Monday, September 22, 2008

Counterfeit Coins

Interesting article on the news this morning: there are an estimated £30 million fake £1 coins in circulation. Usual wringing of hands followed.

So what?

Admittedly, the counterfeiter makes on what he/she does but after that; who cares? If I receive a fake £1 for goods or services and I pass it on to someone else for their goods or services it behaves exactly like a real £1. After all, a "real" £1 is not actually worth £1. It is a token we accept as being worth £1. The mint probably strike them out for a couple of pence.

Part of the problem is that our coins change every couple of minutes anyway. There are loads of different types of £1 in circulation. "Decus et tutamen", Scottish, Welsh, Manx, Jersey and plenty of others. It rather plays into the counterfeiter's hands.

If you identify a coin as counterfeit you are supposed to hand it in to the authorities; for which public-spirited action you receive precisely nothing. So next time you get a fake £1, hop in your car and drive the 5 miles to the police station, sit for 30 minutes whilst some already busy officer comes to deal with you and the seven glue sniffers you share the waiting area with, answer a shed load of questions lasting another half hour then drive the 5 miles back home. Ten miles of petrol (about £1.50) and an hour of your time (£6 at least) for nothing. I can't wait!

Next time you get a coin that you think might be a fake, try it in a parking meter. If it is accepted it probably wasn't fake. If it was fake then you will never know and you can't do anything about it. Anyway, parking meters are their own kind of robbery. Let's not get started on them.

Counterfeit, by the way, looks like a fake word. That "e" before "i". Very suspicious.

1 comment:

fiona said...

I love your last paragraph! (and also the rest of them, but that one is particularly good)

Fi xxx