(a) Can specific serial numbered new five pound notes be ordered? (b) What is the highest serial number to be printed for the new five pound notes? (c) Can serial numbers be ordered for old five pound notes?

We publish details of a selection of requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, and the information we disclose in response.
Date Released:  16 November 2016
 
Disclosure:
 
It is not possible to order banknotes requesting specific serial numbers from the Bank of England (the ‘Bank’).
 
* Prefixes on the new £5 banknote start at AA and there are 60 notes on a sheet, AA01 to AA60. For each of these cyphers there are 999,000 serial numbers printed: 000001 to 999000.  Therefore for the first AA cypher there are 59,940,000 notes, not all these notes are issued.  We printed a launch stock of 440 million banknotes for the launch of the new five pound note and as these are printed in large batches, it is not possible to separate certain serial numbers. We do not yet know what the highest serial number will be as we intend to print more notes in the future.
 
The Bank has donated some notes with significant or low serial numbers to people or institutions that were involved in the development of the note or who traditionally receive a note when a new series is issued – for example the Queen receives AA01 000001 and the Churchill War Rooms received a new fiver with serial number AA01 001945.
 
You may also be interested to know that the Bank ran a banknote auction on 3 October through Spink & Sons of low serial numbered £5 notes.  Details of the auction can be found on the Spink & Sons website. The auction raised £194,500 to be split between three charities which were chosen by the Bank’s employees: The Myotubular Trust, The Lily Foundation and Bliss.
   
A banknote dealer, the contact details of whom may be found by conducting an internet search or in local commercial directory, may be able to assist with the possibility of obtaining historic banknotes.
 
* Information revised 10 July 2017
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