They were like the golden tickets in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: only a few of them, sent out into shops in secret.
But instead of getting you an audience with Willy Wonka, these £5 notes will give you an extra £49,995 of value if you manage to find them.
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Now, somebody has found the first, after it was used to pay for a sausage and egg sandwich in Blackwood, South Wales.
Artist Graham Short, a micro-engraver, carved tiny portraits of Jane Austen onto four of the new polymer notes, and spent them at various locations around the country to get them into circulation.
Graham said his work usually sells for around £100,000 and each of the notes he engraved is insured for £50,000.
To give people a clue to help them search, he revealed where he spent them all: the shop in Wales (pictured above), a pie shop in Leicestershire, and two other shops in Scotland and Northern Ireland. None of the last three have been found yet.
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The one which has been spotted includes the quote from Mansfield Park: ‘A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of’, and the serial number AM32 885553.
The lucky person who discovered the first one, an elderly art fan, wanted to remain anonymous, but confirmed it hadn’t left South Wales after it was spent at the Square Cafe in Caerphilly county on December 8.
FILE PICTURE — Micro-engraver Graham Short from Birmingham who has spent two five pound notes in Granny Jean's Home Bakery in Kelso, Scottish Borders. A small town bakery was inundated with customers trying to get their hands on a special £5 note worth thousands
See Centre Press story CPNOTE; Granny Jean's Home Bakery in Kelso, Scottish Borders, saw hordes of people turn up after it emerged the special fiver featuring a tiny portrait of Jane Austen had been spent at the shop. The picture of the author, by micro-engraver Graham Short, 70, turned the note into an artwork estimated to be worth as much as £50,000.
And last Monday Graham visited the pie shop to spend one of the unique fivers. Alan Malone, head baker at Granny Jean's, said: ìGraham came in on Monday of last week and paid for two pies. ''l was through the back, and there was only one assistant, Patsy Johnstone, in the front of the shop. Credit: SWNS
She said she plans to keep it as an investment for her granddaughter.
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‘Generally this artwork is out of reach for most people,’ Graham said. ‘I wanted an ordinary man or woman to find it in their hands.’
He spent another of the notes at a bakery in the Scottish Borders.
Alan Malone, who worked there, said: ”Since then, there has been a lot of people coming in to pay for their pie with a tenner in the hope of getting that fiver in change.