The new pound was described as "the most secure coin in the world" when it was released in March this year, but the Royal Mint has now admitted that some are faulty.
Over a billion new coins have to be made to replace the old style, which is still legal tender until October. The Mint says due to making so many so quickly, a "small number" were mis-struck and entered circulation with faults.
The Royal Mint told the BBC:
"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."
Since the faulty pounds will be rare, they're going to be worth a fair bit – and inevitably there are already listings on eBay. However, many of them aren't what they claim to be: one 'faulty' coin is described as such because it's stamped 2016, which the seller seems to think is impossible since the new design didn't come out until 2017. The possibility that the Mint started before the morning of release is apparently too far-fetched to entertain.
Similarly, some of the 'faulty' coins are clearly fakes, but while the security system on the coin helps cash-counters and machines determine if it's real, it's not so helpful to the human eye. Thankfully, the fakes are so bad – some aren't even the right colour – that for now it seems like we're safe from the counterfeit quids that so plagued the old design.
If you do see a weird-looking one in circulation, though, take it to be valued: you might be sitting on a mint. [BBC]