The note, one of a collection of four special edition notes printed this year, has the potential to fetch tens of thousands of pounds at auction. The £5 note’s distinguishing feature is a 5 mm micro portrait of the late Jane Austen, to mark the 200th Anniversary of her death in 2017.
The second of four printed notes was found in a Christmas card opened by an unsuspecting recipient in the Scottish Borders, the first of which was opened two weeks earlier in South Wales. The extremely rare celebratory notes were printed and released without public knowledge earlier in December.
The project was introduced by the Kelso based Tony Huggins-Haig Gallery and individuals coming across the £5 are urged to contact the gallery with their findings. The gallery suggested that it’s possible that the most recent discovery in the Scottish Borders may not have been purposefully given to the recipient, advising the public to remain on the lookout and “keep checking your change”.
The micro-engraver who came up with the idea of marking four £5 notes with a special engraving is Graham Short from Birmingham. Graham is said to have come up with the idea to include the engraving on the transparent section of the Bank of England notes as a way to celebrate the upcoming anniversary in 2017.
In an interview with the BBC the Tony Huggins-Haig Gallery indicated the Graham’s work has a current insurance value of £50,000 – a good indicator of each note’s current value.
Short admits to treating himself to a sausage and egg sandwich on the 8th December at the Square Café, Blackwood, Caerphilly, choosing the Southern Welsh town where his mother was born in 1909 to release the first note into circulation.
Those finding the notes have indicated their intention to keep the notes or pass them on to a family member as an investment for the future. Short had a mixed response the news: “I don’t know whether I’m disappointed that they haven’t wanted to sell them because I wanted them to have some money for Christmas, but the fact that they are so happy to keep them, that’s nice as well.”
Short admits to keeping a close eye on his change, worried that a note may make its way back to him, “when someone gives me a £5 note in my change now I always check, wouldn’t it be awful if it came back to me, people would say it was a fix.”
Photo credit: SWNS.com