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2nd batch of counterfeit 500 yen coins found.

TOKYO, May 14 Kyodo

A batch of counterfeit 500 yen coins has been found in a consignment of mail sent from China, a Finance Ministry official said Friday.

This is the second batch of fake 500 yen coins to be discovered since a new version of the coin was introduced almost four years ago to prevent counterfeits.

The 17 coins were identified as fakes by the Japan Mint after they were found by the Tokyo Customs, according to the official.

The coins were made of the same material used in genuine coins, although the percentages of the metals used were different, the official said. The coins were also a slightly different shade, and the embossments were unclear, according to the official.

The newly discovered coins were more sophisticated than the counterfeit coins found last November, which were made of a different kind of metal. Some coins in the second batch would be accepted by vending machines, the official said.

Japan introduced a new version of the 500 yen coin in August 2000 to prevent the use of counterfeits in vending machines. Zinc was added to the new coins to alter their electrical conductivity as a way to distinguish them from bogus ones.
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Publication:Asian Economic News
Date:May 17, 2004
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