1. Identifying a phony paper or polymer note
Polymer ₤ 5 and ₤ 10 notes have completely replaced paper notes since 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 actually issued a ₤ 50 polymer note.
But with paper notes still in blood circulation and polymer notes having additional safety functions to make them more difficult to counterfeit, what should you be watching out for to identify if your money is fake?
First, let's take a look at how to identify a fake paper banknote. If you're specifically thinking about identifying phony plastic notes, scroll straight to point eight.
These are printed on a special product, so make certain 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 unlikely to have a textured feel to it and will feel flat all over.
3. Inspect the metallic 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 info on identifying phony paper ₤ 20 notes on this Bank of England page).
The thread is woven Buy fake money through the paper-- not simply printed on-- so when you hold it up to the light it must look like 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 '₤' symbol and the number '50'. When the note is slanted 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 '₤' symbol swap places.
4. Check the watermark.
If you hold a genuine note approximately the light, you must see a picture of the Queen's picture.
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. Inspect the print quality.
The printed lines and colours on real notes will be detailed and sharp and devoid of smudges or blurred edges. So make certain you examine the information thoroughly.
If the quality is poor or unpleasant, you have actually obtained a phony!
6. Check under ultra-violet light.
This isn't so useful if you've simply been given a banknote in a store, however if you're truly determined to discover whether your note is phony or authentic, put it under ultra-violet light.
If it's the genuine deal, its worth will appear in intense red and green numbers while the background will be dull on the other hand.
The paper ₤ 20 and ₤ 50 notes also have intense red and green flecks arbitrarily topped the front and back of the note.
7. Use a magnifying glass.
Use a magnifying glass to look carefully at the lettering underneath the Queen's picture. On a genuine note, decorative swirls spell out the value of the note in little letters and numerals.