Even the humble fiver can be worth far, far more to the right collector, with quirky serial numbers, errors and rarity all causing their potential value to skyrocket
Old £5 notes can be worth up to £300 to the right buyer – so check if you’ve got any banknotes that could be worth a fortune.
Not all old fivers are valuable, but there are certain things that can cause their price to skyrocket.
These include things like a quirky serial number, banknotes with errors or simply being very rare.
For example, one 1957 fiver recently sold for £113.11.
This old-style banknote was an example of the jumbo-sized version of the humble fiver.
The notes were sized 211mm by 133mm – the largest fiver ever, in circulation from 1945 to 1957.
The note had 28 bidders, and was in great condition.
A modern, polymer £5 can also be worth far more than its face value – provided it has something else that makes it valuable to a collector.
For example, one recently sold for £99 because it had a serial number of AA01 010110.
This indicates it was one of the first polymer £5 notes to be made.
The first ‘plastic fiver’, with the serial number AA01 000001 was ceremonially presented to the Queen, with just 999,998 other fivers left with the prefix AA01.
This sounds like a lot, but it is actually rare, as there are more than 400million £5 notes in circulation.
Another serial number that makes £5 notes more valuable is instantly recognisable – AK47 .
Banknotes starting with this prefix are worth more to collectors, as the number is the same as the model of the famous Russian assault rifle.
Some have been listed on eBay for up to £160,000, but most sell for around £100.
Fivers can also be worth more if they contain printing errors.
One sold for £266.05 online this year because it had no signature from the chief cashier of the Bank of England – normally a security feature on all banknotes.
But errors in production also make coins more valuable too.
The reason why they’re often sought-after is because they are usually hard to come by – in some cases, they are even a complete one-off.
However, there are some well-known errors where larger batches of coins were released into circulation after being minted with a mistake.
After all, the Royal Mint manufactures between three million and four million coins a day – so it’s easy to see how mistakes can happen.
But fakes are also out there – so be aware of scammers trying to flog counterfeit pieces online.
One great example is a 2p that sold for an astonishing £1,357 .
The reason is it was minted using cupronickel – the silver metal alloy normally used to make 5p, 10p, 20p and 50p coins, and not the usual copper alloy.
If you happen to find a so-called “silver 2p” the rough guide price you could expect to sell it for is £600, according to Colin.
However, one of these error coins previously sold for £1,357 after former petrol station owner David Didcock discovered it among a roll of brand new pennies while filling up a till in Poole, Dorset, in 1988.