Did you know that some of the new plastic £5 notes that came into circulation last week could be worth hundreds of pounds – some people have been offered £400. The new fivers have been on sale on auction sites such as eBay for £200 to £400.
If you are carrying new fivers, you could be walking around with a small fortune in your wallet.
The new polymer notes have an image of Queen Elizabeth II on one side and Sir Winston Churchill on the other. There was an initial print run of 440 million fivers, worth a total of £2.2 billion to mark the beginning of the withdrawal of the old paper notes as retailers and other businesses bank them.
The £5 notes with low print-run numbers are worth more. (Image: adapted from thenewfiver.co.uk)
Which plastic £5 notes are valuable?
Collectors look out for two things that mark the plastic £5 notes as special:
– The first-press notes – with serial numbers that start with AA01 – or the end of press ones.
– A set of notes with sequential serial numbers.
If any of your notes come into either category you may be offered, £100, £200 or even more for them.
The mega-valuable ones are those whose numbers are closest to AA01.
The Bank of England will be auctioning the number that follows AA01 – its serial number is AA01 0000017. Experts say it could go for up to £1,200. But who knows? If bidders get excited, the final price could go through the roof.
A set of five pound notes with consecutive serial numbers could be worth a lot of money. (Image: adapted from thenewfiver.co.uk)
The Bank of England will also be auctioning a sheet of sixty notes with serial numbers beginning AM01-AM60. Bids are expected to reach between three to four thousand pounds.
The new £5 note is fifteen percent smaller than the paper ones. It is printed on a thin, flexible plastic polymer – making it virtually impossible to tear and much longer-lasting.
“Polymer banknotes are cleaner, more secure, and more durable than paper banknotes. They will provide enhanced counterfeit resilience, and increase the quality of banknotes in circulation.”
The new £10 notes – coming in 2017 – and £20 notes coming by 2020 – will also be printed on polymer.
A picture of famous English 19th Century novelist Jane Austen will appear on the new £10 note, while the artist J.M.W. Turner will appear on the new £20 note.
The Bank of England says that the new £5 notes have a number of security features which make them even more difficult to conterfeit. These include the foil Elizabeth Tower which is gold in the front and silver on the back, and the see-through window.
Regarding counterfeit notes in general, the Bank of England says:
“Only a tiny proportion of notes are counterfeit – 0.0075% in 2015 – but we want to stay one step ahead of the counterfeiters and these new security features help us do this.”
Video – the new £5 note
This Bank of England video introduces the New Fiver’s advanced security features, which make it much more difficult to counterfeit compared to the paper notes.