1. Identifying a phony paper or polymer note
Polymer ₤ 5 and ₤ 10 notes have totally replaced paper notes since 2018, while this year has actually seen the release of polymer ₤ 20 notes into flow.
All notes will be polymer by the end of 2021, when the Bank of England expects to have actually released a ₤ 50 polymer note.
However with paper notes still in circulation and polymer notes having additional safety functions to make them more difficult to fake, what should you be watching out for to spot if your cash is fake?
First, let's look at how to identify a phony paper banknote. If you're specifically thinking about identifying phony plastic notes, scroll straight to point 8.
These are printed on a special product, so ensure you inspect how the paper feels.
A genuine 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 authentic, you need to have the ability to feel the raised print on locations 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 finding phony paper ₤ 20 notes on this Bank of England page).
The thread is woven through the paper-- not just printed on-- so when you Fake money that looks and feels real 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 ₤ 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, 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 an image 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 most likely to be a dodgy note.
5. Inspect 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 examine the information carefully.
If the quality is poor or untidy, you've obtained a phony!
6. Inspect under ultra-violet light.
This isn't so handy if you have actually just been provided a banknote in a shop, but if you're truly figured out to discover whether your note is fake or authentic, put it under ultra-violet light.
If it's the real deal, its value will appear in intense red and green numbers while the background will be dull in contrast.
The paper ₤ 20 and ₤ 50 notes also have bright red and green flecks randomly spread over the front and back of the note.
7. Utilize a magnifying glass.
Utilize a magnifying glass to look carefully at the lettering beneath the Queen's picture. On a real note, ornamental swirls define the value of the note in little letters and characters.