This may sound like a silly question but there has been a stampede of buyers and collectors looking to acquire the very earliest of the Five Pound note releases. However, is this a big fuss over nothing?
The Bank of England issued the notes on 13th September 2016 to quite a big fuss as they were made of a plastic polymer and distinctly different from any other bank note ever created.
The notes were released and some early-bird, eagle eyed people spotted that the earlier run of notes were identified by a serial number prefixed by AA or AK. The belief was that these notes would actually be worth more than £5.00 as they would subsequently be in demand by collectors or general members of the public.
Sure, there will always be a small number of people who like to collect the first editions of anything, and this is quite common amongst notes and coins in a similar way to Stamps. Where the problem lies is that many people heard about this hype of the £5.00 note and started paying anything from £30.00 up to hundreds of pounds - remember, this is a £5.00 note !!
So, is this all madness?
Well, in short, yes. Many people who bought into the hype would have bought the £5.00 notes for more than a fiver only to find out that it was mainly a load of old tosh and it really only ever will be worth a fiver. There are exceptions... If you have an early AA 01 0000xxx note then it will indeed be amongst the very early notes and 'may' have some enhanced value but there were just short of a ONE MILLION £5.00 notes with the AA prefix. Now, that is some hyped up malarkey, similar to the Pump'n'Dump practice in Penny Share trading.
The very first public note, AA01 000007, is to be retained by the Bank of England and may be later sold at auction. Even then it might only reach high hundreds or very low thousands so any people who paid similar amounts for the 'normal' notes may have been effectively mugged. The very lowest serial number notes are given to the Queen.
The hype was further exacerbated by an Ebay listing that seemed to go for just over £80,000 !! This later turned out to be completely nonsense but had a knock on effect of making the average punter hell bent on securing early 5 pound notes. The vast majority of these people are now sitting on a bit of paper, well, plastic that it, would you believe it, only worth 5 pounds.