Bank of England unveiled design of new polymer banknote

The banknote will be issued on 23 June 2021, which coincides with Alan Turing’s birthday

£50 polymer banknote

Bank of England unveiled design of new polymer banknote. Source:

Today, Bank of England Governor, Andrew Bailey, unveiled the design of the new £50 banknote featuring the scientist Alan Turing.

Alan Turing provided the theoretical underpinnings for the modern computer. While best known for his work devising code-breaking machines during WWII, Turing played a pivotal role in the development of early computers first at the National Physical Laboratory and later at the University of Manchester.

He set the foundations for work on artificial intelligence by considering the question of whether machines could think.

Turing was homosexual and was posthumously pardoned by the Queen having been convicted of gross indecency for his relationship with a man. His legacy continues to have an impact on both science and society today.

The polymer £50 note contains advanced security features: it incorporates 2 windows and gold and green foil, making it very difficult to counterfeit. There is also a hologram image that changes between the words ‘Fifty’ and ‘Pounds’ when tilting the note from side to side.

Besides, there are two green 21 spiral features based on a sunflower head (linked to Turing’s morphogenetic work in later life). The foil is silver on the back.

It will also contain a tactile feature to help vision-impaired people identify the denomination.

The £50 note will join the Churchill £5, the Austen £10, and the Turner £20, meaning all Bank of England banknotes are now available in polymer.

At the same time, the public can continue to use paper £50 notes as usual. Notice will be given at least 6 months ahead of the date when the old paper £50 is withdrawn.

The new £50 note will feature the signature of Sarah John, the Bank’s Chief Cashier.

This new £50 note completes our set of polymer banknotes. These are much harder to counterfeit, and with its security features the new £50 is part of our most secure series of banknotes yet. These security features are common across all our banknotes, so if you can check one, you can check them all
Sarah John, the Bank’s Chief Cashier

We’ve reported that ECB said it’s unlikely to contract coronavirus from cash.


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