Jane Austen engraved £5 note could be worth £20,000

A renowned micro-artist has engraved tiny portraits of author Jane Austen on four of the new fivers - and each minutely inscribed note could be worth as much as £20,000.

Graham Short works only at night and wears a stethoscope to engrave the portraits between heartbeats in order to maintain absolute stillness.

The tiny 6mm portraits of the novelist are accompanied by a quote and appear next to the image of the Big Ben on the new polymer notes.

The paintings are so minute that in some lights you can't see the Jane Austen portrait at all, while the quote is only visible under a magnifying glass.

There is a note in circulation in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Mr Short's tribute to the literary great is timely as next year is the 250th anniversary of Jane Austen's death.

Mr Short told ITV News that the author would have appreciated the tiny tributes.

He said: "She had a passion for irrelevance and ridicule and I thought if I could put a portrait onto a £5 note that something would really appeal to her.

The Willy-Wonka style golden ticket will have people rifling through their wallets and purses for the rare fivers

Graham Short's portrait of the Queen in the eye of the needle sold for a £100,000. Credit: ITV News

"I hope people enjoy looking for the notes. Obviously there is only one in each country so there aren't going to be thousands turning up. But it would be nice if someone does find one," Mr Short said.

The artist has won international acclaim for his minute works of art. His portrait of the Queen in the eye of the needle sold for a £100,000.

It is thought Mr Short's Jane Austen series could be worth up to £20,000 each.

Jonathan Callaway, currency expert told ITV News: "Because he is a well-known artist, his works will go for many thousands, so if anyone finds these notes they could find themselves sitting on a few thousand pounds - possibly more."