1. Finding a phony paper or polymer note
Polymer ₤ 5 and ₤ 10 notes have entirely replaced paper notes because 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 anticipates to have actually provided a ₤ 50 polymer note.
However with paper notes still in circulation and polymer notes having additional security functions to make them more difficult to counterfeit, what should you be looking out for to find if your cash is fake?
First, let's take a look at how to identify a fake paper banknote. If you're specifically interested in spotting fake plastic notes, scroll directly to point 8.
These are printed on a special product, so make sure 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 throughout the paper note and if it's real, 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 not likely 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 Buy fake money information on spotting fake paper ₤ 20 notes on this Bank of England page).
The thread is woven through the paper-- not simply printed on-- so when you hold it as much as the light it should appear as a continuous dark line.
This appears as bright green dashes on the front of ₤ 50 notes.
Each dash is actually a window which contains 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 slanted up and down, the images move from side to side and the number '50' and '₤' symbol swap locations.
4. Check the watermark.
If you hold a real 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 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 devoid of smudges or blurred edges. So make sure you check the information thoroughly.
If the quality is poor or messy, you've obtained a phony!
6. Inspect under ultra-violet light.
This isn't so useful if you've just been given a banknote in a store, but if you're really determined to discover whether your note is fake or real, put it under ultra-violet light.
If it's the real offer, its value will appear in intense red and green numbers while the background will be dull in contrast.
The paper ₤ 20 and ₤ 50 notes likewise have brilliant red and green flecks randomly topped 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 portrait. On a genuine note, decorative swirls define the worth of the note in small letters and characters.