Antiques Roadshow fans gobsmacked as white £5 note is given huge value

As we are adapting to a cashless society using contactless payments, coins and banknotes are deemed "useless" by many.

But certain rare coins and banknotes with historical ties could fetch a small fortune.

More than 200 years ago (April 15, 1793), the Bank of England issued its very first £5 note.

READ MORE: Antiques Roadshow guest speechless over eye-watering valuation of family heirloom

And one collector on Antiques Roadshow last year left experts by a rather special note of the denomination.

Appearing on BBC's Antiques Roadshow last April, acclaimed poet Benjamin Zephaniah brought along a folio of banknotes and coins.

"It started as a joke when I said my hobby was collecting money, but people started sending me banknotes and I just started collecting it.," he told expert Will Farmer.

Impressed by the variety of banknotes, Will said: "Out of the folio you have it here, one that did really catch my eyes is this white fiver, do you much about this one?"

Benjamin replied: "It's called a burn-out or something like that?"

And Will smiled and contined: "You're a collector! You do know your stuff.

"Operation Bernhard and this was an operation that occured during the Second World War.

"The Nazis basically came up with an idea that they were going to print and put into circulation fake white fivers to basically try to destabilise the economy.

"These were actually printed by prionsers of war in the camp.

"The fact that that is something incredibly historical. These – could fetch £100, £150 – they are a bit of propaganda almost but also very telling."

Benjamin was stunned as he didn't realise it was printed by inmates.

According to the Westminster Collection, it was estimated that 70,000,000 notes were printed by inmates – a cache of upwards of £100,000,000.


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