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How to make money from the new five pound note

As the new five pound notes make their way into wallets around the country, some could be unknowingly holding a small fortune.
By Ben Lobel on Oct 1st, 2016   @freelotteriesuk

As the new five pound notes make their way into wallets around the country, some could be unknowingly holding a small fortune, meaning you could make money on your paper money.

The new notes are frequenting auction sites, with some going for over £200 due to their specific collectable attributes. So what should you be checking your fiver for?  

Specific to the new notes, serial numbers are the main focus to seasoned collectors. Notes that have come off the first press are of the highest value, so be sure to check the serial number in the bottom right corner. Those beginning ‘AA01’ are amongst the first created and are the ones bringing in the highest value at auction.

Research into eBay listings by Loans at Home, saw notes going for over £200 because of the serial number on an uncirculated note. Notes with sequential serial numbers starting with AA01 in small groups are a rare find for collectors to get their hands on, adding to the appeal.

Through the history of five pound note releases, there have been numerous collectable features, increasing the value of each. Numismatics – those who study or collect currency – have several factors that add to a currency’s value. Here are just a few elements you should look out for across all notes:

  • Errors in print
    Errors on printed notes that make it into circulation are rare, but there have been occasions when they make it out to the general public. The Bank of England will aim to recall as many of these as possible but should you get one, hold onto it.

The new five pound note introduced in 2002 was found to have serial numbers that were able to be rubbed off, this immediately became of interest to collectors around the world.

  • Key dates through history
    Notes released around key dates become collectable because of their historical significance. Likewise, limited edition ‘living hero’ versions – such as Jack Nicklaus or George Best – are sought after for their cultural significance.

  • Colours lost
    Notes that don’t include all the standardised colours have been found in circulation in the past. These are a popular collectable because of the ‘error’ that makes them rarer.

  • Vintage five pound notes
    The original five pound note, which dates back to the 1700s, was created as a promise to pay five pounds. In essence, these acted as a cheque, so were signed individually by bankers and cashiers. Again, these have become sought after collectables.

The collectable features across every note have changed with each new release. As new press runs of each note continue to enter circulation in the coming years, there’s still potential for new collectable errors to get released to the public before being recalled.

The old note will still be accepted as legal tender up until next May. From there, any old tender still in your possession can be exchanged at a bank.

The new introduction comes as an answer to the ‘grubby’ reputation that the £5 note has collected over the years. The new note is made from a polymer material, making it more resistant to dirt and germs, and much stronger and longer lasting. Last year, 21,835 notes were replaced because of damage. The new material of the fiver aims to significantly reduce this and drive down production in the coming years.