Could the pounds in YOUR pocket be worth thousands?
The search is on to find the latest banknotes printed featuring the late Queen Elizabeth II.
As picture notes of the beloved monarch begin to be replaced by a profile of next year’s King Charles, the last one to be printed will hold a treasured place in history. But beyond their sentimental value, they could also fetch a record amount at auction, collectors say.
Each note has its own unique serial number to identify and date it.
Today, Wealth & Personal Finance can reveal the serial numbers of the last £5, £10, £20 and £50 Queen notes to have been printed. If you buy one, you may find that it is worth much more than its face value.
Special or rare banknotes and coins are sought after by collectors, called numismatists, as well as members of the public looking to hold on to a piece of history. Some of the first polymer notes issued sold for thousands of pounds in online auctions seven years ago, with a £5 note fetching £4,150, 830 times its face value.
Is it worth it?: We can reveal the serial numbers of the last £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes with the Queen to have been printed
Now, collectors will keep a close eye on the serial number in the hope that they have ended up with one of the last rare notes to be printed. And here’s why you should too.
Polymer banknotes issued by the Bank of England, including the £5 Winston Churchill note and the £10 Jane Austen note, have a ten-digit serial number, consisting of two letters, followed by two numbers. , a space, and then another. six numbers
The Bank of England shared with The Mail on Sunday the first two letters and numbers of the latest batches of notes featuring Queen Elizabeth II for the four different banknote denominations.
The last printed prefixes, known as ciphers, are:
- £5 notes start with BC60;
- £10 notes start with EM54;
- £20 notes start with DM45;
- £50 notes start with AE80.
The last batch of £5 notes featuring the Queen were printed in July 2018 and the last £10 notes in December 2020. The last £20 notes were printed a month after her death in October 2022 and the last £50 notes in April 2022.
They were all printed by the British company De La Rue. These banknotes have entered the bank’s reserves and will enter general circulation when required by demand. But some notes have already been issued and are circulating, the Bank of England informs this newspaper.
For each prefix, there are 999,000 banknotes printed, from 000001 to 999000. However, the final Queen Elizabeth II banknotes may not end in 999000. This is because the Bank of England says that the serial numbers of King Charles notes will run from those of Queen Elizabeth II, instead of resetting to 0000001 again.
We still don’t know precisely where the Queen Elizabeth II notes end and the King Charles notes begin, as the Bank of England has yet to disclose that information. When it does, we’ll know which ones are last to be printed, and therefore which ones are the most valuable. But it might be worth keeping notes with the above prefixes until we know for sure. Richard Beale, an appraiser at Warwick & Warwick, says: “At our June auction, a £1 A01 000122 from 1960, the first to feature a portrait of Elizabeth II, sold for £380.
“We would expect a similar premium for the latest Elizabeth II notes.”
If you find one of the last issued notes, it might pay to keep it in the best possible condition in case it turns out to be valuable.
Arnas Savickas, Head of Banknotes Europe and US at Spink and Son, says: “Although we cannot provide guidance as to the value of these banknotes, collectors will most likely want to have the latest prefixes on QE banknotes. II in their collections in mint or near mint condition. Most likely the last number of issues are more sought after than the sheets they were printed on. There is likely interest in the last 5,000 to some degree, however, the last 1,000 or even 100 will be where collectors will turn their attention.
Simon Narbeth, who runs the International Banknote Society and is co-founder of banknote shop Colin Narbeth & Son Ltd, advises collectors considering paying above the odds to err on the side of caution. “The prospect of owning one of the last Queen notes is very exciting. Thanks to The Mail on Sunday’s investigation, we now know what the last printed notes are likely to be.
“The problem is that I don’t know of any last high serial numbers that have been really high priced in the past, but this latest Queen run is likely going against the trend. If it is sold at a charity auction, it could create a new record.”
In 2016, our online sister publication This is Money revealed the serial numbers of the first polymer £5 notes featuring the portrait of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
The notes, released in September 2016, proved popular with collectors, with some AA01s selling on eBay for up to £200. And at a Bank of England charity event, the £5 note with the serial number AA01 000017 sold for £4,150.