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ENGLISH Replacements
SCOTTISH Banknote Replacements +
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Million Serial Bankotes
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British banknote prefix information


The Banknote Prefix Sightings Area of the British Notes website is a special area that we invite you to
participate.  With your valued help we can build an on-line catalogue of known banknote prefix sightings

First Prefix, Last Prefix, Replacement Notes, Column Sorts, Error Banknotes, etc...

If at anytime whilst referring to these pages you wish to contribute with any updates
Email   or  Phone 0208 641 3224
Scans please  200 or 300 jpg



Replacement Banknotes

        When the uncut sheets of notes are being checked, faulty sheets are removed.  To maintain the
numeracy of the stack these are replaced with perfect sheet of notes.  These replacement sheets are
numbered separately, usually with an M prefix (LL prefix in modern times), in earlier years the prefix A,
S--S, T--D, etc, were used.  The top left corner note of the first normal sheet would be numbered eg.,
BC42 000001, the second note would be BC43 000001, etc., the sheet below would be numbered
BC42 000002, the second note being BC43 000002, so when a stack of 100 sheets is guillotined,
each bundle of 100 notes is numbered down the bundle 1 to 100.  If a sheet has been removed, it
would have been replaced with an M or LL prefix sheet, thus maintaining the numeracy of the stack


         Z Replacement Banknote from Jersey

Column Sort Banknotes

        De la Rue, the Bank of England printers, like everyone else, is trying to save money.  So, when
part faulty sheets are removed from the stack, they are set aside.  The errors on the sheets would
have been marked with a yellow / orange phosphorescent pen.  The sheets would then be guillotined
into columns, the good  columns sorted  out for individual guillotining and numbering. Hence the
prefix / serials on column sorts are usually in a higher range. i.e., regular note  A35 000001 to
A35 800000.  Column Sorts  A35 900001 to  A35 999999


         Column Sort Banknote

Treasury Control Banknotes

       Control banknotes are found at the bottom right hand corner of the sheet and were probably

used for accounting purposes, though, this has yet to be confirmed.  They always carry the prefix Z 
The rest of the sheet being a regular prefix


         Bradbury Control banknote  Z/1

Break Number / Split Prefix

         Break Numbers / Split Prefixes occur when there is a signature change in the middle of a prefix.
 i.e.  signature 'A' up to GE 500000     signature 'B' after GE 500001


         1999 Grant / Mathewson AB prefix to serial 400000


          2003 Mitchell  AB prefix from serial 400001


     Serial Types


        Ladder serial  012345 or 987654 etc


        Solid serial  777777 


        Low serial  000005  on a Special Prefix banknote 


        Million serial  1000000, last nought hand set


        Radar serial  761167 


        Word prefix  Soil  (Toil - Lion - Dior etc)


     Notches on White Banknotes



In order to prevent banknotes being printed on the wrong watermarked paper, Portals created
a simple solution. As the sheet of paper was moulded, a small notch was formed on the right
hand edge (top corner for the £5 note) at a specific point for each denomination. This ensured
the banknotes were printed on the correct watermarked paper.
A sheet of paper created a pair of notes, thus, the left hand note has a cut / straight right hand
edge and three deckled edges, at top, bottom and left. The right hand note has a cut / straight
left hand edge and three deckled edges, at top, bottom and right - the right hand with the
left hand edge and three deckled


The right hand edges of the notes shown above in order of denomination: £5, £10, £20, £50, £100.
The notches appear on the right hand edge only, which is always deckled. £5 note notches are in
the form of the top right corner removed.
For further reading :- Promises to Pay page 98.


This method also utilised on the £200, £500 and £1000 notes.
The £200 notch is between the £20 and £50 notch.
The £500 notch is between the £10 and £20 notch.
The £1000 notch is between the £5 and £10 notch.




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