First fiver in Willy Wonkya-style challenge spent in Scotland

The first special £5 note deemed a work of art has been spent in Scotland and is now in public hands.

The public are being urged to check their new fivers after engraved bank notes worth as much as £50,000 were circulated. Picture: SWNS
The public are being urged to check their new fivers after engraved bank notes worth as much as £50,000 were circulated. Picture: SWNS

Estimated to be worth over £20,000 the new Bank of England notes, created by the ‘world’s smallest engraver’ Graham Short, feature a 5mm portrait of Jane Austen.

Mr Short made four, each with a unique Austen quote, and rather than auction them as he has done with other artwork in the past he decided to launch a modern-day twist on Willy Wonka by passing them into public hands around the UK and Ireland to give four people a Christmas windfall. Fellow artist and business partner Tony Huggins-Haig said: “Graham and I feel passionately that art should be for everyone, and wanted to do something that benefited the ordinary man or woman in the street.”

New fivers after engraved with Jane Austen's portrait could worth as much as £50,000. Picture: SWNS
New fivers after engraved with Jane Austen's portrait could worth as much as £50,000. Picture: SWNS