I'd heard that you have to watch out for counterfeit money here in Peru, but I hadn't encountered any until today. I caught a taxi to the Plaza de Armas this evening; and when I handed over the two un nuevo sol coins to the cabbie as payment, he inspected them both, and handed one of them back to me. "Es un falso" (lit: "it's a fake"), he explained to me. I couldn't perceive any difference in the falso, until it was explicitly pointed out to me; but apparently, every man, woman, and child in Cusco can tell a falso a mile off. Can you?
¿Cual es verdadero, y cual es falso?
According to what I was told, it's generally fairly obvious when Peruvian money is fake. In the case of coins, you need to look out for:
- Metal that has a slightly off colour or feel
- Text that's the wrong size or poorly formed
- Engraved symbols and pictures that are incorrectly placed, or that are too deeply or too shallowly engraved
Anyway, after offering the falso to about 10 different people, and having it rejected, I managed to flog it off the next day, at a cabina. Lucky I managed to get rid of it, and lucky it was only s/1 (app. USD$0.30).
PS: the falso is the one a la izquierda (use Babelfish to help you find the answer, if you really need to know, and if you don't know any Spanish).