1. Identifying a fake paper or polymer note
Polymer ₤ 5 and ₤ 10 notes have actually totally changed paper notes considering that 2018, while this year has actually seen the release of polymer ₤ 20 notes into flow.
All notes will be polymer by the end of 2021, when the Bank of England anticipates to have provided a ₤ 50 polymer note.
However with paper notes still in circulation and polymer notes having extra security features to make them harder to fake, what should you be looking out for to find if your cash is phony?
Initially, let's look at how to find a phony paper banknote. If you're particularly interested in spotting fake plastic notes, scroll directly to point 8.
These are printed on a special material, so ensure you inspect 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 info on finding 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 as much as the light it must look like a constant dark line.
This looks like brilliant green dashes on the front of ₤ 50 notes.
Each dash is really a window which consists of pictures of the '₤' sign and the number '50'. When the note is tilted from side to side, the images move 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 up to the light, you must 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. Inspect the print quality.
The printed lines and colours on authentic notes will be detailed and sharp and devoid of smudges or blurred edges. So make sure you check the information thoroughly.
If the quality is bad or untidy, you've got yourself a phony!
6. Inspect under ultra-violet light.
This isn't so helpful if you've simply been offered a banknote in a shop, but if you're actually figured out to discover whether your note is fake or real, put it under ultra-violet light.
If it's the genuine deal, its worth will appear in brilliant red and green numbers while the background will be dull in contrast.
The paper ₤ 20 and ₤ 50 notes likewise have intense red and green flecks randomly topped the front and back of the note.
7. Utilize a magnifying glass.
Use a magnifying glass to look carefully at the lettering Buy fake money below the Queen's portrait. On a real note, decorative swirls define the worth of the note in small letters and numerals.