Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Rare £5 note worth up to £50,000 donated to charity by mystery owner

The engraved £5 note and letter from the anonymous woman. Credit: Michael Huggins

A rare engraved £5 note worth up to £50,000 has been found in Northern Ireland, with the woman who discovered it donating it to charity.

The £5 note was spent and discovered in Enniskillen by a woman who wishes to remain anonymous, but felt she would not benefit from the note as much as others would.

In 2016 four £5 notes were inscribed with tiny golden portraits of Jane Austen and her famous quotes, which are invisible to the naked eye, by specialist micro-engraver Graham Short.

Micro-engraver Graham Short works on one of the notes. Credit: ITV News

The project was launched by the Tony Huggins-Haig Gallery in Kelso, in the Scottish Borders, and it was Mr Huggins-Haig who the woman, known only as J contacted.

In a telephone call Mr Huggins-Haig explained to the woman what she could do with the note, she replied that she thought the scheme was "fantastic" and would let Mr Huggins-Haig know of her plans.

At the end of January the gallery received a photo of the note, along with a copy of a newspaper to prove the date, following numerous false claims of notes being found.

Two weeks later the note and a letter from the woman arrived at the gallery in which she had written that she did not "need" the note at her "time of life, please use it to help you people".

After discussion between Mr Huggins-Haig, Mr Short, and gallery staff, it was agreed that the note would be auctioned off to raise money for Children in Need because was "what first came to our minds when thinking about causes that assist young individuals in Britain", explained was Assistant Gallery Manager and Head of Media and Communication, Michael Huggins.

The engravings are invisible to the naked eye. Credit: PA

Mr Short has also pledged to create another one-off piece to be auctioned alongside the note.

The Huggins-Haig Gallery are currently awaiting a response from Children in Need.

Prior to the latest discovery two notes were found in December, one was received in a Christmas card, while another was found in south Wales when it was given to the recipient as change in a cafe.

Since three notes have now been discovered only one remains in circulation, with Brits being urged to check their new fivers after four engraved notes were circulated as part of a Willy Wonka-style 'Golden Ticket' giveaway.

The remaining note has the serial number AM32 885554.