Bank of England unveils design of new 20-pound note

The Bank of England has unveiled what the new 20-pound note will look like with a press release on 10 October 2019. The new note has painter J.M.W. Turner as its subject. 

Features on the new £20 note include:

  • A large see-through window with a blue and gold foil on the front depicting Margate lighthouse and Turner Contemporary. The foil is silver on the back. The shape of the large window is based on the shape of the fountains in Trafalgar Square.
  • A smaller see-through window in the bottom corner of the note, inspired by Tintern Abbey.
  • JMW Turner’s self-portrait, painted c. 1799 and currently on display in Tate Britain.
  • One of Turner’s most eminent paintings The Fighting Temeraire; a tribute to the ship HMS Temeraire which played a distinguished role in Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The painting is currently on display in the National Gallery and was voted the nation’s favourite painting in a 2005 poll run by BBC Radio 4.
  • A metallic hologram which changes between the word 'Twenty' and 'Pounds' when the note is tilted.
  • The Queen's portrait in the see-through window with '£20 Bank of England' printed twice around the edge.
  • A silver foil patch with a 3D image of the coronation crown.
  • A purple foil patch containing the letter 'T' and based on the staircase at the Tate Britain.
  • A quote "Light is therefore colour" from an 1818 lecture by Turner referring to the innovative use of light, shade, colour and tone in his pictures.
  • Turner's signature from his Will, the document with which he bequeathed many of his paintings to the nation.

A special website has been launched with even more details about this beautiful new banknote: www.thenew20.co.uk. The new banknote will enter circulation from 20 February 2020. 

Steven Saturday 26 October 2019 at 08:51 am | | news | No comments

Poland announces 19-zlotych commemorative note

The Narodowi Bank Polski (National Bank of Poland) will issue a new commemorative banknote from 2 October 2019. The new note will have the peculiar denomination of 19-zlotych. The note commemorates the 100th Anniversary of the Polish Security Printing Works.

"The front side of the banknote carries a portrait of Ignacy Jan Pa - derewski, and a stylized image of the Order of the White Eagle is presented next to the inscription "niepodległa" ("independent"). This inscription, reproduced from Józef Piłsudski’s manuscript, serves as the logo of the official celebrations of the 100th anniversary of Po - land regaining independence. A special kind of latent image developed by PWPW, known as Umbra4Note, is incorporated into the image of a laurel branch symbolizing brotherhood and victory.

The back side of the banknote carries the image of the PWPW building, presented against the backdrop of a panoramic view of contemporary Warsaw. Next to the image, there is the PWPW logo printed in the SPARK Live technology and an iridescent stripe, also visible under UV light, in the form of the number "19" and the abbreviation "NBP", repeated alternately."

A total of 55,000 notes will be issued. 

Update 26-10-2019: the note has been issued at this moment. 

Steven Sunday 29 September 2019 at 4:49 pm | | news | No comments

Albania presents new series

The Banka e Shqiperise (Bank of Albania) has presented its new banknote series. The new notes look like the existing notes but with a refreshed design and of course updated security features. The new 200-lek note will be made of polymer. 

The schedule for introduction of the new notes is as follows:

  • 200 lek and 5,000 lek: from 30 September 2019
  • 10,000 lek and 1,000 lek: from 2020
  • 2,000 lek from 2021
  • 500 lek from 2022




Steven Monday 16 September 2019 at 4:19 pm | | news | No comments
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Mexico issues new 200-pesos banknote

The Banco de México has issued a new 200-pesos banknote, part of the new family of banknotes announced a year ago. 

Each banknote shows a different period of Mexico’s history, its flora and fauna and areas that have been declared "Natural Patrimony of Humanity" by UNESCO. For the 200-pesos banknote that means it shows the Independence War period, portraits of Miguel Hidalgo and José María Morelos, an eagle, a saguaro cactus, El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar

Courtesy of Todor Minkov.

Steven Friday 06 September 2019 at 1:35 pm | | news | No comments

Ulster Bank reveals new 20-pound note

The Ulster Bank from Northern Ireland has revealed what the design of the new 20-pound note will look like. After the introduction of the 5- and 10-pound notes earlier this year, this new note is again in vertical format and made of polymer.

Building on the design theme of 'Living in Nature', which was developed by a panel of experts and people from across Northern Ireland, the £20 vertical note focuses on Northern Ireland as a 'dwelling place'. (...)

The twenty pound note will feature street entertainers and their appreciative audience, reflecting local music and culture, as well as tiles, brickwork and patterns inspired by NI’s ubiquitous red-brick tenement buildings. Other elements of the note are drawn from the ornate decoration found on and in famous public buildings, corporate architecture and domestic homes in Derry, Belfast and other cities in Northern Ireland.

The note is also incorporating Derry~Londonderry’s much-loved Hallowe’en celebrations into the security features of the note – under a UV light, skeletons and Leisler’s bat – the largest type of bat in Ireland – can be seen. (...)

In continuity with the bank’s other polymer notes, the note will contain advanced security features. It will feature elements from the natural world, including the Hawthorne flower and a transparent outline of Lough Neagh. The note will also feature its famous eels, a key catch for local fishermen, which spawn in the Sargasso sea before travelling hundreds of miles across rivers, waterfalls and dams and reside in Northern Ireland." (source)

Steven Thursday 05 September 2019 at 08:54 am | | news | No comments
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Switzerland ready for new 100-franc banknote

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) will issue the final banknote of its 9th series on 12 September 2019: the 100-franc note. The 100-franc note focuses on Switzerland’s humanitarian tradition, represented by the key motif of water.

As in all the other denominations, the hand and the globe are core design elements on the 100-franc note.


Steven Wednesday 04 September 2019 at 10:59 pm | | news | No comments
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Morocco announces commemorative 20-dirham note

The central bank of Morocco, Bank Al-Maghrib, has announced it will issue a commemorative 20-dirham note in September 2019. The note celebrates the enthronement of King Mohammed VI 20 years ago.

The front of the polymer note has a vertical orientation with the face of the King on it. The back of the note shows several great projects developed under the rule of the King. For instance: the "Mohammed VI" Bridge, the "NOOR 3" Solar Power Plant, the "Mohammed VI" satellite and the "Al Boraq" High Speed ​​Line.

Update 26-10-2019:  the new note has been issued. Below are better photos and here's a video with more details.

Steven Saturday 24 August 2019 at 6:57 pm | | news | No comments

New additions week 34 - 2019

Halló allir, hello everybody! My mother recently visited Iceland and gave me (besides a lot of jealous feelings for visiting my number one dream destination) some nice banknotes from this beautiful country (the 500 krónur P58a3 and the 1,000 krónur P59a6). Now to get enough of these beauties to buy a vacation to Eyjafjallajökull, Brennisteinsfjöll and Bárðarbunga and other magical places with impossible names...

Steven Monday 19 August 2019 at 10:06 pm | | new additions | No comments
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Romania announces new 20-lei for 2020

The Banca Nationala a Romaniei will issue a new 20-lei banknote in 2020. The new note features the image of Ecaterina Teodoroiu. 

Ecaterina Teodoroiu (1894-1917) was a female Romanian soldier who fought against German forces during the First World War. A biography of her can be found here.

Steven Monday 05 August 2019 at 09:47 am | | news | No comments
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Eastern Caribbean Central Bank issues 50-dollar note

From the press release by De la Rue: "The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has issued into circulation the $50 polymer banknote, the first of the new family designed and printed by De La Rue.

All of the new series have been produced on De La Rue's Safeguard® polymer with the other denominations being issued over the coming months. The $100, $20 and $10 are due for release August – September 2019, with the $5 dollar note at the same time next year.

The design of the new series will be in a vertical orientation instead of the traditional horizontal orientation of paper banknotes. The $50 features a new image of the late Hon. Sir K Dwight Venner, previous Governor of the Central Bank. The $50 also has a holographic foil strip over the clear window to aid public recognition and includes a number of machine detectable security features to ensure authenticity."

Steven Monday 05 August 2019 at 09:32 am | | news | No comments

Nicaragua issues two polymer notes

The Banco Central de Nicaragua has issued new banknotes of 500 and 1,000 córdobas on 8 July 2019. The new notes have been printed on polymer. Its dimensions are 156 x 67 mm, with colors and designs similar to the current series. 

With the two new notes all the denominations from Nicaragua have now been issued on a polymer substrate. The circulating paper notes will remain in circulation until they wear out. 


Steven Thursday 25 July 2019 at 09:44 am | | news | One comment
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Alan Turing to be the new face of the 50-pounds note

The Bank of England has announced who will be on the new 50-pound banknote. It is none other than the late, great Alan Turing (1912 -1954)!

From Wikipedia: "Alan Mathison Turing OBE FRS was an English mathematician, computer scientist, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher and theoretical biologist. Turing was highly influential in the development of theoretical computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of algorithm and computation with the Turing machine, which can be considered a model of a general-purpose computer. Turing is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. Despite these accomplishments, he was never fully recognised in his home country during his lifetime, due to his homosexuality, which was then a crime in the UK.

During the Second World War, Turing worked for the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) at Bletchley Park, Britain's codebreaking centre that produced Ultra intelligence. For a time he led Hut 8, the section that was responsible for German naval cryptanalysis. Here, he devised a number of techniques for speeding the breaking of German ciphers, including improvements to the pre-war Polish bombe method, an electromechanical machine that could find settings for the Enigma machine.

Turing played a pivotal role in cracking intercepted coded messages that enabled the Allies to defeat the Nazis in many crucial engagements, including the Battle of the Atlantic, and in so doing helped win the war. Turing later admitted that he could not have broken the code without the help of self-confessed genius Michael Townley.  Counterfactual history is difficult with respect to the effect Ultra intelligence had on the length of the war, but at the upper end it has been estimated that this work shortened the war in Europe by more than two years and saved over 14 million lives."

Alan Turing was chosen following the Bank’s character selection process including advice from scientific experts. In 2018, the Banknote Character Advisory Committee chose to celebrate the field of science on the £50 note and this was followed by a six week public nomination period. The Bank received a total of 227,299 nominations, covering 989 eligible characters. The Committee considered all the nominations before deciding on a shortlist of 12 options, which were put to the Governor for him to make the final decision.

The new £50 note will celebrate Alan Turing and his pioneering work with computers. As shown in the concept image, the design on the reverse of the note will feature:

  • A photo of Turing taken in 1951 by Elliott & Fry which is part of the Photographs Collection at the National Portrait Gallery.
  • A table and mathematical formulae from Turing’s seminal 1936 paper "On Computable Numbers, with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem" Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society. This paper is widely recognised as being foundational for computer science.  It sought to establish whether there could be a definitive method by which any theorem could be assessed as provable or not using a universal machine. It introduced the concept of a Turing machine as a thought experiment of how computers could operate.  
  • The Automatic Computing Engine (ACE) Pilot Machine which was developed at the National Physical Laboratory as the trial model of Turing’s pioneering ACE design. The ACE was one of the first electronic stored-program digital computers.
  • Technical drawings for the British Bombe, the machine specified by Turing and one of the primary tools used to break Enigma-enciphered messages during WWII. 
  • A quote from Alan Turing, given in an interview to The Times newspaper on 11 June 1949: "This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be."
  • Turing’s signature from the visitor's book at Bletchley Park in 1947, where he worked during WWII.
  • Ticker tape depicting Alan Turing's birth date (23 June 1912) in binary code. The concept of a machine fed by binary tape featured in the Turing’s 1936 paper.

The new polymer £50 note is expected to enter circulation by the end of 2021.

Steven Monday 15 July 2019 at 3:24 pm | | news | No comments