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Mint's Stealth Anti-Counterfeiting Campaign
July 28, 2010

Efforts to get the Presidential dollar coin to circulate widely in the United States might be failing, but there is a silver lining.

It was reported yesterday that the British equivalent of our $1 coin, the one pound coin, is widely faked and that 2.81 percent of all one-pound coins in circulation in the United Kingdom are counterfeit.

Though the percentage might seem low at first glance, it is apparently the threshold at which merchants burned by bad coinage will refuse to use it. That would force the Royal Mint to come up with a completely new alternative.

In the United States, we have not had a problem with fake $1 coins in circulation, but the Mint, nevertheless, keeps churning out alternative coins.

The Ike dollar arrived in 1971, the Anthony in 1978, the Anthony revival in 1999, the Sacagawea dollar in 2000, the Presidential dollars starting in 2007 and the Native American coins starting in 2009.

Americans have a choice of five different coin designs to ignore each and every year now.

We all know anybody trying to spend these coins looks guilty of doing something wrong to the nondollar coin using population. If you have tried to spend some as I have from time to time, you know what I mean.

That’s darn clever of the U.S. Mint. It has successfully defended the U.S. economy from an influx of fake dollar coins and saved its valiant retail merchants from unfortunate losses.

I’ll bet you didn’t know that. I sure didn’t.




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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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