Since the new £10 note was issued last year, multiple stories have emerged about rare serial numbers and limited editions fetching thousands of pounds at auctions, multiplying the notes’ value tenfold and then some.
For example, one of the new notes – which feature celebrated novelist Jane Austen – sold for £3,600 on eBay in September 2017, exciting collectors with get-rich-quick dreams.
Apparently, the reason for the swift increase in value was to do with the presence of a coincidental serial number that contained the AH prefix and 1775, the year Austen was born. AH17 754827 was the full serial number of the note that sold for £3,600, according to Wales Online.
- The serial numbers 16 121775 and 18 071817 as they represent Austen’s date of birth and death.
- The serial number 17 751817 as it’s her birth and death combined
- The serial number 28 011813 as it’s the date when her most celebrated novel, Pride and Prejudice, was first published.
- The serial numbers JA01 and JA75 (Jane Austen’s birth year) and JA17 (the year of Jane Austen’s death) may be popular too, but it could take many years before those notes enter circulation.
Similarly, the new £5 note, which launched earlier last year, also offers editions that collectors are willing to pay big money for, reports the Daily Mail.
Although not quite as high as the prices the new £10 note can fetch, many of the earlier serials on the £5 note that feature AH have been selling for “around £30 a pop since the note’s launch”, writes The Birmingham Mail.
Each of the new notes carries a quotation from Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice: “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading.”
New £10 note: how to spot a valuable one
The Bank of England’s new £10 Jane Austen bank note goes into general circulation today and eagle-eyed collectors are already on the look-out for special or unique serial numbers that could bag them thousands of pounds.
Here’s what to look out for:
Special serial numbers
Serial numbers show when the note was printed with the first note off the block starting with the prefix AA01 000001 and going up from there.
The serial number is printed on the same side of the note as Austen’s face and is two letters followed by eight numbers running from 000001 to 999000.
Which ones will be most valuable?
As a general rule, the lower the serial number the more valuable the banknote. Like the £5 note which was released last year, the first note printed will be given to the Queen, with the second given to Prince Philip, the third to the Prime Minister Theresa May, and the fourth to the Chancellor Philip Hammond.
Despite that, the first million £10 notes will contain a prefix of AA01 and could all be worth £50, Simon Narbeth, a specialist paper money dealer told the Daily Telegraph.
However, there are exceptions to any rule and in the case of collectable notes, quirky serial numbers that carry special connotations, such as 007 (James Bond) or AK47 (the machine gun) have added value.
In the case of the new £10 note, serial numbers that have a special significance to Austen will also be worth more. According to ChangeChecker.com these include 16 121775 and 18 071817, which are the author’s date of birth and death, 17 751817, which is Jane Austen’s birth and death year combined and 28 011813, the year Pride and Prejudice was first published.
Also popular are likely to be notes that allude to the authors name and birth and death years; JA01, JA75, JA17.
How much will these be worth?
It is hard to say with certainty but the lowest number of the new £5 note issued to the public, AA01000017, sold for £4,105 at a charity auction last year.
Likewise, if the £5 note is anything to go by, James Bond serial numbers and other-Austen related notes could go for a similar amount.
Rather than diligently inspecting every tenner you come across, the Bank of England is making it easy for budding collectors by holding a charity auction on October 6 for rare notes or runs.
Spink, which is running the auction, says many going under the hammer will be early serial numbers and you will also be able to bid on an entire sheet of 54 £10 notes. To give an idea of prices, the AA01 000010 note has a guide price of £2,000 to £3,000, while the sheet of notes has a guide price of £4,500 to £6,500.
Why Jane Austen?
Thursday’s release is the culmination of a four-year struggle. Back in 2013 there was a public outcry when it was announced that prison-reformer Elizabeth Fry, the only woman other than the Queen to feature on legal tender, was to be replaced on the new £5 note by Winston Churchill.
One campaigner, Caroline Criado-Perez, threatened to take the bank to court for discrimination. She was subjected to a wave of online abuse but eventually the bank relented and agreed that the next figure to feature on the £10 note, replacing Charles Darwin, would be a woman.
Earlier this year, on the 200th anniversary of her death, the Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney unveiled the new Jane Austen bank note.
However, while she told The Guardian it would feel “amazing” to finally hold the new £10 note, Craido-Perez admitted Austen was the bank’s choice, not hers.
Interestingly, research from insurer Aviva has calculated that due to the impact of inflation over time ten pounds at the time of Jane Austen’s death in 1817 would be worth the equivalent of £786 in today’s money.
What special features does the new note have?
This is the second polymer note issued by the Bank of England following last years £5 note featuring Winston Churchill.
It is 15% smaller than the old paper tenner and will last two-and-a-half times longer. It will also be more secure, featuring hologram windows with images that change colour when tilted to protect against fraud. A cluster of raised dots in the upper corner will also help blind and partially sighted people identify the note.
The new note will controversially still be made from the same material at the new fiver which drew criticism from animal rights and religious groups for containing traces of animal fat.
The Bank of England looked into ways to make its new notes tallow-free, “but decided the cost and effort was too high – and the practical alternatives not exactly popular either” reportedly causing health and environmental concerns says the Daily Mirror.
When will my old £10 note stop being accepted?
Although the new polymer notes enter circulation today, they are being phased in slowly and the old £10 won’t disappear until Spring 2018.
Retailer and businesses will continue to accept old £10 notes up until this point while “genuine Bank of England banknotes which have been withdrawn from circulation will retain their face value “for all time” and can be exchanged at the Bank of England”, says the London Evening Standard.
New £10 notes attract get-rich-quick collectors
Speculators are counting down the days until new £10 notes, featuring a portrait of Jane Austen, go into circulation in September.
Rare examples of the polymer Sir Winston Churchill £5 notes set eBay bidders on fire when they were released last year.
Low serial numbers of the fiver, including notes starting with the letters AA, sold online for hundreds of pounds, with at least one AK47 note being fought over for £65,000.
“History could well repeat in the autumn when the Jane Austen £10 hits cash machines across the UK,” the Leicester Mercury reports.
This is not the first time the Sense and Sensibility author has appeared on new notes. A tiny, engraved portrait of Austen appeared on four, limited edition “golden ticket” fivers, which were put into circulation around the country.
Three have since been found – with a value estimated at £50,000 each, The Sun reports.
Austen will be the only woman apart from the Queen – to grace an English banknote notes featuring prison reformer Elizabeth Fry are being phased out.
The new £10 note, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the author’s death, was unveiled at Winchester Cathedral earlier this summer. It features a quote from Austen’s most famous work, Pride and Prejudice: “I declare after all there is no enjoyment but reading.