Paper Money

How people are shrinking England's new polymer note

Maybe its a function of too many people with too much time on their hands. Just when you thought that everything that could be said about the new Bank of England £5 note had been said already, the English newspaper The Telegraph gave us more.

A story datelined Oct. 3 said that although the new “fivers” would be cleaner, safer and stronger than their paper predecessors, an official test by the Bank of England in 2013 revealed that the polymer substrate was susceptible to high temperatures and that they begin to shrink and melt at temperatures over 248 degrees Fahrenheit.

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The fact that the £5 note is the lowest value bank note of the Bank of England is fortunate for those who decided to put their money where their stoves are. Next, they set social media afire with the results of their experimentation, showing fascinating and varied results in pictures and video. In most instances, the note really does shrivel up into nothingness.

The only comment thus far from the Bank of England is that the notes are “durable — not indestructible.” 

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