An old Irish lady found one of the last £50k Jane Austen fivers and donated it to charity

 
Emma Haslett
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The third note was donated to charity by its finder (Source: Graham Short)

There's still a £5 engraved with a tiny portrait of Jane Austen floating around - after the last one was discovered and donated to charity.

Back in December artist Graham Short declared he had engraved four of the Bank of England's new fivers with a tiny, 5mm, picture of the author, plus a quote from her books - pushing their values up to £50,000. He spent one note each in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The latest, discovered in Enniskillen in Northern Ireland, means only the English fiver is still kicking around - after the Welsh one was found a week after the notes were launched, while the Scottish one was given inside a Christmas card.

Read more: Got change? Here's what £1m and £100m notes look like


The most recent discovery was donated to charity (Source: Graham Short)

The Northern Irish one, found on Saturday, was sent back to the THH Gallery, which Short launched the notes in conjunction with.

"The lady who found the note has surprised us all by sending it to the gallery and asking that it be used to help young people," said Short.

"An old lady found it and she said 'I don't want my picture in the papers' and she said 'if it sells for a lot of money it will be better if young children could benefit from it'," he told the BBC.

If you're looking for the fourth Austen fiver, it's worth taking a note of its serial number: AM 32 885554.

Vegans' revenge

The Northern Irish discovery came a few days after the Bank of England admitted it won't replace new fivers, which caused uproar when it was discovered they contain trace amounts of animal fat.

Last Wednesday the Bank admitted replacing the fivers could cost as much as £46m, plus another £50,000 to destroy the stock that's already out there.

However, it did add it is seeking "further opinions" on replacing the use of tallow, the animal fat used in the notes. It'll publish a full report in the summer.

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