1. Finding a phony 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 actually released a ₤ 50 polymer note.
But with paper notes still in flow and polymer notes having extra safety features to make them more difficult to fake, what should you be looking out for to find if your cash is phony?
First, let's look at how to find a phony paper banknote. If you're particularly interested in finding fake plastic notes, scroll directly to point 8.
These are printed on an unique material, so make sure you inspect 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 genuine, you ought to be able to feel the raised print on areas such as the words 'Bank of England' on the front.
If it's a fake, 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 details on identifying phony 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 approximately the light it should appear as a continuous dark line.
This looks like intense green dashes on the front of ₤ 50 notes.
Each dash is in fact a window which consists of pictures of the '₤' sign and the number '50'. When the note is slanted from side to side, counterfeit money for sale the images go 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 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 likely to be a dodgy note.
5. Check the print quality.
The printed lines and colours on genuine notes will be detailed and sharp and free from spots or blurred edges. So make certain you inspect the detail carefully.
If the quality is bad or unpleasant, 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 find out 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 randomly spread out over the front and back of the note.
7. Use a magnifying glass.
Utilize a magnifying glass to look carefully at the lettering beneath the Queen's picture. On an authentic note, ornamental swirls define the value of the note in little letters and numerals.