1. Identifying a fake paper or polymer note
Polymer ₤ 5 and ₤ 10 notes have entirely replaced paper notes given that 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 fake, what should you be looking out for to spot if your money is phony?
First, let's look at how to spot a phony paper banknote. If you're specifically interested in finding phony plastic notes, scroll directly to point eight.
These are printed on a special material, so ensure you examine how the paper feels.
A genuine 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 need to have the ability to feel the raised print on areas such as the words 'Bank of England' on the front.
If it's a counterfeit, the note is unlikely 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 phony paper ₤ 20 notes on this Bank of England page).
The thread is woven through the paper-- not simply printed fake money for sale on-- so when you hold it approximately the light it need to look like a constant dark line.
This looks like bright green dashes on the front of ₤ 50 notes.
Each dash is really a window which includes pictures of the '₤' symbol 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 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. Inspect the print quality.
The printed lines and colours on genuine notes will be detailed and sharp and devoid of smudges or blurred edges. So make certain you examine the information carefully.
If the quality is poor or unpleasant, you have actually obtained a fake!
6. Check under ultra-violet light.
This isn't so convenient if you have actually simply been offered a banknote in a store, but if you're actually figured out to learn whether your note is fake or genuine, put it under ultra-violet light.
If it's the genuine deal, 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 intense red and green flecks arbitrarily spread over the front and back of the note.
7. Utilize a magnifying glass.
Use a magnifying glass to look closely at the lettering underneath the Queen's portrait. On a real note, ornamental swirls spell out the worth of the note in small letters and characters.