Recent years have seen some serious changes in the UK monetary system. First of all, in September 2016, the five pound note, or simply “fiver” was changed from a paper one to one made out of polymer. It features Winston Churchill on the reverse and Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse. The second, and more recent change was the introduction of a brand new pound coin. A uniform round shape with a dark-golden colour was changed to a 12-sided coin. Its outer ring is made out of nickel-brass and the inner – out of nickel-plated nickel-brass.

The most recent addition to the new pound family is the polymer 10 pound note, which entered circulation on 14th September 2017. On 1st March 2018, the paper tenner ceased to be the legal tender.

These changes are certainly a refreshment – the Series E fiver had been introduced in 1990 and the one pound coin was in circulation from 1986 until 2017. The paper tenner was introduced in 2000.

However, every currency change often brings about more problems than it solves. For example, two months after its release, the Bank of England found itself in the center of a controversy following the announcement that the new fiver contains traces of tallow. This type of animal fat is rendered from beef or mutton and has certain technical properties. Its inclusion in the banknote angered vegans and vegetarians as well as plenty of religious groups such as Muslims, Jews and Hindus.


The biggest (and untold) controversy, however, is the fact that the old one pound coins and fivers ceased to be a legal tender on 15th October 2017 and 5th May 2017 respectively. There were some flashy actions such as Poundland’s “Legal Tender Extender”, which allowed people to spend their old one pound coins until 31st October. Their flashiness, however, did not take away the seriousness of the grim reality that anyone who owned old one pound coins had to spend them as quickly as possible. Coins could also be exchanged at banks, but many of them have, by now, withdrawn from swapping or offer the service exclusively for their customers.


The owners of the old paper five pound note are in an even worse situation. Right now, the banknotes can only be exchanged in the Bank of England located in London. The notes can also be posted to the BoE. The process, however, requires quite a lot of documentation and can easily be stress-inducing, especially if you own more than 999 pounds worth of fivers, represent a business or you exchange the money on behalf of another person.

When it comes to the old paper tenners, the situation is pretty much the same as in case of the fivers. Right now, they can only be exchanged via the Bank of England.

The same polymer future awaits the 20 pound note, which is expected to enter circulation in 2020.

Although the new pound coins and notes are deemed to be more environmentally friendly and harder to counterfeit, their introduction is certainly not ‘friendly’ for the people who missed the exchange bracket deadline or live outside of the UK.

So, do you have to actually go to the UK to exchange your old pound coins and notes? Do you have to go through the entire process of setting up a bank account just to reclaim the value of your money? No! As usual, when the public sector fails, the private companies fill the void.

Around the world there are plenty of businesses devoted to helping people who own old money that are no longer accepted by their respective national banks. Forgottenbucks is one of them! We are a trusted old and foreign currency exchange service that will turn all of the money you won’t be able to spend into cash!

Some coins are not what they seem

 Don’t let the denomination trick you! There are one pound coins that are worth much more than it seems. Recently, some one pound coins emerged on eBay that were worth an incredible £2450 per piece! ‘How’s that possible?’, you may ask. All because of a small defect on a coin that turned a quid into a collectible!

Be sure to shuffle through your pounds, find some that are a bit different than the others and do some research. It might just turn out that your quid collection is worth more than its denomination!

You can also send your coins to us! We will evaluate your money and pay you back.