New polymer ₤5 issues leave
people asking about authenticity
THE new polymer ₤5 notes, which entered
circulation during September 2016, are supposed to be almost impossible to
destroy. They also have an anti-counterfeit system incorporated. Sadly, since
the start of 2017, warnings have started to circulate about counterfeits. Such
warnings came from the likes of Dorset Police, in February 2017. Questions have
now been raised about the new security features which the Bank of England had
boasted would make them incredibly hard to counterfeit. We are told that the
Bank of England has since launched an investigation; despite saying it was
unaware of any forgeries of the new note. However, it has also been noted that
it could be genuine, but damaged banknotes not counterfeits ones, have triggered
the rise in warnings. This is down to the fact that, in some cases, extreme use
or exposure to high temperatures has resulted in the foil Elizabeth Tower being
removed from some of the notes in circulation. Since its release, a few other
problems have been found, like when sometimes some details on the ₤5 note
disappear when rubbed with a pencil eraser. That serious flaw was exposed by a
Scottish print centre manager, on the Scottish ₤5 notes. Now new questions are
being asked about the long term durability of these new notes. There are ways in
which you can check to see if your note is a fake or not! Don't worry, if you do
obtain a damaged ₤5 though, you can apply to the Bank of England to exchange it.
However, if it is found to be counterfeit, you will not be reimbursed! It is
also worth noting that there are a few misprinted Bank of England ₤5 notes now
in circulation as well. This matter came to light at the end of 2016, after a
lady on the Wirral discovered one of them, which lead to a fantastic pay out
from an online auction.
This is how to check if your Bank of England, polymer ₤5 note is real or fake...
The polymer ₤5 is slightly smaller than the paper ₤5 note. It measures 125mm x
65 mm compared to 135mm x 70 mm for the old paper ₤5 note. Check if the see
through window with the portrait of the Queen is correct. Around the edge of the
portrait should be the words:- "₤5 Bank of England" printed twice.
The ₤ symbol in the window also changes colour from purple to green and the
effects can be seen from both the front and back of the note. Also look at the
Elizabeth Tower: The edge of the see through window that it is printed over,
should feature a border which changes from purple to green whilst tilting the
note at an angle. The Tower should be gold on the front of the note and silver
on the back. Next, look to at the foil patches.
The silver foil patch above the
see through window contains the image of the coronation crown which appears in
3D. When tilted the image produces a multi coloured rainbow effect.
On the front
of the note, just below the see through window, there should be a silver foil
patch with the word:- "Five." When tilted the patch should change
to reads:- "Pounds."
A real ₤5 note should also have a circular
green foil patch, located on the back, containing the word:- "BLENHEIM."
This should be located directly behind the Crown on the front. Lastly, for
normal checks, is the print sharp and clear and free of smudges and blurred
If you find any suspect issues, you can the check beneath the Queen's
portrait. You will need a magnifying glass to do this properly. Look to see if
there is a cluster of micro lettering with the value of the note in small
letters and numbers.
The last check, other than serial numbers, is via ultra
violet light. Under it you should see a number 5 appear on the k of Bank and the
word:- "of" on the wording:- "Bank of England"; the
number should appear in bright red and green, while the background should remain
dull in contrast.
Don't forget as well that British shoppers only have until 5 May 2017 to spend
the old paper ₤5 notes, before they lose legal tender status.
It's also worth noting that in September 2017, the Bank will issue the new ₤10
polymer note featuring author:- 'Jane Austen.' Also, the new ₤20
note sporting:- 'JMW Turner', which is due to be released by 2020.