A local currency is fetching four times face value on auction websites because the notes contain a picture – of DAVID BOWIE.
Vending machine-style cash dispensers have been dispatching £1, £5, £10 and £20 Brixton Pound notes in south London since Tuesday but the tenners are flying out of the machine thanks to their star connection.
But despite the exchange rate matching exactly that of Sterling, enterprising residents are taking to auction site eBay to flog the notes featuring David Bowie for around £40 – and some are even fetching more than £80.
A second edition 2011 collectors pack including a host of famous Brixtonites is currently listed for £82.50.
One user in Canada posted a single £10 note version from the same year featuring the Ziggy Stardust star, who died of cancer in February, for £39.99.
Tom Shakhli, managing director at the Brixton Pound, said: “We can’t control what people do with the notes once they have them, people do whatever they want online.
“To me it seems pretty stupid to pay much for it, but if there are people willing to do it there will always be people cashing in on it.
“Some businesses in Brixton give discounts to people using the pound but it is not really about that, it’s more of a social thing and a community builder to get people thinking differently.”
The currency also features famous Brixton celebrities Luol Deng, who plays NBA basketball player for Miami Heat, WWII secret agent Violette Szabo, historian Len Garrison and a special edition created by Turner Prize winning artist Jeremy Deller.
The 33-year-old shop manager said: “It’s a local currency to spend in Brixton and some independent businesses to promote and encourage people to shop locally and build new economic relationships.
“It’s about pride in the area and pride in the heritage, history and culture of Brixton.
“It shows Brixton is a really unique place and somewhere special, with an interesting culture and identity with its own art and history, not just a place with some trendy shops.
“We really wanted to create something that felt part of that that culture.”
The local currency was launched after the financial crisis of 2009 to give a boost to ailing businesses during the credit crunch.
The ATM is based in Market Row, opposite the Brixton Village, and available when the market is open to the public.
Tom added: “When people could only come into the shop to get the pound, a lot of people would just pass by, but the machine is in a great location for visitors that come to Brixton.”
There is also a text message-based electronic Brixton Pound that is accepted in some shops and businesses.
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