First post of 2011! Just when it seemed the Police had the pound coin forgers licked (or at least nicked) a possible new fake pound coin type has emerged, if not a new type it is certainly a new one to this area at least, far brighter and shinier than the previous ones:
Though the numbers of fake pound coins in circulation seems to have decreased over the last few months, I still wonder what impact they are having on the economy. Time to go back to the good ole £1 note!
The easiest way to spot them is still the poorly executed edge inscriptions:
Wikipedia says: “A Royal Mint survey in January 2009 estimated that 2.58% of all £1 coins in circulation are counterfeit. This represented a considerable increase, up from 2.06% a year earlier, with the highest level of counterfeits being in Northern Ireland (3.6%) and London and the South East (2.97%) and lowest in Northwest England. Some estimates place the figure closer to 5%. An earlier survey in 2006 gave an estimate of 1.7%, which itself was nearly twice earlier estimates.
In July 2010, it was reported there were so many counterfeit pound coins in circulation (about 2.81% or about 1 in 36) that the Royal Mint were considering removing the current £1 coin from circulation and replacing it with a new design. Bookmakers Paddy Power offered odds of 6/4 (bet £4 to make £6 profit) that the £1 coin would be removed from circulation.
One common method of detecting counterfeits (if the sound of the coin on a table or the colour of the metal does not indicate something suspicious) is to check whether the reverse matches the edge inscription for the alleged year – it is extremely common for counterfeiters to get this wrong. Also, the writing on the edge may be in the wrong font and look very poor (see image), and the coins often generally look much less sharp and defined, lacking intricate details. Most counterfeit £1 coins in circulation are made of brass, and most lead copies are easy to spot and are quickly removed from circulation.”
The British Museum is releasing a book on the Frome Hoard!
Found in April 2010 by metal detectorist Dave Crisp, the Frome Hoard consisted of a very large roman pot filled to the brim with 52,503 Roman coins. The coins in the pot weighed around 160 kilograms (that’s 352.7lbs in old money), one of the largest coin hoards ever discovered! The coins are mostly third century radiates, some of them in a remarkable state of preservation. The book, titled simply ‘The Frome Hoard’, will be released on the 11th October 2010.
Above: A Denarius of Carausius from the Frome Hoard. Photo courtesy of the Portable Antiquities Scheme’s Flickr photostream.
Another interesting point to note is that the British Museum still needs around £30,000 for conservation work on the coins, and 50p from every sale of the Frome Hoard book goes towards the cost of conserving the coins and the acquisition campaign apparently being run by Somerset County Heritage Service so that the hoard can stay in Somerset and be displayed in Taunton Museum.
I’ll provide some more information on the book and probably a review when I receive my copy.
The Frome Hoard by Sam Moorhead, Anna Booth and Roger Bland on Amazon.co.uk
It has been really great to see so many new people signing up on the metal detecting forum and reading the blog over the last few weeks! However, it seems the spammers have given up on the forum for the time being and turned their attention to the blog. Fortunately the wordpress software handles spammers very capably indeed!
Our visitor figure for the last 31 days stands at 20,846 unique visitors – probably our biggest month ever! The page view count stands at 46,517.
This months numbers received a big boost after Detecting.org.uk was mentioned in one major news story about the Korean Super Dollar, the discovery of the Crosby Garrett Helmet and being featured on a major social book marking site.
I just hope the server, which is long overdue for an upgrade, can withstand the traffic levels it is now receiving! It is probably time to start shopping around for a new one!
A great big welcome to all our new readers!