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12th November 1984 the end of the £1 bank note

In 1984, the Bank of England ends the production of the £1.00 paper note making, withdrawing it from full circulation 4 years later in 1988. The £5.00 note in England thus becoming the lowest valued paper note in circulation.

The £1 note was issued for the first time by the Bank of England in 1797, and would remain in circulation for 187 years to be replaced by a £1 coin. The Royal Mint proposal to replace the note with a coin was due to the estimated life stamp of 9 months, due to the popularity and usage of the £1 currency. The Prime Minister of the day Margarette Thatcher was however not a fan, and believed the humble note would indeed make a return. The £1 note however had other ideas and never did make a return to the pockets of the public.

How valuable are old £1 notes

Due in part to its low value, every household in Britain had at some point a £1 note in the draw, in the wallet and the pocket. When the note was being withdrawn, it appears a sizeable part of the population chose to keep at least one of these notes for future prosperity. So what does this mean for collectors, here are a few things to look out for:

Bank Note Serial Numbers: Secret of a valuable bank note

The Cypher: The first 4 numbers on the bank note is known as the cypher and determines where on the printing sheet the note located. Note the Cypher is alpha numeric, extended the unqiru combinations available.

Serial Number: The following 6 digits represents the serial number of the note. These numbers will be in the range starting from 1 i.e 000001 to 999000.

Combination of Cypher and Serial Number: With approximately under 1 million numbers in the serial number range the cypher combination quickly enables upwards of 60 million unique serial numbers to be created per cypher sequence. The Royal Mint must ensure that there every bank note printed has a unique Cypher + Serial number.

The Value of a Serial Number

All things being equal it is only the serial number and cypher on the note that differentiates one bank note in a series to another. Therefore collectors have a limited scope to value one serial number sequence over another. The other source of value comes from miss-prints and other printing errors that are corrected with the serial numbers affected becoming the target for collectors.

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