Counterfeit coins

Ian Salisbury made this Freedom of Information request to Royal Mint

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Ian Salisbury

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please may I know what proportion of the coinage, with respect to each type of coin that is currently in circulation, is counterfeit?

How have these proportions varied over the last 12 months, 2 years, 5 years and 10 years?

What is the proportion of counterfeit coinage with respect to true coinage at which it is expected that the public will lose confidence in that coinage?

Many thanks,
Yours faithfully,

Ian Salisbury

Ian Salisbury left an annotation ()

Requesting information on th proportion of counterfeit coinage in circulation.

Joseph Payne,

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Salisbury

I am writing in reply to your Freedom of Information request of 6 May.

Since 2002 the Royal Mint has conducted regular surveys to determine the number of counterfeit ??1 coins in circulation. The headline results of these surveys are given below.

November 2002 - 0.92%
November 2003 - 0.92%
November 2004 - 0.98%
November 2005 - 1.26%
March 2006 - 1.46%
October 2006 - 1.69%
May-July 2007 - 1.96%
October-December 2007 - 2.06%
May-June 2008 - 2.22%
October-November 2008 - 2.58%

There is no evidence to suggest that any coins other than the ??1 are being counterfeited to a significant extent. As a result, the Royal Mint does not conduct surveys for other denominations.

The Royal Mint takes counterfeiting extremely seriously and has put in place a number of design and composition features to minimise the risk of counterfeiting and allow for easier identification. These include for example the milled edge and incuse lettering on the ??1 coin.

For further information, please see our latest media statement attached.

Yours sincerely

Joseph Payne
Assistant Curator
The Royal Mint

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Ian Salisbury

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Royal Mint's handling of my FOI request 'Counterfeit coins'.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/co...

The aspects of my request that you have not dealt with are:

1. The information provided does not span 10 years. Please confirm whether or not you have the information that I have requested prior to November 2002. If you do, please provide it.

2. You have not provided information with respect to my last question. Please let me know whether you have this information. If you have it, please provide it.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Salisbury

Dear Joseph Payne,

On 5 June I wrote asking for an internal review, believing that my request of 6 May had not been fully answered. 20 working days have now passed, and I should have heard from you. Please accept this email as a complaint and let me know when the review will be completed.

If I have not heard from you within 5 working days I shall make a complaint to the Information Commissioner.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Salisbury

Joseph Payne,

Dear Mr Salisbury

I am sorry for the delay in acknowledging your request for an internal review.

The internal review is proceeding and we should be in a position to provide you with a response within the next 7 days.

Yours sincerely

Joseph Payne
Assistant Curator
The Royal Mint

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Joseph Payne,

Dear Mr Salisbury

Please forgive me for the delay in responding to your request for an internal review.

In your email you stated:

???The aspects of my request that you have not dealt with are:

1. The information provided does not span 10 years. Please confirm whether or not you have the information that I have requested prior to November 2002. If you do, please provide it.

2. You have not provided information with respect to my last question. Please let me know whether you have this information. If you have it, please provide it.???

In response to your first point, the Royal Mint did not conduct ??1 counterfeit coin surveys prior to November 2002. As a result there is no further information I can provide you.

As for your second point, there is no consensus on the counterfeit rate at which a recoinage should be considered. Some countries have decided to recoin when the level of counterfeits is relatively low while others have waited until the level is significantly higher. The decision is obviously dependent on a range of political and socio-economic factors. There is no designated threshold currently set in the United Kingdom.

Yours sincerely

Joseph Payne
Assistant Curator
The Royal Mint

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Dear Joseph Payne,

Thank you for this information.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Salisbury

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