1. Spotting a phony paper or polymer note
Polymer ₤ 5 and ₤ 10 notes have entirely replaced paper notes since 2018, while this year has actually seen the release of polymer ₤ 20 notes into circulation.
All notes will be polymer by the end of 2021, when the Bank of England expects to have actually issued a ₤ 50 polymer note.
But with paper notes still in blood circulation and polymer notes having additional safety functions to make them harder to counterfeit, what should you be watching out for to identify if your money is fake?
First, let's take a look at how to identify a fake paper banknote. If you're specifically thinking about identifying phony plastic notes, scroll straight to point eight.
These are printed on a special material, so ensure you examine how the paper feels.
A real banknote has a cloth-like feel, while a fake note will feel more like standard paper.
₤ 50 banknote (Image: Bank of England).
2. Raised print.
Run your finger across the paper note and if it's authentic, you must have the ability to feel the raised print on locations such as the words 'Bank of England' on the front.
If it's a fake, the note is not likely to have a textured feel to it and will feel flat all over.
3. Check the metallic thread.
A metallic thread is embedded in every paper banknote.
This appears as silver dashes on the back of paper ₤ 20 and ₤ 50 notes (see more information on spotting fake paper ₤ 20 notes on this Bank of England page).
The thread is woven through the paper-- not just printed on-- so when you hold it up to the light it ought to appear as a continuous dark line.
This appears as bright green dashes on the front of ₤ 50 notes.
Each dash is actually a window which contains pictures of the '₤' sign and the number '50'. When the note is slanted from side to side, the images go up and down.
When the note is slanted up and down, the images move from side to side and the number '50' and '₤' symbol swap places.
4. Check the watermark.
If you hold a genuine note up to the light, you should see a picture of the Queen's picture.
Nevertheless, if you can still see the watermark when the note is flat and not held up to the light, it's likely to be a dodgy note.
5. Check the print quality.
The printed lines and colours on genuine notes will be detailed and sharp and devoid of spots or blurred edges. So make certain you examine the detail carefully.
If the quality is poor or unpleasant, you have actually got yourself a phony!
6. Examine under ultra-violet light.
This isn't so helpful if you've just been fake money for sale offered a banknote in a store, but if you're really figured out to learn whether your note is fake or genuine, put it under ultra-violet light.
If it's the genuine offer, its value will appear in intense red and green numbers while the background will be dull on the other hand.
The paper ₤ 20 and ₤ 50 notes also have bright red and green flecks arbitrarily spread over the front and back of the note.
7. Utilize a magnifying glass.
Utilize a magnifying glass to look closely at the lettering underneath the Queen's portrait. On a genuine note, ornamental swirls spell out the worth of the note in small letters and characters.