The United Kingdom phased out the one pound note in 1988 after more than 150 years of circulation. A one pound coin replaced the note. Although the Bank of England still honours any existing one pound notes as currency, the retirement of the note has increased its value as more and more collectors acquire them for their currency collections.
Types of One Pound Notes
Britain started printing paper notes around 1725, but the banknotes looked much different then. The original Bank of England notes actually required a signature and were made payable to specific people receiving the cash. This process lasted until 1855 when the notes stopped requiring signatures. At that point, all notes were black and white, and they remained that colour until 1928. However, these 'white notes' were only issued in one pound amounts in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Identifying One Pound Notes
Many people collect paper money because they expect it to increase in value, but they first need to make sure the currency is genuine. Although the colour and style of the one pound note changed a few times, the most common version has Queen Elizabeth on one side and Sir Isaac Newton on the other. The notes should contain a holographic image to the left of the Queen that is hard to see without rotating the note back and forth under light. This was added to the note to make it harder to produce counterfeit bills. Notes used to replace misprints have a large blank circle on both sides of the bill, and the front features the promise to pay the bearer the sum of one pound upon demand. These notes are some of the most rare one pound notes.
Condition of One Pound Notes
As with all currency, the note's condition affects its value and appeal. Collectors do not usually want faded, torn, or stained notes. Although professionals determine the official grade of notes, buyers can use a few basic guidelines to help them assess the general condition. Old one pound notes in good condition are pretty common. These notes spent time in circulation and show multiple signs of wear and tear, including fading, creases, stains, and tears. Very good bills also spent time in circulation but are in better shape. The damage is mostly fading, wrinkles, rounded edges, and creases. Fine notes have a bit more colour but still show creases, wrinkles, and worn edges. Very fine one pound notes still have some crispness, but they may include folds and other effects of light handling. Nearly uncirculated notes appear perfect at first glance but have very slight defects, such as pinholes or light smudges. Uncirculated notes are in perfect condition.