Wednesday, 2 November 2011

New £50 Bank-Note

Today a new £50 note will enter circulation, featuring images of Matthew Boulton and James Watt, leading figures of the Industrial Revolution. 

The biggest change comes in the form of new security measures introduced by the Bank of England to deter counterfeiters.

Chris Salmon, the Bank of England's chief cashier, said in a speech last week to the British Numismatic Society that he had been determined that banknotes must be "instantly recognisable and hard to copy".

The £50 is the first new note to be released since Salmon took the job six months ago, and the first to feature two portraits on the reverse. It also brings a claimed three new authentication features over its predecessor.

Mr Salmon stated,

"As well as a first for our banknote art and being the first to bear my signature, the new £50 will deliver a significant update in security features, carrying eight features for cash users compared to the five of its predecessor," 

One of these features, called Motion Thread, includes semi-translucent windows woven into the note that show the £ symbol and the number 50 when held up to the light.

"When a note is tilted from side to side, the images move up and down. And when the note is tilted up and down, the images move from side to side and the number 50 and £ symbol switch.

"The thread, in combination with the other security features, reflects our intention to design a secure note. I would encourage everyone to take the time to examine this new security feature, whether seeing it for the first time next week or when receiving a note in five years’ time." 
"Unfortunately no matter how well we design our notes, whatever their quality, and however well educated the public are about authentication, there will be some level of counterfeiting."

Existing £50 notes featuring Sir John Houblon, the first governor of the Bank of England, will remain legal tender, but will eventually be recalled.

There are around 2.8 billion bank notes in circulation in the UK, including £9.9 billion in £50 denominations.


Anonymous said...

In light of your earlier post re Lough Neagh its of passing interest that an earlier Chief Cashier of the Bank of England was John Standish Fforde from Raughlan, abutting the Lough, near Lurgan. His son is the author Jasper Fforde. The family is connected with the Fordes of Sdeaforde, the Lurgan Brownlows and the Warings of Waringstown. I worked for JSF's half brother Alexander who established himself as an estate agent in Lurgan and who still, in the 1990s, wore made to measure plus fours on Fridays. Oh so many stories....

Timothy Belmont said...

Thanks for sharing that.


Keith Ruffles said...

I never had the privilege of owning one of the old £50 notes and on my salary I suspect it'll be a long time before I ever own one of the new ones..!

Anonymous said...

There are around 2.8 billion bank notes in circulation in the UK, including £9.9 billion in £50 denominations.

Brackenbouragh is responsible for your sums but not my spelling!
Sammy mehaffey