Production Cypher Types

A banknotes cypher is the first 3 or 4 digits preceding the notes 6 digit serial number.
The cyphers used within the GBP Banknote Checker Tool can contain the following formats:
LNN NNL LNNL LLNN.
where: (L = Letter, N = Number)

The Letters in a cypher is referred to as the Prefix
The Numbers in the cypher refer to the sheet number
Each combination of Prefix + Sheet number will have a serial # range between 000000 – 999999*
*exceptions occur where total serial ranges are not printed / issued.

A production cypher can tell us when a note was printed in the production process, in terms of collecting it is common practice to collect the first instances and last instances possible, this holds true for collecting different series, signatures, replacement notes and more…

NOTE: Cypher types have been categorised and identified via personal research and sales records, while best efforts have been made to increase accuracy, there may be errors and omissions in certain areas, updates will be made as new information comes to attention.

The GPB Banknote Checker Tool searches for the following cypher types:

  • Column Sort Cypher
  • Experimental Cypher
  • First Cypher Type
  • First Prefix Run
  • First Series Cypher
  • First Signature Cypher
  • General Cypher
  • Last Cypher Type
  • Last Prefix Run
  • Last Series Cypher
  • Last Signature Cypher
  • Replacement Cypher
  • Variant Cypher
  • Column Sort
    Cypher
    ★★★★★
    ☆☆☆☆☆
    INFO: A cypher with a Prefix that depicts a Column Sort Note.

    Additional interest for column sort notes occur when the sheet number is the First or Last sheet number for that production.

    Experimental
    Cypher
    ★★★★★
    ☆☆☆☆☆
    INFO: A cypher with a Prefix that depicts an Experimental Note.

    Additional interest for experimental notes occur when the sheet number is the First or Last sheet number for that production.

    First Cypher
    Type
    ★★★★★
    ☆☆☆☆☆
    INFO: Occurs when the cypher type changes mid production (eg: LNN > NNL, NNL > LNNL type), and contains the First Prefix for the new type of cypher

    This type can overlap with both First Series Cyphers and First Signature Cyphers.

    Additional interest on this type occurs when the cypher also includes the first sheet number.

    First Prefix
    Run
    ★★★★★
    ☆☆☆☆☆
    INFO: A Cypher that contains the First Prefix and a generic sheet number (not the First Sheet number).

    Occurs on both First Series Cypher and First Signature Cypher types, First Prefix Runs are generally a moderate sought after collectable feature.

    First Series
    Cypher
    ★★★★★
    ☆☆☆☆☆
    INFO: A Cypher that contains the First Prefix, and the First Sheet Number, when the series changes.

    Occurs on each series release, and generally a key sought after collectable feature.
    First Signature
    Cypher
    ★★★★★
    ☆☆☆☆☆
    INFO: A Cypher that contains the First Prefix, and the First Sheet Number, when the Chief Cashier signature changes.

    Occurs when there is a change of Chief Cashier and a later release of banknotes within the same series, this feature may overlap with the First Series Cypher type and generally a key sought after collectable feature.

    General
    Cypher
    ★★★★★
    ☆☆☆☆☆
    INFO: The most common cypher type of banknotes, generally not considered a collectable feature and desirability usually comes down to condition of the note, age, special serial type.

    Last Cyper
    Type
    ★★★★★
    ☆☆☆☆☆
    INFO: Occurs when the cypher type changes mid production (eg: LNN > NNL, NNL > LNNL type), and contains the Last Prefix for the current type of cypher

    This type can overlap with both Last Series Cyphers and Last Signature Cyphers.

    Additional interest on this type occurs when the cypher also includes the last sheet number.

    Last Prefix
    Run
    ★★★★★
    ☆☆☆☆☆
    INFO: A Cypher that contains the Last Prefix and a generic sheet number (not the Last Sheet number).

    Occurs on both Last Series Cypher and Last Signature Cypher types, Last Prefix Runs are generally a moderate sought after collectable feature.

    Last Series
    Cypher
    ★★★★★
    ☆☆☆☆☆
    INFO: A Cypher that contains the Last Prefix, and the Last Sheet Number, when the series changes.

    Occurs when a series release is finalised, and generally a key sought after collectable feature.
    Last Signature
    Cypher
    ★★★★★
    ☆☆☆☆☆
    INFO: A Cypher that contains the Last Prefix, and the Last Sheet Number, when the Chief Cashier signature changes.

    Occurs when there is a change of Chief Cashier and a later release of banknotes within the same series, this feature may overlap with the Last Series Cypher type and generally a key sought after collectable feature.

    Replacement
    Cypher
    ★★★★★
    ☆☆☆☆☆
    INFO: A cypher with a Prefix that depicts a Replacement Note.

    Additional interest for replacement notes occur when the sheet number is the First or Last sheet number for that production.

    Variant
    Cypher
    ★★★★★
    ☆☆☆☆☆
    INFO: A cypher that depicts a note with a feature outside the standard scope of the checker tool.

    Features are generally highly collectable and worth further investigating.

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