Someone Has Found One Of The £5 Notes Worth £50,000

Photo: Oliver Dixon/REX/Shutterstock
Update December 16, 12.00 p.m: The first of four customised £5 notes worth as much as £50,000 has been found.

The special fivers each feature a tiny portrait of Jane Austen created by Birmingham-based engraver Graham Short, one of the world's leading micro-artists. The engravings can be found on the holographic foil near Big Ben.

Short used one of the notes to pay for a sausage and egg sandwich in a café in the Welsh town of Blackwood, the BBC reports. It has since been discovered by a new owner who wishes to remain anonymous. It is not known whether the new owner plans to keep the note or to sell it on.

The gallery owner who commissioned the customised fivers previously estimated they could be worth as much as £20,000. However, Short has now suggested they could be even more valuable, saying the notes were insured for £50,000 each.

The three other notes customised by Short have yet to be found. One was spent at a pie shop in Leicestershire and the others were spent at shops in Scotland and Northern Ireland, says the BBC .

This story was originally published at 12.30 p.m., December 7, 2016.

Four customised plastic £5 notes that could be worth as much as £20,000 are now in circulation in the UK.

The special fivers each feature a tiny portrait of Jane Austen created by Birmingham-based engraver Graham Short, one of the world's leading micro-artists. The engravings can be found on the holographic foil near Big Ben. They were commissioned and put secretly into circulation by the Tony Huggins-Haig Gallery in Kelso in the Scottish Borders.

Explaining why he launched the unusual art project, Huggins-Haig told BBC Scotland: "Only 5% of people ever visit an art gallery. How do we get art out and make it accessible to all? These notes are spent everywhere, so anyone has a chance of winning."

Huggins-Haig also explained that valuing each note at £20,000 is a "reasonable estimate" based on the fact that "all of Graham's work has an insurance valuation of about £50,000 at the moment."

One note has already been spent near to the gallery in Kelso, while the other three will be spent in England, Wales and Northern Ireland later this week. "It is very much the Willie Wonka golden ticket," Huggins-Haig told BBC Scotland.

As well as giving anyone the chance to own a valuable piece of artwork, the customised notes could bring some positive publicity to the humble fiver. The new plastic notes have recently attracted criticism from vegetarians and vegans after it emerged that they contain a small trace of animal fat.
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