1. Identifying a phony paper or polymer note
Polymer ₤ 5 and ₤ 10 notes have entirely changed paper notes considering that 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 released a ₤ 50 polymer note.
But with paper notes still in flow and polymer notes having additional security features to make them harder to fake, what should you be looking out for to spot if your cash is fake?
First, let's take a look at how to spot a fake paper banknote. If you're particularly thinking about 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 basic 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 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 counterfeit money for sale 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 in fact a window which consists of 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 up to the light, you ought to see an image of the Queen's portrait.
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. Examine the print quality.
The printed lines and colours on real notes will be detailed and sharp and devoid of spots or blurred edges. So ensure you check the detail thoroughly.
If the quality is bad or untidy, you've got yourself a phony!
6. Examine under ultra-violet light.
This isn't so helpful if you've just been offered a banknote in a store, but if you're really determined to discover whether your note is fake or genuine, put it under ultra-violet light.
If it's the genuine offer, its value 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 topped the front and back of the note.
7. Use a magnifying glass.
Utilize a magnifying glass to look carefully at the lettering beneath the Queen's picture. On an authentic note, decorative swirls define the value of the note in small letters and characters.