In June this year, a number of coins were discovered in circulation in Sweden with an altered text.
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 each coin read “Vår horkarl till Kung”, which translates roughly into English as “Our whorer of a King”.
On the flip side, the coins were normal and seemingly untouched. Experts have explained that the forgery seems professionally done.
“Whoever made it is clearly skilled,” explained Ian Wiséhn at Sweden’s Royal Coin Cabinet (Myntkabinettet) to the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper (SvD).
“The back is very well made. And the grooves on the side are also as they should be, you can’t see any difference.”
Now, the experts have revealed that the coins themselves are not fake – rather, “half fake”.
Specialist equipment has been used to hollow out one whole side of the coin all the way out to the edges, removing the image of the king’s face, SvD reported.
In the hollowed out space remaining, the forgers have inserted their own pre-cut image of the king together with the new libelous text, glued it into place, and sharpened the grooves.
The intricate handiwork is impossible to discern with the naked eye, and each fake coins weighs only 0.47 grammes more than a real 7 gramme coin.
Experts claim to be “one hundred percent sure” that this is the method the counterfeiters used.
The investigation into the counterfeit money has not yielded any results as to the identity of the forgers or their whereabouts.