The Bank of England has just unveiled its new fifty pound note, a replacement for the old note with some new added features. The new note will have much improved security in an attempt to stop criminals producing counterfeit notes, and keeping the Queen company are a couple of new faces, not one but two, the first time on the British note.
The note will contain a ‘motion thread’ which is a moving thread which includes moving images and it is being used as the security feature, the first time ever on the fifty pound note.
The first fifty pound note did not go into circulation until 1981 when the denomination was in its Series D design. It was issued with the images of Christopher Wren and the plan of Saint Paul’s Cathedral on the reverse of the note, it goes without saying that the Queen was on the other side. It was reissued in 1994 in its Series E design when the Bank celebrated its 300th birthday and the note had Sir John Houblon on the reverse.
It was only in 1996 when the series D design was retired and in 2009 a new design was announced, it featured the images of James Watt and Mathew Boulton. The new note has entered circulation from the 2 November 2011, and it is the first time in history that the note will have two portraits on its reverse. The main colour on the note is Red, instead of the pink shade that gave the note its unique look.
The ‘motion thread’ which will be green in colour will have five windows and will feature the pound symbol with the number 50, and when the note is tilted from side to side the image should move up and down.
Boulton and Watt
The thread has been woven into the note instead of being printed and the note is a celebration of the 18th century business partnership between Boulton and Watt. The two men pioneered the use of the steam engine in the cotton spinning industry.
The note will also be the first banknote to come into circulation with the signature of Chris Salmon who is the newly appointed executive director of the bank, he said of the new note: “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.”