Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Do you know if the bank sells new notes specifically to collectors? I'd love to buy one of these if I can get one that is in great shape.

> I'd love to buy one of these if I can get one that is in great shape.

What you want, IIRC, is known as an "uncirculated proof note" - at least, that's what I know it as when it comes to US currency.

They are fairly easy to get from the US Treasury, I believe - as they will typically sell low-denomination proof sets (with coins too) as "collectibles". Whether other countries do the same or not, I am not sure.

If you go to the Bank of England's website:


There's a contact link at the top - I believe they are the organization that releases Britain's currency, so I would contact them to find out how you can obtain such an uncirculated note.

Indeed, I want to do the same, and that's where I plan to start. Hopefully, we can get it for the face value (about $63.00 USD at current exchange rates), plus maybe a tad more for shipping, handling, it being uncirculated, etc. I'm expecting - well, hoping - to not pay more than $100.00 USD for the note.

Seems a bit crazy, but then again, I've paid a lot of real money for a fake money note (it was something shot out as "confetti" into the crowd of a concert, and it was in great condition - I never went to that concert because I didn't know the band then - plus I doubt I would have been in the pit where those notes landed - price and danger (mosh) would have deterred my older self).

I emailed the bank and they replied that they do not sell notes to collectors. They go into circulation.

There might be a nice little side-business for somebody that wants to get fresh new notes and sell them to people like us.

In the US, you could just walk into any bank and ask. I’ve done it before with other notes. Bring 50 quid with you if it’s not your bank. If you’re getting it right when it comes out, it will almost certainly be uncirculated. Go at a quieter time (not a Friday or first bank day after the 1st or 15th).

So you're saying I could walk into Bank of America, say I wanted the current 50 pound British note in proof condition, pay the current exchange rate ($63.00 USD currently), and walk out with one that same day?

Doesn't seem possible.

I mean - could you potentially get 50 pounds worth of physical British currency at the current exchange rate from a US bank? Certainly - but it won't be proof condition - not by a longshot.

I think if you wanted proof condition (uncirculated) for any note, you have to contact the treasury of that country - which I believe (and correct me if I am wrong) for the 50 pound note, is going to be the Bank of England (I've linked to it above in another reply).

In the US, I believe you have to contact the US Treasury Department; but you could probably just go to a bank for such a note (or an entire filled band if you wanted it) - but for certain things you would likely need to contact them directly I think.

For instance, you used to be able to get uncut bills; IIRC, one of the Steves of Apple fame used to pay things as a joke with these, in the one dollar denomination - he would get the sheets, then have them professionally perforated, and then punched to put them in a binder, and when he'd pay for stuff, he'd open the binder, and tear out the money - it was perfectly legitimate cash, but it threw a lot of people for a loop - I believe it was Woz who did this; Jobs was a bit uptight for that kind of hack - which is what made them a perfect pair - it's just too bad that Woz didn't get to really share in the "fame" of Apple (I think that was his choice, though - from what I know of him, that's how he is mostly).

To get those uncut bills, though, I think you had to travel to the US Treasury and purchase/pick-up in person; it wasn't something you could just easily grab at your bank. Today, they don't sell them at all, probably due to counterfeiting (bleach the paper and re-print higher-denomination bills all at one shot).

I assumed the commenter was in England. I can see how my comment was misleading.

Still, I stand by my point that you can get a note of the local currency from a bank brand new (you may have to ask around) and it will be good enough for someone who just wants to have a new one and isn’t going to get it graded.

Applications are open for YC Winter 2020

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact