Sayonara to the round pound

Fiat Money Problems – Goodbye To The Round Pound And Welcome The More Difficult To Forge One

Thus the reason for this new pound is simply that there’s an arms race going on between the coin makers and the coin forgers. And it’s central to a basic problem about fiat money. As soon as the government declares that this, this thing here, is worth money then there will be people trying to make more of that thing. It is never possible to make something which is impossible to forge. But it is possible to make something difficult to fake and that’s what is being done. Perhaps difficult enough to fake that no one will ever try or more likely so difficult that it will be a couple of decades before it becomes cheap enough to try. But a world of fiat money is just always going to end up with changes in the design of that money. Just because it’s too tempting to just go and make money rather than go earn it.

29 comments on “Sayonara to the round pound

  1. Just because it’s too tempting to just go and make money rather than go earn it

    That is true but it is also why the real danger is not people who fake it but people who issue it legally. In fact we have a slow motion collapse of the currency. It is just taking generations to do what countries like Germany or Hungary or Brazil or Turkey or Zimbabwe can do in months.

    It is too tempting for the government to just print money. So they do. Not a national disaster level of printing, but bad enough that the pound is going the way of the Zimbabwe currency.

  2. They can stick their 12 sided coin up their arse.

    3% fake £1–who cares?

    This strikes me as part of the War on Cash caper. This 12 sided POS will be more costly to make and likely far fewer will be put into circulation.

  3. Mmmm…
    The original 50 pence coin got the name of the Wilson. Because it was two faced & many sided. I’ve heard the replacement called a Blair. Much the same as its predecessor but a fraction of the value.
    Any contenders?

  4. Mr Ecks you may be correct, but I hope the government wins the war on cash.

    Because as soon as they do we will very shortly have private money again. How do I know that? Supply and demand and supply side ideas.

    There is and will always be great demand for cash. If the state won’t provide it, someone else will. Even if the cash is encrypted book entries on the dark web and wholly electronic, it will be cash if there is a reasonable certainty that the government won’t get its sticky hands on it.

  5. I’m more annoyed that it doesn’t feature the inscription “decus et tutamen”. One of the last pieces of high culture in public life obliterated by know-nothing civil servants.

  6. @Fecks,

    Is there anything on this earth that doesn’t send you into a Meldrewesque (or should that be Meldrewecks) harrumph?

  7. You wonder who can make money forging £1 coins. How much do the metals cost which make them? Add in risk, etc and it can’t be a great earner for criminals.

  8. imho the largest source of fake One GBP coins is the EU’s Eurozone.

    The Euro 50 cent coin is virtually identical in size, colour and weight.

    I’ve received them as change in Tesco, Waitrose etc on more than one occasion.

    How I used them is confidential.

  9. Reading about you being beaten up by RoP migrants would make my day Biggie.

    And lots more–Merkal publicly hanged until dead/Hollande publicly hanged until dead/ Drunker PHD/ The New EU Frankenstein lookalike PHD/ Tusk PHD and so on.

    In fact PHDs all round for the left would leave me more cheerful than Jiminy Cricket.

  10. Rob,
    The forgeries I have seen are quite poor. The trick is to forge something that is worth having but not so much that it gets more than a glance.

  11. I’ve got a couple of old pound coins in a bag from my last Blighty trip. Can I take them to the bank after they’ve been demonetised? It would probably not be a useful employment of my time, but it’s annoying to have cash rendered worthless. I suppose what fiat gives, fiat can take away.

  12. I wonder how much fake money is actually real money or at least produced by the authorities.

    My favorite “forgery” scam of recent times was this one:

    http://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/germany-china-crime.9cn

    (BERLIN) – German prosecutors said Thursday they had smashed an international scheme involving Lufthansa flight attendants smuggling scrapped euro coins back from China and cashing them in.

    Theophrastus – “But you can forge non-fiat money, too…fake gold coins, fake bullion, etc.”

    How can you fake non-fiat money made of gold, such as a gold bar, in such a way that a childishly simple test would not reveal it in seconds? Gold is pretty fool proof that way.

    I think I dimly remember reading a book about a criminal gang that forged gold coins – sovereigns I believe. Which worked because the coin at that time was actually work more than the gold it contained. Which dates it back to the good old days of stagflation.

  13. SMFS

    “How can you fake non-fiat money made of gold, such as a gold bar, in such a way that a childishly simple test would not reveal it in seconds? Gold is pretty fool proof that way.”

    As RLJ says above: “The trick is to forge something that is worth having but not so much that it gets more than a glance.” In an economy entirely run with non-fiat money, most people would trust the currency or simply be careless, which would open the door wide to forgers.

  14. Theophrastus – “In an economy entirely run with non-fiat money, most people would trust the currency or simply be careless, which would open the door wide to forgers.”

    But a fake gold coin is apparent the second you pick it up. You don’t need to be paying attention to notice.

  15. “But a fake gold coin is apparent the second you pick it up. You don’t need to be paying attention to notice.”

    It might be to you. But I have seen forged gold coins that are highly convincing – right weight, right colour. Chat to a coin dealer for confirmation.

  16. @Ecks,

    So there’s nothing in the world, short of you being the purgemeister, that makes you happy? The sunrise, sizzling bacon, a laughing baby? All makes you miserable because there is still someone to the left of you living.

  17. Ah!!!– the Buddhistic perfection of it all.

    Biggie–when not serving as a cuck consultant for Teutonic realms or saving Japan from their eco-nuclear folly , sits in silent equanimity contemplating the sunrise and sizzling bacon.

    Being in the green paradise of Allemagne perhaps the Sun rising IS cooking the bacon in a perfect cycle of existence.

    Since Biggie, this is a blog mainly concerned with politics, economics etc and the evil perversion of same by tyranny seeking (mostly leftist) scum your hobbies, lifestyle etc–including your passion for Irish Wolfhounds and what the magistrate had to say about it–are likely of little interest to the other commentators.

    Ditto.

  18. BiCR –

    HSBC, Lloyds, Barclays and Natwest still accept £sd coinage for deposit (as of September 2016) so I don’t see why the pound coin would not be similarly accepted in the future. Of course you may need an account and more scrutiny will be paid to fakes – why change the coin at all if banks will continue taking the fakes in perpetuity?

    Also you will probably still be able to use them in machines which haven’t been rejigged to take the new pound well into 2018.

    Pcar –
    you must be pretty thick to accept a 50 euro cent as a £1.

    A New Zealand $1 on the other hand…

    Designs of euro coins are a bit silly. Why on earth would they make their most valuable coin look nearly identical to a Thai 10-baht and the second most valuable coin look nearly identical to a Jamaican $20?

    My friend worked for the Banque de France and in the early days of the euro, they lost so much money taking in the above 2 worthless coins, which is why they had no mercy on extending the deadline for exchanging French francs. On the other hand the Bundesbank is still taking in millions of DM every month 14 years after the euro changeover.

  19. @John,

    Because there are over 100 currencies on the planet, most with at least half a dozen coins. Since we don’t want coins to be huge there are bound to be some similarities with those of other countries. There is at least one country that uses the same blank as the current pound coin, for a coin of much lower value. You still occasionally find 10 French franc coins popping up as euros. Several coins of the Irish pound were modeled on the British – not a problem while the currencies were pegged but became a problem afterwards.

    Some coincidence somewhere is unavoidable.

  20. John, there was a Mexican coin (can’t remember which) that was not only a dead ringer for the old, large 50p but had quite clearly been struck from the same blank. I got one over the counter when I was working in a chippie and didn’t notice until later. I felt it my patriotic duty to return it in someone’s change the first opportunity I got. I looked it up and it was worth about eightpence at the time if I recall so there was obviously a rather naughty opportunity to be had in rounding up Mexican coins and passing then off as 50p coins.

    I found a Venezuelan one bolivar coin in a collection the other day. It was a substantial cupronickel thing about the size of a pre-decimal florin and clearly worth more in metal content than its face value (currently slightly south of 0.1¢).

  21. I did a piece about the 10 bolivar coin once. Asking why the Mint was taking perfectly good copper and turning it into worth less coins. My basic supposition was a scam, not that I could say that at Forbes.

  22. @John, January 2, 2017 at 12:24 pm
    “Pcar –
    you must be pretty thick to accept a 50 euro cent as a £1.”

    “Pretty thick” – Really?

    Value GBP 1
    Weight 9.5 g
    Diameter 22.5mm
    Thickness 3.15mm
    Edge Milled regular, fine indentations & script
    Composition Nickel-Brass: 70% copper, 5.5% nickel, 24.5% zinc
    Colour Gold/Yellow

    Value 0.50 euro
    Weight 7.80 g
    Diameter 24.25 mm
    Thickness 2.38 mm
    Edge Milled regular, fine indentations
    Composition Nordic gold: 89% copper, 5% aluminium, 5% zinc, and 1% tin
    Colour Gold/Yellow

    Handful of change, trust in till operator in Tesco/Waitrose etc, quick glance then pocket. Doubt till operator noticed either, simply removed n £1 coins from compartment without looking at them.

  23. That’s only because you often get multiple £1 coins in change because there aren’t enough £2 in circulation.

    The coins are really very different on anything but the most cursory of inspections. Trust me (and a lot of other people here who routinely use both).

    The new pound coin – while it will have the side-effect of making Ecks want to hang even more leftists – will solve this problem.

  24. The new pound coin – while it will have the side-effect of making Ecks want to hang even more leftists – will solve this problem.

    Every cloud has a silver lining.

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