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New Design for £20 Note Revealed


The Bank of England has revealed the new design for the £20 banknote - the most common and most forged note in the UK.

The Bank describes the new design as its most secure yet, and the note is scheduled to enter into circulation on 20th February 2020.

There are currently two billion £20 notes in circulation - double the number of £10 notes. The number of £20 notes also far outweighs the number of £5 and £50 notes, with only 396 million and 344 million in the system respectively.

It is believed that the popularity of the note is the reason for it being the most commonly forged banknote in the last decade. The Bank’s data shows that a staggering 88% of detected banknote forgeries were of the £20 note.

The Bank intercepted 201,000 counterfeit £20 notes in the first half of 2019, out of 228,000 total banknote forgeries.

The new design will feature artist JMW Turner and will have extra security components including a large see-through window based on the shape of the fountains in Trafalgar Square, and a metallic hologram which reads either ‘Twenty’ or ‘Pounds’ depending on how it is tilted.

Like the newest iterations of the £5 and £10 banknotes, the new £20 note will be made of a plastic polymer. Plastic notes are believed to last longer and are more resistant to counterfeiting.

Other features of the note include blue and gold foil depicting the Margate lighthouse and Turner Contemporary gallery, another see-through window inspired by Tintern Abbey, a silver foil of a 3D image of the coronation crown, and a purple foil containing the letter T based on the Tate Britain’s staircase.

The new design will also feature the signature of the Bank’s chief cashier, Sarah John, who said: "The new £20 is an important part of our commitment to providing banknotes that people can use with confidence.

"Our polymer notes are much harder to counterfeit and, with the £20 being our most common note, this marks a big step forward in our fight against counterfeiting."

Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, said: "As the new Turner £20 testifies, money can be a work of art in everyone's pocket."

The new £20 note will feature a self-portrait of Turner from 1799 which is currently on display in the Tate Britain, as well as The Fighting Temeraire, currently displayed at the National Gallery - which is one of his most renowned works.

The Fighting Temeraire depicts Nelson’s victory at the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar and was voted Britain’s greatest painting in a poll by the BBC back in 2005.

The Bank received almost 30,000 nominations in their search for the face of the new £20 note, and Turner was selected from a shortlist of 590 eligible artists.

Harry Pererra
Harry Pererra

Harry turns on his experience in journalism and programming to write about the latest news in the world of tech and the environemtn. When he isn’t writing for usave he is working towards his Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and prefers dogs to cats.

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