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Rare banknote worth £1,800 to be sold at auction – how to spot valuable ones in your wallet

ONE of the rarest banknotes in the country is set to make £1,800 at auction next week.

Hundreds of notes amounting to £21,000 at face value are set to go under the hammer.

The Royal Bank of Scotland £50 polymer note is worth around £1,800

The auction is being held by NatWest as part of a campaign to raise money for hard-up households.

Leading auctioneer of collectable bank notes Spink, estimates the auctions could raise over £400,000.

The first of three auctions is being held on Tuesday (November 29) with proceeds being donated to the Trussell Trust.

Some of the most collectable notes are also the newest and are estimated at £1,800 each.

A never circulated Royal Bank of Scotland £50 polymer note with the serial number AA888888 featuring Flora Stevenson and Randolph Crescent in Edinburgh has a top estimated value of £1,800.

Low serial numbers are also desirable for collectors and the majority of these notes are set to raise around 10 times their face value.

The auctions will feature notes from the Royal Bank of Scotland, Ulster Bank, the historic National Bank of Scotland and the Bank of England.

Some of the more historic notes date back over 100 years to the First World War and include a Bank of England 10 Shilling note from 1919.



Richard Talbot, head of cash & self-service at NatWest, said: “We have been a long-term supporter of the Trussell Trust and we are glad to be building further upon that support to help those most in need with the current cost of living crisis.”

Subsequent auctions will be held on December 16 with a further auction planned for January 19, 2023.

While it might be pretty rare you find one of these collectable notes in your wallet, there are some that could fetch you a pretty penny.

How to spot a rare bank note

Early serial numbers

Banknotes that have very early serial numbers are often sought after by collectors.

This is because not many of them tend to make it into circulation.

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 Queen.

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

But the Bank of England 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.

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.

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