Four special £5 notes, engraved with a tiny portrait of author Jane Austen, are being put into circulation and could be worth more than £20,000.
Specialist micro-engraver Graham Short came up with the idea of engraving a 5mm portrait of Pride and Prejudice author Jane Austen on the transparent part of the new plastic £5 notes, to mark the 200th anniversary of one of the best-loved English novelists next year.
He has included a different quote around each one, ensuring that each note is unique. The banknotes to look out for have the following serial numbers: AM32 885551, AM32 885552, AM32 885553 and AM32 88554.
According to Gallery owner Mr Huggins-Haig, artist Graham Short’s work has an insurance valuation of £50,000 so £20,000 for a banknote with his artwork on is a reasonable estimate. Mr Short’s last work, a portrait of the Queen on a pinhead, sold for £100,000.
The first of four notes featuring art by specialist micro-engraver Graham Short was found in a cafe in South Wales on 5th December while another was found the same month inside a Christmas card in Scotland. The third £5 note was found by a mystery old lady in Eniskillen in Northern Ireland who has donated it to charity.
So that means there is just one more rare £5 note left to find with the handiwork of Birmingham micro-artist Graham Short. It was spent somewhere in England back in December so for those hunting down the last remaining fiver, the serial number to look out for is AM 32 885554.
Anyone who finds one of the notes has been advised to contact the Tony Huggins-Haig Gallery in Kelso, which launched the project as they will provide advice on how to put the artwork up for auction.