1. Identifying a fake paper or polymer note
Polymer ₤ 5 and ₤ 10 notes have entirely replaced paper notes since 2018, while this year has seen the release of polymer ₤ 20 notes into blood circulation.
All notes will be polymer by the end of 2021, when the Bank of England expects to have released a ₤ 50 polymer note.
But with paper notes still in flow and polymer notes having extra security features to make them harder to counterfeit, what should you be keeping an eye out for to spot if your money is fake?
Initially, let's take a look at how to spot 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. Examine the metal thread.
A metal thread is embedded in every paper banknote.
This looks like 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 simply Buy fake money printed on-- so when you hold it up to the light it should appear as a continuous dark line.
This looks like bright green dashes on the front of ₤ 50 notes.
Each dash is in fact 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 tilted 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 approximately the light, you need to see a picture of the Queen's picture.
However, 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 free from spots or blurred edges. So make certain you inspect the detail carefully.
If the quality is bad or untidy, you've got yourself a phony!
6. Inspect under ultra-violet light.
This isn't so useful if you've simply been provided a banknote in a shop, however if you're actually identified to learn whether your note is phony or authentic, put it under ultra-violet light.
If it's the real offer, its worth will appear in bright red and green numbers while the background will be dull on the other hand.
The paper ₤ 20 and ₤ 50 notes likewise have bright red and green flecks arbitrarily spread out over the front and back of the note.
7. Use a magnifying glass.
Utilize a magnifying glass to look closely at the lettering below the Queen's picture. On an authentic note, decorative swirls spell out the worth of the note in little letters and numerals.