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UK government considering reissue of £1 coins

The UK government is today considering reissuing each and every £1 coins in the UK amid concerns that fake coins are now starting to have a major impact upon the economy. It is believed that one in every 36 £1 coins is fake, an increase on the one in 40 seen in 2009. This equates to around 41 million fake £1 coins even though counterfeit surveillance systems have improved dramatically in the UK retail sector of late.

This is the worst period of counterfeiting in the history of the UK and at this moment in time it seems that the government and the authorities have no short-term answer to the problem. The reissue of all £1 coins in the UK would take time and would be very expensive and potentially give fraudsters a window of opportunity to cause more disruption and introduce more fake coins to the system.

Despite the fact that for many consumers the innocent spending of a fake £1 coins will have very little impact upon their finances, it is worth noting that small shopkeepers are not refunded if they attempt to deposit these coins at their local bank. The UK is not the only government which has ever considered a reissue of a particular coin with the South African government forced to reissue the 5 rand coin in 2004 after fraud became so rife that taxi drivers and shopkeepers refused to accept them.

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