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Total commemorative banknotes issued is under 1,500 pieces. If you have achieved any figures close to this, then you are doing extremely well, as many of the older commemorative notes are hard to find even in poor conditions.

Opinion: Many collectors of commemorative banknotes would have come across with those Somaliland sets overprinted with gold and silver texts with the following wordings - 5th Anniversary of Independence 18 May 1996 [Sanad Gurade 5ee Gobanimadda 18 May 1996]. I believe these are "home made" (or fake) and not authorised by the central bank. My argument is simple. No central bank would have issued an overprint commemorative banknote that the texts are so large that it would cover the two signatures on the note as well as part of the serial numbers. Even if these are genuine notes, then these could be issued as souvenir sheets and not as legal tender. As I said before, this is my opinion. If you have paid top dollars for these, please think about my argument. There is always a sucker around the corner, including me of course!

All comments are most welcome but it has to be subjects related to banknotes or banknotes collection. If not, it will not be approved. Thanks

01 November 2021

..Great Britain - £20 YR20 Millennium Commemorative 2000, s. Merlyn Lowther

Great Britain
(England, Scotland & Wales)

Bank of England
Currency - Pound Sterling (GBP)

This is my second last Millennium note that it has been missing in my collection for more than 20 years. This is a £20 banknote issued by the Bank of England to celebrate the beginning of the new Millennium 2000. With the approval of The Bank of England, Debden Security Printing Limited released three notes to celebrate the new millennium and all were issued as numismatic products, some together with a coin. The issues came with two varieties. The premium sets which were presented in a box, whilst the standard sets came in a sealed cardboard folder. Unfortunately, I do not have the information about what the initial issued prices for these products were sold for but the quantity, it was 394 for this premium set (Set Serial nos YR20 000001 to YR20 000394). 
The Debden Security printing Limited was established in 1986, and started releasing collectible banknote sets together with coin to the public in 1990. However, Debden ceased providing such service in 2002 and during the period of 12 years, Debden had released banknotes together with coins, cupro-nickel, silver and gold with issuing prices ranging from £50 to £2,000 each. The banknotes issued, apart from commemorative special, and included with the first and last prefix notes, which were not so popular to collectors. These sets were released in a presentation folders in cardboard, box or leatherette, which I believe to be used as gift for special occasions or for Christmas. The series released during the 12 years including this Millennium set of 3 notes individually (£5, £10 and £20), the Queen's birthday, the late Queen's Mother birthday, Queen's Jubilee, Prince Charles's birthday and so on. All notes issued were from the same circulating series at the time of release. However, the difference from these notes and those in circulation are the serial number. For example, for this note that I have posted here, this is for the new millennium and the prefix of this note is printed with YR20 (Year 2000). All three notes for the serial have the same prefix, and needless to say that these are limited editions for collectors. In terms of the quantity, I do not have all the details here, but I do know that, and just like those Australia NPA issues, they were not popular amount collectors at that time as collectors felt that it was way over priced and many of these stocks were later sold to dealers for distribution purposes. 

This is my second last note of my 2000 millennium collection. Only 19 countries around the world had released banknotes to celebration the millennium year. Whilst most of them released them as normal circulation, few countries released them as a numismatic product, like the Bank of England. The lowest issue for this celebration was Fiji, where only 2000 pieces printed for the $2000 note. In addition to this, it also issued a $2 banknote for the same celebration. Unlike the $2,000, the $2 notes were put into circulation.

The design of this £20 is the same as those in circulation in 2000, without any additional logo or any commemorative features added. The only indication to say that this is a commemorative is the serial number. All notes are printed with the prefix of YR20 (Year 2000). I believe this was released on or around the 15.12.1999.
Chief Cashier - Ms Merlyn Lowther (tenure 1999-2003 - first woman to hold this role)
Dimensions -  149mm x 80mm
Twenty Pounds
nd1999, Queen Elizabeth the Second

Sir Edward Elgar (b.1857-1934), Worcester Cathedral

Booklet front cover
View all year 2000 millennium banknotes issued
In all, there are only 41 notes issued

| belarus | china | dominican republic | fiji | gibraltar | great britain | guernsey | honduras | hungary | japan | macedonia | malta | new zealand | northern bank (northern ireland) | papua new guinea | clydesdale bank (scotland) | singapore | slovakia | the united states of america |

Appreciate it if you please let me know if you find any broken links. Some of the images here were scanned with 100 dpi only. These were done a long time ago, however I am not going to redo them again. All latest scans are all done with 300 dpi. All notes displayed here are all mine.

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