins:
- The lettering on the edge of the coin will be indistinct.
- Hold the coin so the Queen’s head is upright and facing you, the pattern on the reverse side should also be upright.
- Check the coin’s colour is correct, although genuine coins can become discoloured through circulation.
- The design of the coin should correspond with the official design for year of its issue.
It also advised retailers to hand any counterfeit coins they receive to their local police station.