Just what are the new plastic £5 banknotes really worth?

11th November 2016

On 13th September 2016 history was made when the Bank of England issued the first British plastic banknote. Since then there have been a plethora of newspaper articles, blogs and online chatter as to the actual worth of these notes. Our banknote department has been receiving numerous telephone calls, on a daily basis, from members of the public asking if their £5 plastic banknotes could be worth more than face value. 

Unfortunately the answer more likely than not, despite all the media hype, is no. We, as valuers, base all our valuations on the prices the same and similar items have sold for in recent sales. That way we can more accurately base our estimates on what collectors are actually willing to pay. We would therefore base a valuation of the new £5 banknote on the prices realised by the previous new issue of the £5 note. Our estimate for the £5 plastic notes in uncirculated condition and beginning with the prefix AA01 is £15 each. We would value all other prefixes at the face value of £5.

It has been reported in the media that these notes have been selling for much more than this on eBay. It is important to remember however that anyone can list something on eBay at whatever price they wish. In fact at the time of writing this article, there are 469 separate listings for £5 plastic banknotes, ranging in price from £4,000 to the face value of £5. Whether they will actually sell for these prices is another story.


By Jill Smith.

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