Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Counterfeit Euro coin detectors

The European Anti-Fraud Office maintains a list of machines capable of authenticating Euro coins. Currently there are about 50 machine types approved.

This list is now very important, because a new regulation, which comes fully into force January 2012, requires every Euro country to have enough machines to check “25% of the total cumulated net volume of coins issued by that Member State from the introduction of euro coins until the end of the previous year.” I'm not sure what that means; the number of coins must be in the hundreds of billions, although the regulation later talks about only the three highest circulation denominations (currently €2, €1, and €0.50).

The regulation is written in legal language and is full of references to organizations I know nothing about such as the “Counterfeit Coin Experts Group”, “Coin National Analysis Centre” and the “European Technical and Scientific Centre”.

Even if sufficient machines existed to check 25% of coins existed, how would the coins arrive at the machine to be checked? Do banks have enough coins to meet the requirement or will citizens be required to bring in their piggy banks and coffee cans?

The image is of one of the approved machines, the CT Coin Pelican 309S, which can check 1100 coins / minute. The image comes from NoteCheckers.com (providing “Counterfeit Currency Detectors & Cash Management Equipment for the UK, Ireland & Export”.

People collect 19th century “counterfeit detectors”, I wonder if any of my readers are collecting the approved EU counterfeit detectors?