Amid claims in recent days that the new, harder to fake £1 coins are already being copied, Sleaford businessman believes he has proof it is being done.
Nathan Everest, who runs Twenty9K, a graphic design company, says he spotted the suspect coin in his change after visiting a fish and chip shop in Nottingham at the weekend.
The Royal Mint, which released the new, 12-sided coins just weeks ago has said it is one of the most secure coins in the world with a raft of harder to fake security features built in including a hologram, alternating milled and smooth edges and multiple sides.
He told The Standard: “I noticed it pretty much straight away and thought it didn’t look right. Being a bit of a coin freak I knew there was something wrong with it.
“It is different because the definition on the thistle, leek and clover on the back is not there and the picture is slightly misaligned, the spacing on the words ‘One Pound’ is offset and the hologram is starting to wear away at the bottom.”
As a keen coin collector he vowed he did not plan to spend it.
A Royal Mint spokesman told The Standard: “The Royal Mint has not had an opportunity to examine the coin, but is confident that this is not counterfeit. We are not aware of any counterfeits entering circulation, but welcome the public’s caution.
“The organisation produces around five billion coins each year, and will be striking 1.5bn new £1 coins in total. As you would expect, we have tight quality controls in place, however variances will always occur in a small number of coins, particularly in the striking process, due to the high volumes and speed of production.”
This comes as the Royal Mint has been admitting in national newspapers a few rare misprinted ones had slipped through its quality control net due to the speed of the production process at its Llantrisant plant in South Wales.
The rare misprints are said to be valuable among coin collectors.
The new coin is meant to feature a hologram at the bottom showing a £ symbol and the number one depending on which angle you look at it.
There is also a secret high-security feature built into the coin.
The new pounds were introduced in response to claims as many as one in 30 old pound coins were counterfeit.