|Royal Bank of Scotland
Jack Nicklaus £5 Note
(Please note these are low resolution images, in line with RBS requirements.)
We are often asked about these, most often by people who have them and wonder what their value is. Here's some information.
The issue of the note
Jack Nicklaus had been an "RBS Ambassador" for many years, and the bank thought it would be fitting to mark his last appearance at "The Open" at Saint Andrew's in 2005. They also had a hope, which turned out to be well-founded, that this would raise the visibility of the Royal Bank of Scotland in the USA.
The note went on standard issue at branches of the bank, and customers outwith Scotland were able to send orders by post. (Even though RBS had branches in England, they were prohibited from issuing the Scottish notes there.)
The note can hardly be called scarce, as two million of them were issued. Presentation folders were available at branch counters, and about 100,000 of these were handed out.
When these notes were issued they received a lot of publicity, both in Scotland and across the world, and there was understandably a strong demand from golf collectors. An online market opened up, particularly on online auction sites like Ebay, where many sellers took advantage of the potential buyers' lack of knowledge. The simple thing that most buyers didn't know was that virtually every branch of RBS had stocks of the notes still available at the face value of five pounds each. I know of one person who started selling the notes at £19.95 each, sold dozens (if not hundreds) of them, and each time their stocks ran low they just went back to their local bank and bought some more.
At the time of writing, if you look on Ebay you'll see them on offer at anything between £5.50 and about £20. However, the important thing is always to look at "sold listings" where they appear at anything from 99p (plus £5 postage) to £17.99 - the cheapest one in fact was probably the one at £5.50 but with free postage. Most "sold" items were between £5 and £15, with many of these being uncirculated and many with the presentation folders.
How to sell them.
It will give you some idea as to the market value of these if I tell you that any we get coming in to the shop in anything less than "extremely fine" grade will just be used as change for customers.
If you have any of these notes in average or poorer condition, I would suggest you just spend them or bank them.
If you have them in perfect uncirculated condition, you will probably be able to sell them at a premium above face value (though this is not guaranteed). However, you are probably best to steer clear of the established banknote market (i.e. professional dealers, who probably have enough of them) and try to sell them to - how can I put this nicely ? - less knowledgable buyers. So I would normally suggest one of the online auction or advertising sites. But remember - even in perfect condition you are not guaranteed to get the five pounds face value after you have paid selling fees.
If you have notes in pretty good, but not perfect, condition, you have to make the choice. If your time is valuable you are probably best to just get your five pounds each; if you can afford to spend the time maybe try to sell them one by one at a small profit.
5 & 6 Inverleith Gardens
Scotland EH3 5PU
Tel. 0131 552 1220 or 0131 478 7021
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