Posts Tagged ‘notes’

£1.5bn worth of old banknotes still in circulation!

It’s been more than two years since the old £5 notes were withdrawn from circulation, and yet 118 million of these notes still have not been returned.

This figure, combined with the 94 million old £10 notes left to be returned (following the withdrawal of the paper note in 2018) means that over £1.5bn worth of outdated banknotes are currently in circulation!

In fact, you might just have one in your pocket/wallet/down the back of the sofa right now!

£1.5bn worth of old banknotes still in circulation!

A spokeswoman from the Bank of England said that the 224 million £5 notes returned was lower than expected, but the 697 million £10 notes returned was in line with their expectations.

It’s possible that these unreturned notes have been lost or damaged, or even held on to by collectors following the introduction of the new polymer notes.

Whilst these paper notes are no longer legal tender, they can still be exchanged at the Bank of England and there is no time limit on this.

I still remember the excitement of the first polymer £5 notes which were introduced in 2016 and whilst they definitely felt alien to begin with, I think it’s fair to say that we have all become accustomed to the polymer design and finding an old £5 or £10 note nowadays is a nostalgic experience.

In fact, many collectors were eager to get hold of some of the more unusual serial numbers for the new Winston Churchill polymer £5 and Jane Austen polymer £10 when they were first released.

And I’m certainly looking forward to seeing the polymer £20 and £50 notes which will be released in coming years.

So do you have any old banknotes lying around? There’s over £1.5bn of them out there somewhere…


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

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How much is my polymer banknote really worth?

In 2016, the Bank Of England issued their first ever polymer banknotes to replace the paper £5 note with a cleaner, safer and stronger alternative.

Collecting banknotes is a serious hobby that many thousands of people all over the world enjoy, and so it’s no surprise that when these new notes were released, collectors were eager to start building their collection.

With so many stories in the press and listings on eBay claiming certain notes were worth way over face value, it’s easy to see how the nation got swept away with the idea of their new polymer banknote being worth thousands of pounds.

How much is my polymer banknote really worth?
Credit: Bank Of England

So now, three years on, and with the release of a second polymer note, as well as plans for the new polymer £20 and £50 notes, how much are your polymer banknotes really worth?

‘Rare’ polymer banknotes

AA01

In the early days following the release of the new notes, I’m willing to bet that every single person in the country checked theirs at some point to see if they were lucky enough to find one with the prefix AA01.

The annual Bank Of England charity auction held at Spink and Son Ltd in London auctioned off a polymer £5 note with the serial number AA01 000017 for £4,150, however the following year, a Jane Austen Polymer £10 note with the serial number AA01 000010 sold for a staggering £7,200 – over double the guide price!

Whilst these first run banknotes may be desirable to some collectors, we must remember that 1 million AA01 banknotes were actually printed for each denomination.

How much is my polymer banknote really worth?
Sold listing on eBay for an AA01 £5 banknote in 2019

They aren’t likely to fetch much more than face value, and our latest eBay Tracker suggests that prices for AA01 banknotes are actually going down, with the previous figure for AA01 £5 notes dropping by £4.50 to £10.

The story is much the same with AA01 £10 notes, which were initially selling on eBay for between £40 and £70, but have now dropped considerably – from £18 last June to £15 in January 2019 (as taken from our eBay Tracker).

AK47

Considered collectable due to the machine gun connotations, polymer notes with the prefix AK47 were thought to be worth tens of thousands of pounds following the new £5 release in 2016.

This idea emerged after a £5 banknote with the prefix AK47 fetched a winning bid of £80,100 on eBay. Whilst the seller must have been overjoyed with the jackpot amount, it actually turned out the buyer had no intention of paying up.

hw 2017 1 pound back - Why your AK47 £5 note isn't worth £80,000 and other myths about the polymer banknote
Bidding on eBay for an AK47 £5 banknote in 2016

As exciting as a novelty serial number may be, there’s no way we could imagine paying anywhere near £80,000 for it! Could you?

A quick look at the most recent eBay sold prices for this serial number now show that people are willing to spend around £7.50 to get their hands on this note now, which we think is far more reasonable!

Whilst the same excitement picked up again following the polymer £10 launch in 2017, with some collectors paying between £20 and £40 for an AK47 £10 note, prices have again come down to a much more reasonable level, with AK47 £10 banknotes selling for around £15 on eBay now.

How much is my polymer banknote really worth?

Sold listing on eBay for an AA01 £10 banknote in 2019

James Bond theme

Another novelty serial number collectors were searching for was the 007 James Bond theme.

This banknote, described as an “AK37 007 James Bond Bank of England Polymer £5 note” in a lovely condition, sold for £5,000 back in 2016.

untitled - Why your AK47 £5 note isn't worth £80,000 and other myths about the polymer banknote
James Bond themed £5 which sold for £5,000

Although there must be plenty of James Bond fanatics out there, we can think of so many other items of James Bond memorabilia that fans could spend £5,000 on!

Whilst some chancers are still listing notes with 007 in the serial number for exaggerated prices on eBay, the sold listings reflect the fact that buyers just aren’t interested now that the hype has faded, with very few sold listings of the 007 £5 note and none of the 007 £10 note.

Key Jane Austen dates

In 2017, a polymer £10 note with serial number AH17 75 (the year of Jane Austen’s birth) sold on eBay for a whopping £3,600 – 360 times face value!

c2a310 note ebay - A new Polymer Jane Austen £10 note has sold for £3,600!
Jane Austen £10 note with serial number AH17 75 sold for £3,600

Key serial numbers collectors would be interested in include 16 121775 and 18 071817 which would represent the author’s date of birth and death respectively. Serial number 17 751817 would be her birth and death year combined.

Considering all the possible prefix variations that could accompany these serial numbers, there would be just 676 notes issued for each of the key dates mentioned above, from prefix AA through to ZZ.

Whilst these might become more popular with collectors in future, the initial excitement has now died down, with hardly any genuine Jane Austen birth or death date banknotes listed for sale on eBay anymore.

Genuine Rarities!

Jane Austen micro-engraving

In December 2016, specialist micro-engraver Graham Short came up with the idea of engraving a 5mm portrait of Jane Austen on the transparent part of the new plastic £5 notes.

View image on Twitter
Credit: BBC

He included a different quote around each one, ensuring that each note was unique.

According to Gallery owner Mr Huggins-Haig, artist Graham Short’s work has an insurance valuation of £50,000!

The first of four notes featuring art by specialist micro-engraver Graham Short was found in a cafe in South Wales, whilst another was found inside a Christmas card in Scotland. The third £5 note was found by a mystery old lady in Eniskillen in Northern Ireland who 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…

For those of you hunting down the last remaining fiver, the serial number to look out for is AM 32 885554.

Harry Kane micro-engraving

As football fever hit the nation in the summer of 2018, Graham Short was at it once again, creating six unique £5 notes, each engraved with a tiny portrait of footballer Harry Kane with the inscription ‘World Cup Golden Boot Winner 2018’.

Two of the notes were given away – one to Harry Kane himself and the other to the FA – but the remaining four notes were distributed around the county and each note is insured for £50,000, so anyone lucky enough to get their hands on one can expect that sum if they auction off the fiver!

How much is my polymer banknote really worth?

As of yet, we haven’t heard of these notes being found, so keep checking your £5 notes for the portrait of Harry Kane and look out for these serial numbers:

How much is my polymer banknote really worth?
Harry Kane £5 serial numbers. Credit: Graham Short

Serious Collectors: What to look for…

Generally, collecting banknotes is not about the serial number it possesses, but instead the chief cashier is of most interest, particularly on UK banknotes. 

This is where real rarities can be found –  in the form of Chief Cashier signatures.

Banknote designs rarely change but on average cashiers change every 5 or 6 years with some in the position for as little as 3 years.

change checker cashiers bank of england 003 - Why your AK47 £5 note isn't worth £80,000 and other myths about the polymer banknote

So if you are genuinely interested in collecting banknotes, the chief cashier is what you should really be looking for.

What about the £20 and £50 polymer notes?

The Bank Of England will be issuing a new polymer £20 note featuring
artist JMW Turner in 2020
and also plan to issue a £50 polymer note after this.

The £50 will feature someone who has contributed to science and the chosen person will be announced in summer 2019.

How much is my polymer banknote really worth?
Polymer £20 note concept image. Credit: Bank Of England

Are you a banknote collector and if so, which notes do you have in your collection? 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

Why the new Northern Ireland Banknote is turning heads…

Ulster Bank has recently revealed plans to print an innovative, new design for vertical banknotes which will be entering circulation in Northern Ireland next year.

This turn of events breaks the mould for UK currency, with the Bank of England first issuing banknotes in 1694 to a landscape rather than portrait alignment.

Whilst the banks of Northern Ireland have traditionally issued their own money, only once before has a note like this ever been printed in the UK, during 1999 when The Northern Bank issued a vertical polymer note to mark the millennium.

It featured an illustration of the Space Shuttle on one side and stopped being issued in 2008 when they reverted to the standard landscape paper notes, however the note can still be used today. 

Why the new Northern Ireland Banknote is turning heads…

Northern Bank vertical polymer £5 note from 1999. Credit: polymernotes.com

 

Ulster Bank plans to follow in the steps of the Bank of England by replacing their current paper currency with polymer £5 and £10 notes.

However, this new design goes to the next level, not only updating the material but also changing the entire orientation of the note.

Northern Ireland’s new banknotes will be based on the theme “living in nature” with Strangford Lough in County Down and Brent Geese featuring on the £5 note and Lough Erne in County Fermanagh, the Irish hare and Guelder-rose shrubs featuring on the £10.

 

Why the new Northern Ireland Banknote is turning heads…

New vertical Northern Ireland Banknote to enter circulation next year. Credit BBC News

 

Switzerland’s first vertical banknotes entered circulation in 1995 and for the past two years have won the “Bank Note of the Year Award” as voted for by members of The International Bank Note Society (IBNS).

Earlier this year Canada introduced their first ever vertical banknotes, hoping to create more space for a bigger image and to set it apart from existing polymer bills. Their 10 dollar note is currently nominated for Banknote of the Year 2018.

Bermuda, Israel, Venezuela, Argentina and Cape Verde are among other countries to use vertical banknotes in their currency.

These banknotes may be easier to use at cash and vending machines and may make it clearer to see the notes in your wallet, but what are your thought on this change in design and would you like the Bank of England to follow suit? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Why the new Northern Ireland Banknote is turning heads…

Credit: theibns.org

 


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Why the new Northern Ireland Banknote is turning heads…

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