Anyone that has ever travelled to China will be well aware of the great shopping that can be done there - i.e. you can buy a whole lot of pirated DVD's, CD's, clothing, designer goods and accessories for a fraction of the price of the real thing. It should come as little surprise then that they are also producing counterfeit coins - not only do the Chinese produce excellent "reproductions" (knock offs) of rare silver and copper coins from around the world (including Australia's 1930 penny, 1923 halfpenny and overdate 1922/1 threepence), but this story shows that they also produce counterfeit base metal coins for circulation. I've seen (badly cast) counterfeit Australian $2 coins offered for sale by the bag at coin shows in Singapore and Hong Kong, which stands to reason - $2 is still a reasonable amount of money (especially to someone in the 3rd world). What surprises me mildly about the latest story this week is that there is a business to be had in mass-producing Chinese 1 Yuan coins - these are equivalent to around A15¢ at the moment! If people don't check their change, if vending machines can't tell the difference and there's a profit to be made, why am I still surprised?