Basingstoke 

  • NatWest, 3 London Street, Old Market Square, Basingstoke, RG21 7NS

Bath

  • HSBC, 41 Southgate, Bath, BA1 1TN
  • NatWest, 8-9 Quiet Street, Bath, BA1 2JN

Birmingham 

  • HSBC, 130 New Street, Birmingham, B2 4JU 
  • Lloyds Bank, 36-38 New Street, Birmingham, B2 4LP 
  • NatWest, 144 New Street, Birmingham, B2 4NY 
  • Santander, Unit 6, Caxton Gate, Corporation Street, Birmingham, B2 4LP 
  • TSB, 134 New Street, Birmingham, B2 4NS 
  • Virgin Money, Temple Point, 1 Temple Row, Birmingham, B1 5YB

Bradford 

  • Santander, 9 Nelson Street, Bradford, BD1 5AN 

Bristol

  • Eurochange, Cribbs Causeway, Bristol, BS34 5QT

Cwmbran

  • NM Money, 15 South Walk, Cwmbran, NP44 1PU

Edinburgh

  • TSB, 28 Hanover Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2DS 

Leeds 

  • HSBC, 33 Park Row, Leeds, LS1 1LD 
  • Santander, PR Work Café, 10-12 Park Row, Leeds, LS1 5HD 
  • Yorkshire Bank, 94-96 Briggate, Leeds, LS1 6NP

Leicester 

  • Santander, Carlton Park, King Edward Avenue, Narborough, Leicester, LE19 0AL 

Liverpool 

  • Santander, 45 Lord Street, Liverpool, L2 6PB 
  • TSB, 81-83 Lord Street, Liverpool, L2 6PG

London 

  • Barclays, 2 Churchill Place, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5RB 
  • Barry’s Food & Wine, 149 Hoxton Street, London, N1 6PJ
  • HSBC, 165 Fleet Street, London, EC4A 2DY 
  • Halifax, 118-132 New Oxford Street, London, WC1A 1HL 
  • NatWest, 1 Princes Street, London, EC2R 8BP 
  • NatWest, 34 Henrietta Street, London, WC2E 8NL 
  • NatWest, 10 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1TJ 
  • Post Office, 52 Blackfriars Road, London, SE1 8NN 
  • Post Office, 39-41 Farringdon Road, London, EC1M 3JB 
  • Post Office, 11 White Kennet Street, Houndsditch, London, E1 7BS 
  • Post Office, 19a Borough High Street, London, SE1 9SF 
  • Post Office, 125-131 Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7HJ 
  • Santander, 48-54 Moorgate, London, EC2R 6EJ 
  • Santander, 164-167 Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 7JE 
  • Santander, 2 Triton Square, Regents Place, London, NW1 3AN 
  • The Cooperative Food, 185 Old Street, Shoreditch, London, EC1V 9NP 
  • TSB, 55 Bow Bells House, Cheapside, London, EC2V 6AT 
  • Virgin Money, 154-158 Kensington High Street, London, W8 7RL

Manchester

  • Lloyds Bank, 42-46 Market Street, Manchester, M1 1PW 
  • NatWest, 1 Hardman Blvd, Manchester, M3 3AQ 
  • TSB, 21 Market Street, Manchester, M1 1WR 

Margate 

  • Santander, 110-112 High Street, Margate, Kent, CT9 1JR 

Milton Keynes 

  • Santander, 201 Grafton Gate East, Milton Keynes, MK9 1AN

Newcastle 

  • Santander, 112-118 Northumberland Street, Newcastle, NE1 7DG 

Salford

  • Barclays, Unit 2 Blue, MediaCityUK, Salford, M50 2AD 
  • Lowry Outlet Mall, The Lowry Designer Outlet, Salford Quays, M50 3AH

Sheffield 

  • Post Office, 12 Ellesemere Road, Sheffield, S4 7JB 
  • Yorkshire Bank, Fargate, Sheffield, S1 1LL

Swindon 

  • Nationwide, Nationwide House, Pipers Way, Swindon, SN3 1TA 

Wales 

  • Post Office, 56-58 Oxford Street, Mountain Ash, Mid Glamorgan, CF45 3HB 
  • Santander, 5-7 Queen Street, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, CF10 2AF

In just a few days time, the brand new polymer £20 will be officially released and we certainly can’t wait to start seeing the notes featuring artist JMW Turner in our change!

This will be third polymer banknote to be released in the UK, following the release of the polymer Churchill £5 in 2016 and the polymer Jane Austen £10 note in 2017.

And, as ever, keen collectors will be eagerly awaiting the chance to hunt down the most sought-after serial numbers for the new note.

When the UK’s first polymer £5 note was released in September 2016, serial numbers became the talk of a nation and stories of early serial numbers selling for thousands of pounds were commonplace.

In fact, an “AK37 007 James Bond Bank of England Polymer £5 note” even sold for £5,000 on eBay – 1,000 times its face value!

A ‘James ‘Bond’ £5 note sold for £5,000 on eBay

But as we await the release of the new note on the 20th of February, which serial numbers should you be looking to get your hands on?

AA01 – the first notes to be printed

AA01 are the first serial numbers to be printed and always prove popular with collectors.

Our eBay Tracker follows the prices of the UK’s Top Coins and Banknotes, including the AA01 polymer £5 and £10 notes, which are currently selling for £10 and £15 respectively. However when the notes were first released we saw a collecting frenzy, with people paying (and demanding) vastly inflated prices for low serial number notes.

Prefixes on the £5 notes started at AA and there are 60 notes on a sheet, AA01- AA60. For each of these cyphers there are 999,000 serial numbers printed: 000001 to 999000. Therefore for the first AA cypher there’s an incredible 59,940,000 notes!

Whilst the £20 note is larger than the £5, meaning less notes will be printed per sheet, there are still A LOT of combinations for AA cyphers on the new £20 – so make sure you keep your eyes out for them!

UK Bank notes are produced in very large batches (Image: the Bank of England)

However, The Bank of England will always hold back some of the notes with the earliest serial numbers, donating them to people or institutions that were involved in the development of the note or who traditionally receive a note when a new series is issued.

For example, the Queen receives AA01 000001 and for the release of the £5 note the Churchill War Rooms received one with serial number AA01 001945, the date that WWII ended.

Key dates to look out for

It’s always worth looking out for certain serial numbers matching key dates relating JMW Turner that could become collectable.

For example, 23 041775 represents Turner’s date of birth, whilst 19 121851 relates to his death and 17 751851 would be his birth and death combined.

True Turner fans might also look for 18 381839 representing the date he painted ‘The Fighting Temeraire’ (featured on the new £20 note) and the date the painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy respectively.

Turner’s ‘The Fighting Temeraire’ was painted in 1838 and features as a backdrop to the new £20 note

Novelty numbers and Consecutive notes

There may well also be a rush to find the AK47 serial numbers again and James Bond 007 will likely be popular once more.

Consecutively numbered notes are always interesting to collectors too – one man sold three consecutive AA01 notes for £456!

Q&A

Can you request specific serial numbered notes from the bank?

Sadly not. For the launch of the new £5 note 440 million banknotes were printed and these were printed in very large batches.

There will be even more new £20 notes printed than the £5, to service the country’s 48,000 ATMs for example, so it’s just not possible for the bank to separate certain serial numbers.

How much should I pay for a new £20 note?

The simple answer is, it’s completely up to you. An early serial numbered £20 note will be a genuine piece of the country’s history. It’s likely The Bank of England will hold an auction of early editions, so if you have the disposable income, why not?!

Will the old paper £20 note still be legal tender?

You will still be able to use the paper £20 note until The Bank of England withdraw it from circulation. This will be announced after the new note has been issued and they will give six months’ notice of the withdrawal date.

Many banks will accept withdrawn notes as deposits from customers. The Post Office may also accept withdrawn notes as a deposit into any bank account you can access at the Post Office. And, you can always exchange withdrawn notes with The Bank of England directly.

Where will I be able to find the new polymer £20 note?

We will be publishing a list of locations where the polymer £20 note will be available on the 20th, when the new note is released.


Own the exclusive 2017 Jane Austen £2 Coin and £10 Banknote Pack

You can own one of the very first Polymer £10 notes issued in perfect mint condition alongside the 2017 Jane Austen £2 Coin issued by The Royal Mint.

Click here to secure your pack today

Back in the 1960’s the 10 Shilling Note, or ‘ten bob’ as it was commonly known, would go pretty far – buying you 6 pints of beer, 10 loaves of bread, or 17 pints of milk.

Nowadays it’s hard to imagine the decimal equivalent, the 50p, buying so much. In fact, 50p can only just buy you one pint of milk today! And you can certainly forget that pint of beer!

But before the much loved 50p came along, the old 10 Shilling banknote had a fascinating history.

From being issued by the Government in a wartime emergency, changing colour to avoid forgery from the Nazis and eventually being replaced by the world’s most popular coin, it’s important that the history of the ten bob isn’t forgotten.

The Emergency Banknote

In August 1914, the British economy was in turmoil due to the instability caused by the oncoming war on the continent.

Bankers and politicians were desperately looking for ways to secure Britain’s finances and prevent the banks from collapsing.

The Government decided that a large supply of banknotes should be made available for the value of 10 Shillings, making it easy for the public to make small transactions.

However, The Bank of England was not able to prepare and print the required number of notes quickly enough, so the Government took the unprecedented step of deciding to issue the notes itself.

1914 10 Shilling Banknote

These banknotes became known as the Treasury banknotes and were unlike anything the British public had ever seen.

Until this point the lowest denomination banknote was £5, and in those days this was such a large sum that many people would never have seen or used a banknote before.

By issuing a 10 Shilling banknote, the Treasury created the first widely circulated banknotes in England.

The Wartime colour change

In 1928, the responsibility for printing 10 Shilling notes was transferred to the Bank of England.

However, not long afterwards, Britain once again found itself at war and again found its currency under threat.

During World War II, Nazi Germany hatched a plan to undermine British currency.

Through ‘Operation Bernhard’ they believed they had discovered a method to manufacture counterfeit ‘White Fivers’, and planned to distribute these in huge numbers to destabilise the British currency.

The Bank of England decided to take preventative action and, as a result, the 10 Shilling note was changed for the duration of the war to a distinctive pink and blue colour in an attempt to prevent counterfeiting.

Second World War 10 Shilling Banknote

It was also revolutionary in the progression of banknote technology by incorporating a metal security thread.

The Nazis couldn’t compete with this high level anti-forgery technology and hence the British 10 Shilling note held strong and supported the British wartime economy, as it had done since its conception.

The 50p revolution

After undergoing a colour change during the Second World War, the ten bob note reverted to its familiar red-brown until 1961, when a new design featuring a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II was introduced.

Despite a new design for the 10 Shilling note featuring Sir Walter Raleigh on the reverse being approved in 1964, as part of the process of decimalisation it was dropped in favour of the new fifty pence coin introduced in 1969.

1969 ‘New Pence’ 50p coin

The principle reason for the change was to save the Treasury money.

The notes had an average lifetime of around five months, whereas a coin could last for fifty years.

The 50p has since gone on to become the world’s most popular and collected coin, but nowadays few realise the fascinating history of its predecessor, the 10 Shilling banknote!

Do you remember the ten bob note? Let us know in the comments below!


If you’re interested in coin collecting, our Change Checker web app is completely free to use and allows users to:

– Find and identify the coins in their pocket
– Collect and track the coins they have
– Swap their spare coins with other Change Checkers

Change Checker Web App Banner 2 Amends 1024x233 1 1024x233 - Your January 2019 Scarcity Index update!

Sign up today at: www.changechecker.org/app