eBay ‘upside down’ fivers selling for silly money after ex-sailor’s prank

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Online auction site eBay is being flooded with listings for ‘upside down’ five pound notes - with some attracting bids of thousands of pounds.

The sudden interest in collecting banknotes has been sparked by former sailor Mike Harris, who listed an ‘upside-down fiver for sale - and attracted bids of as much as £65,000.

However, interest in rare currency has recently received a boost, as when the Bank of England introduced their new plastic fivers, low-numbered notes were attracting bids of as much as £4,150 from currency collectors.

The original listing for the upside-down note read: “New £5 bank note printed upside down. Extremely rare opportunity for the most serious collectors. Seller can confirm that this is the only known upside down £5 note in existence”.

However, the fact that the sale was tongue-in-cheek was flagged by the additional info supplied by Mr Harris, a former Master-at-Arms in the Royal Navy.

The Welshman wrote on eBay: “Authenticity of note verified by Department of Upside down Printed English Denominations (DUPED).”

Although the original listing has been removed - eBay rules bar the same of novelty money (even though this was a genuine note) - dozens of similar listings have since appeared.

With very few of the listings attracting bids - and none close to the £65,000 apparently bid - it seems that - though those newly attracted to the study of money, or numismatics, should still beware.

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