On Tuesday, 72-year-old Karin Mattsson from Piteå in northern Sweden discovered a small change in her small change.
“At first I thought my eyes were deceiving me,” Mattsson said to the local Piteå Tidningen after the discovery.
Instead of the usual “Carl XVI Gustaf Sveriges Konung” (‘Carl XVI Gustaf Sweden’s King’), the text written around the image of the King’s head on Mattson’s coin read “Vår horkarl till Kung”, which translates roughly into English as “Our whorer of a King”.
The coin’s royal insult is an apparent reference to the King’s rumoured infidelities detailed in a tell-all biography of the king published in late 2010.
The book, entitled “Carl XVI Gustaf – Den motvillige monarken” (‘Carl XVI Gustaf – The reluctant monarch’), included a rare and detailed look into the King’s private life, including details of love affairs, wild parties with Swedish models, and connections to the underworld.
While Mattsson is unsure of who is behind the prank and can’t remember which shop she picked up the change, she has her suspicions.
“Maybe it’s from someone who doesn’t like the King,” said the 72-year-old, adding that she plans to keep the coin as a memento.
“If this is just a prank, then someone has gone really far.”
Meanwhile, Mårten Gomer, technical expert of notes and coins at the Riksbanken, is also surprised at the news.
“We’ve never come across this before. It’s really rare that you find counterfeit coins in Sweden,” he told the paper.
“My immediate impression is that it’s from a normal one-krona coin. Someone has put a lot of time into it, and it was done incredibly well.”
The find has also left local police scratching their heads.
“I’ve never heard of something like this happening,” said Lars-Göran Johanssonof the Piteå police to the paper, adding that it’s become more unusual to see counterfeit money.
The one-krona coin is worth $0.14 and is the smallest denomination in the Swedish currency.
Following reports of the forged krona coin in Piteå, a similar coin was reportedly discovered in the Stockholm area, according to the Expressen newspaper.
“It looks almost exactly like a regular one-krona coin. Maybe it’s a hair lighter, but the portrait is almost exactly alike and it says 2012 on it,” Stockholm resident Ann-Marie told the newspaper about the coin, which she believes she received as change after purchasing mineral water at Stockholm’s Kungsträdgården on June 6th.