1. Spotting a phony paper or polymer note
Polymer ₤ 5 and ₤ 10 notes have completely 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 security functions to make them harder to counterfeit, what should you be keeping an eye out for to find if your cash is phony?
First, let's look at how to find 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 make sure you check 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 need to be able 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. 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 just printed on-- so when you hold it as much as the light it must look like a constant dark line.
This appears as intense green dashes on the front of ₤ 50 notes.
Each dash is actually a window which consists of images 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 '₤' sign swap locations.
4. Examine the watermark.
If you hold a real note up to the light, you ought to 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 most 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 totally free from smudges or blurred edges. So make sure you check the detail thoroughly.
If the quality is bad Buy fake money or untidy, you've got yourself a fake!
6. Examine under ultra-violet light.
This isn't so convenient if you have actually just been given a banknote in a store, however if you're truly identified to learn whether your note is phony or real, put it under ultra-violet light.
If it's the real 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 bright red and green flecks randomly 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 picture. On a genuine note, ornamental swirls define the value of the note in little letters and numerals.