1. Identifying a phony paper or polymer note
Polymer ₤ 5 and ₤ 10 notes have actually completely changed paper notes because 2018, while this year has 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 issued a ₤ 50 polymer note.
However with paper notes still in flow and polymer notes having additional safety functions to make them more difficult to counterfeit, what should you be looking out for to find if your cash is phony?
First, let's look at how to find a fake paper banknote. If you're particularly thinking about finding phony plastic notes, scroll directly to point eight.
These are printed on an unique material, so make sure you examine how the paper feels.
An authentic banknote has a cloth-like feel, while a phony note will feel more like standard paper.
₤ 50 banknote (Image: Bank of England).
2. Raised print.
Run your finger across the paper note and if it's real, you should 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 metal thread.
A metallic thread is embedded in every paper banknote.
This looks like silver dashes on the back of paper ₤ 20 and ₤ 50 notes (see more details 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 as much as the light it must look like a constant dark line.
This looks like brilliant green dashes on the front of ₤ Buy fake money 50 notes.
Each dash is really a window which includes pictures of the '₤' symbol and the number '50'. When the note is tilted from side to side, the images move 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 places.
4. Check the watermark.
If you hold an authentic 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 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 bad or untidy, you've obtained 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 learn whether your note is fake or real, put it under ultra-violet light.
If it's the real deal, its worth will appear in brilliant 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 arbitrarily spread over the front and back of the note.
7. Utilize a magnifying glass.
Utilize a magnifying glass to look closely at the lettering below the Queen's portrait. On a genuine note, ornamental swirls spell out the worth of the note in little letters and numerals.