England’s first plastic polymer banknote, the five pound note, has been revealed by the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney.
The anticipated new five pound banknote, known as the New Fiver, will be issued into circulation on 13 September 2016. The Bank of England has already printed 440 million of the new notes, with a value of £2.2 billion.
The New Fiver is the the first banknote to be issued by the Bank of England which is made from a plastic polymer substrate, which the Bank says will increase the banknote’s durability. The polymer substrate is Clarity™C film manufactured by British firm Innovia Security.
The banknote design features a portrait of the former Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.
Click on the image on the left to see a larger version of the banknote design.
The Bank of England has provided a promotional video of the new banknote, watch it below:
According to the Bank of England, the New Fiver is cleaner, safer and stronger than paper notes.
Various durability tests have been performed on the banknote, including the effects of folding the note in a wallet and scrunching it up in pockets. As such, the New Fiver is expected to last around 5 years in circulation, which is 2.5 times longer than the currently circulating cotton fibre paper version.
The banknote design incorporates a new generation of anti-counterfeit security features specific to polymer including:
- a see through window featuring the Queen’s portrait
- London’s famous Big Ben clock displayed in gold foil on the note’s front and silver on the reverse
- various holograms
- raised intaglio ink
Features for visually impaired
The New Fiver includes design features to assist those with visual impairments to distinguish the banknote denomination from others. The note is smaller than other denominations, will include bold numerals, and is a similar colour to that used within the currently circulating banknote. The £10 and £20 polymer banknotes which are to be issued in future will both feature tactile features to help people distinguish the note denomination, and the £5 will be recognisable by the absence of this feature.
What happens next?
The New Fiver notes will be issued into circulation in England on 13 September 2016 and will circulate alongside the current paper note until May 2017. After the note’s September release, the old paper notes will gradually be removed from circulation when banked by businesses.
The next polymer banknote to be issued by the Bank of England is the £10. The note will feature Jane Austin and is expected to begin circulating in 2017. After, the polymer £20 will enter circulation by 2020.
All imagery courtesy of the Bank of England.