Scammers faking 'error' £1 coins

One of the 'error' £1 coins

Unscrupulous scammers are attempting to fake 'error' versions of the new 12-sided pound coins and sell them for inflated sums on eBay.

In some cases, all or part of the centre silver area is missing from the coin, in others, the queen's head is on the wrong side, or else blank and shiny. Sellers are asking anywhere from £3.50 up to £20 for these coins.

SEE ALSO: 10 surprisingly valuable coins in your wallet: the ones you don't know about

SEE ALSO: Do you have one of these valuable £2 coins?

However, they are actually worthless, says Chris Perkins of the Check Your Change website.

"It's fairly easy (so I hear) to push out the middle part of the new £1 coin and the same for the £2 coins. Anyone that does so and tries to fool people into thinking it's some kind of error and was made that way, either by describing it as such, not describing it at all, or claiming to innocently know nothing about it, is clearly of very dubious character. People that break coins are also committing a crime," he says.

"Genuine error collectors know what genuine error coins look like and always understand exactly what went wrong during production."

However, there are half a dozen genuine variations of the coin in circulation - and some are extremely rare.

So what should you look out for?

There are already hundreds of millions of the standard 2016 coin in circulation, and hundreds of millions more are being minted dated 2017. These, of course, are worth only their face value of £1.

However, there are rarer versions to be found. Around 235,000 'trial pieces' dated 2016 were minted for loan to vending machine companies, and many are believed to have made it out into circulation.

And according to the Check Your Change website, at least two coins have been found that have the standard 2016 design on one side, but the 'trial piece' design on the other - making them likely to be pretty valuable.

Another of these so-called 'mule' coins consists of the standard 2016 design on one side and the standard 2017 design on the other. About 50 have been reported so far.

Finally, there's the 'Brilliant Uncirculated' pair of coins, minted last year and with a cross crosslet mark below the left side of the crown. Around 10,000 of these will be made.

And there are some genuine error coins out there, says Perkins.

In one, known as a partial collar error, part of the outer rim lacks the ribbed texture, and splays slightly outwards to form what appears to be a raised lip around the edge.

In the other, it looks as if the collar, or mould, has broken during the minting process.

"Metal has splayed out upon strike impact and this has caused a little chain reaction with the silver coloured centre part being pushed to fill the void in the brass outer part," says Perkins.

"On extreme cases the movement of metal has caused a gap between the outer ring and centre part of the coin."

So far, he says, quite a few have been found - and could be valuable to collectors.

Incredibly valuable coins
See Gallery
Incredibly valuable coins
This Australian coin was the first half crown minted under Edward VII. The price for a Melbourne coin in good condition is particularly high because around half of them were produced with faults. It’s now worth £7,500 and has risen in value some 13,789% since it was first in production

The only half crown on the list gets its position from its rarity value. However, the fact this is a silver coin rather than a gold one does affect its value - so it’s worth £10,500. It’s significantly less than others on the list - but it has still appreciated 79,445%.

This is the newest coin in the top ten, and the first year that sovereigns were produced featuring the Queen. The coin was produced in small numbers for investors - rather than for circulation - so is thought to be worth £12,500, due to its rarity.
This is another collectable gold coin prized for its rarity value. It’s worth £15,000 today and has appreciated 191,716%
This was issued in very small numbers, as it was produced during WWI. As a result, few are available - especially as uncirculated coins - so one in good condition will fetch £16,000.
This is another coin prized for its rarity, thanks to a relatively low number being minted, and more being taken out of circulation during WWI. It’s now thought to be worth £17,000 after appreciation of 42,084%.
This 1926 coin has shot up in value and is now worth £31,500. The rise in value is partly to do with a very low mintage, and partly to do with the fact that people were asked to hand their sovereigns over to be melted down during WWI, which took many of them out of circulation.
This brass threepence from 1937 has benefited enormously from the fact that Edward didn’t stick around for long to get too many coins struck in his image before he abdicated. It is now worth £45,000.
This 1933 penny has seen a stunning appreciation in value and is valued at a whopping £72,000 today. The value is due entirely to rarity. Only around seven British versions of this coin were minted, and were intended for the King to bury under the foundation stones of new buildings. They have been subject to theft, and a few are said to be in private hands now.
This isn’t the oldest coin in the list, but it was produced in a year when all gold coins were recalled and exchanged for paper money - so the vast majority were melted down. Its rarity and popularity puts it head and shoulders above the rest. It is worth an eye-watering £6,500,000, and has increased in value 2,178,885% since it was produced.

Read Full Story