Friday 10th April 2020 - Della Bentham
A new polymer £20 note has fetched 375 times its face value at auction. Could your notes be worth more £20?
It's a trend we have seen with the previous releases of the polymer £5 and £10 notes, immaculate, low serial number examples fetching far more than their face value. But the latest release of the £20 note has seen one of these new washable notes fetching 375 times its face value.
The £20 with the serial number AA01 000010 went under the hammer in an auction yesterday which took place behind closed doors because of the Coronavirus outbreak. With an estimate of between £3,000 and £4,000, it smashed expectations.
Spink and the Bank of England auction off new polymer notes to raise help money for various charities, they ran similar auctions for the £5 note in 2016 and the £10 in 2017. This years sale of the £20 note which features artist JMW Turner was auctioned alongside 200 other notes to raise money for three charities.
Why are these notes so attractive to collectors? The low serial number show they were the first release of the new notes to enter circulation. Whenever a new banknote enters circulation, the Queen is usually gifted the first one - which contains the AA01 000001 serial number.
This means the note whish sold for 375 the face value, ending 000010 is likely to be the lowest-numbered note to enter circulation, because of this, it's drawn the attention of some very wealthy collectors who want to own this piece of notaphily history. These notes being brand new, are also in immaculate condition, so collectors are hoping that their value will only increase over time.
As well as the star seller, other £20 notes went under the hammer, New AA01 000011 and AA01 000013 notes fetched £2,800 and £1,600 respectively, while the AA01 000020 note sold for £3,200.
This auction is not the only place where the new £20 notes are changing hands for more than the face value. As with the release of the two prior polymer notes here in the UK, sellers have also taken to sites such as eBay to sell their low serial number notes and notes with interesting serial numbers for more than their £20 value.
18 of these new polymer £20 notes with the AB prefix were listed on eBay for around £30 each when they were released. Making a profit of about £10 per note.
Back in 2017 when the new polymer £10 entered circulation, Serial numbers beginning with AH were selling for £30 online, while an AH 17 75 serial number sold for an incredible £3,600. This is due to the combination of the low serial number prefix and 1775 being the year Jane Austen, who featured on the note was born.
So, should you be checking your notes? It stands to reason that low, early serial prefixes accompanied by the year JMW Turner was born, which is also 1775 could also fetch far more than their face value. A £20 note with the serial number JT 1775 1851 could mean you have hit the jackpot - with the note combining the artist's initials, his year of birth and his year of death.