The following article has been extracted from Wales Online:
Who’s on it? What is made of? How big is it? What will happen to the old notes?
A new plastic £5 note will be issued by the Bank of England this year.
The new notes cost the Bank of England £70million to develop, while each note costs around 7p to print.
“These notes will stand the test of time,” Bank of England governor Mark Carney said at the launch of the new £5 note.
“Polymer marks a major innovation – it’s cleaner, safer and stronger.”
Here is everything you need to know about the new note:
Who is on it?
Former Prime Minister Sir Winston Chuchill will be the face on the new note. And for pub quiz fans among you the current person on the fiver is prison reformer Elizabeth Fry.
The Bank of England said that it seeks to celebrate individuals “that have shaped British thought, innovation, leadership, values and society” on its notes.
So, it is safe to say Sir Winston Churchill fits the bill.
What else is on the note?
The palace of Westminster and the Elizabeth Tower (AKA Big Ben) from the south bank of the Thames looking across Westminster Bridge,
The clock’s hands are pictured at 3 o’clock – the time on Churchill made his famous “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat,” speech in the House of Commons on May 13, 1940.
This declaration is also quoted beneath the portrait.
There’s also a background image of the Nobel Prize medal he was awarded in 1953 for literature, together with the wording of the prize citation.
When are they in circulation?
Forty-four million new £5notes will come into circulation on September 13.
What will happen to the paper fivers?
The old notes will gradually be phased out. They will cease to be legal tender in May 2017, but can be exchanged at the Bank of England.
Why are they plastic?
The Bank of England claims the new plastic pounds are:
- Resistant to dirt and moisture so stay cleaner for longer than paper banknotes
- More secure so will provide enhanced counterfeit resilience
- More durable so will increase the quality of banknotes in circulation
And as a result of lasting longer, polymer banknotes are also more environmentally friendly than the current ones – as they last two-and-a-half times longer.
How are they different?
They are smaller and lighter. The polymer £5 note is 125mm x 65mm (the current paper note is 135mm x 70mm) and weighs around 0.7g (the current paper note weighs around 0.9g).
Are they safer?
According to the Bank of England they are. Here are its list of security features:
- A see-through window featuring the Queen’s portrait. The border of the window changes from purple to green.
- The Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben) shown in gold foil on the front of the note and silver on the back.
- A hologram which contains the word ‘Five’ and changes to ‘Pounds’ when the note is tilted.
- A hologram of the coronation crown which appears 3D and multi-coloured when the note is tilted.
- A green foil hologram of the maze at Blenheim Palace, Churchill’s birthplace and ancestral home.
- Micro-lettering beneath the Queen’s portrait with tiny letters and numbers that are visible under a microscope.
- The words ‘Bank of England’ printed in intaglio (raised ink) along the top of the note.
Will there be more plastic notes?
The new plastic £10 will arrive in 2017 with Jane Austen the face, while a £20 with artist JMW Turner will appear on the new plastic £20 note, scheduled for 2020.
Do other countries use polymer notes?
Yes. More than 30. It was Australia who introduced the notes in 1988.
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