Bowie ‘Brixton Pounds’ selling four times above face value

Some Brixton Pound banknotes – a form of “complementary” paper currency that circulates in Brixton and supports the local economy – are being sold on eBay for more than four times their face value.

The notes, which feature the late David Bowie, have a face value of £10 and can only be spent in certain Brixton shops and restaurants. Despite being listed on brixtonpound.org for face value plus shipping, about a dozen people have paid £40 or more in a bid to acquire the notes via eBay. One listing, found here, has a price of more than $80 Cdn.

Max Wakefield, Brixton Pound project manager, told the Financial Times: “In terms of it being a substantial ruse, it would require some people to be not particularly observant.”

The currency was launched in 2009 as a way to encourage Brixton residents to support local business. Earlier this month, a vending machine (shown below in a tweet by London-based author Brett Scott) was installed to dispense the banknotes in Brixton. More than £1-million worth of Brixton Pounds have been issued since they first entered circulation.

In 2011, Bowie, who was from Brixton, gave permission for his likeness to be used on the currency. It has since become the most popular Brixton Pound.

For more information, visit brixtonpound.org.

BANK OF ENGLAND NOTE?

Since his death earlier this year, Bowie fans have been petitioning the Bank of England to commemorate the late musician on its forthcoming £20 banknote.

The petition, found here at change.org, states Bowie’s music has “sound-tracked important events in the lives of many of us,” adding his “visual art and sense of character brought a new combination of music, performance and imagery into mainstream culture.”

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