How to spot a ‘rare’ £20 note and the serial numbers that could be worth hundreds – The Sun

EVERYONE knows rare coins can fetch you a few quid – but bank notes can too.

Some £20 notes have been known to sell for multiple times their face value at auctions just because they have quirky serial numbers.

 Brits might have a £20 note in their wallet that could fetch a hefty sum at auction


Brits might have a £20 note in their wallet that could fetch a hefty sum at auction

The current £20 notes have been in circulation for a couple of years, but there’s a few things to look out for which will help you spot a rare one.

Here’s everything you need to know.

Early serial numbers

When the Bank of England issues a new note it donates those with significant numbers to the people and institutions involved in the development.

For example, the first note AA01 000001 is given to the King.

But not many with very early serial numbers make it into circulation.

For this reason, they are largely sought after by collectors.

The bank also tends to donate lots of the earliest notes to charities for auction.

But it confirmed not all the early £20 notes were reserved, meaning some of the rarest AA notes are in circulation.

AA notes are the most valuable, but anything with an A in it could be worth more than the value of the note itself.

An AA01 £5 note sold on eBay for over £60,000 in 2017.

Rare coins and valuable notes – is yours worth a mint?

Consecutive serial numbers

Notes with consecutive serial numbers can also catch a collector’s eye, particularly if the numbers are low.

If you can combine an early serial letter, with a consecutive number you could be onto a winner.

For instance if you get one with AA1234567, it’s likely to be popular.

Two notes with the serial numbers AA01090561 and AA01090562 sold for more than £50 in March 2020.

To make a profit, people usually try and sell them on eBay or Facebook, sometimes making hundreds of pounds.

Special meanings in serial numbers

When the Jane Austen £5 notes came out in 2017 there was lots of interest in numbers that were linked to her life.

For instance, collectors hunted for the serial numbers 16 121775 and 18 071817 because they are the author’s birth and death dates.

Also, the £20 notes released in 2020 feature artist JMW Turner, so serial numbers with his birth date – 1775 – could be a winner.

If you find one starting with an A that also includes his birth date that should be worth even more.

One special serial number to keep an eye out for is 1775 1851 which combines the painter’s birth and death date.

A note starting with JT could be valuable in theory, but there would have to be a lot of notes printed to reach this, so the notes are unlikely to end up in circulation.

There are also sets of serial numbers that always prove popular regardless of who is on the note, for instance 007 for James Bond or AK47.

AK47 notes have been listed for as much as £160,000 but most have been selling for about £100.