1. Spotting 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 provided a ₤ 50 polymer note.
However with paper notes still in circulation and polymer notes having extra security functions to make them harder to counterfeit, what should you be keeping an eye out for to spot if your cash is phony?
First, let's look at how to find a phony paper banknote. If you're particularly interested in spotting fake plastic notes, scroll directly to point 8.
These are printed on an unique product, so make sure you check how the paper feels.
An authentic banknote has a cloth-like feel, while a phony note will feel more like basic 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 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 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 up to the light it ought to 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 images 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 '₤' sign swap places.
4. Inspect the watermark.
If you hold a real note as much as the light, you should see an image of the Queen's portrait.
However, 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. Check the print quality.
The printed lines and colours on real notes will be detailed and sharp and complimentary from spots or blurred edges. So ensure you inspect the detail thoroughly.
If the quality is bad or untidy, you've got yourself a phony!
6. Inspect under ultra-violet light.
This isn't so useful if you've simply been provided a banknote in a shop, but if you're actually identified to find out whether your note is phony or real, put it under ultra-violet light.
If it's the real offer, its worth 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 spread out over the front and back of the note.
7. Use a magnifying glass.
Utilize a magnifying glass to look closely at the lettering beneath the Queen's picture. On a genuine note, fake money for sale ornamental swirls spell out the worth of the note in little letters and numerals.