Published on March 26th, 2012 | by Dean Carr
New fifty pound note
A new design of fifty pound note has entered circulation in the UK. Widely referred to as the Boulton and Watt note, the new style of fifty pound note features the images of industrial pioneers Matthew Boulton and James Watt. First entered into circulation in November 2011, it is hoped that the note’s security features will fortify public trust in the denomination. The Boulton and Watt note will now be printed in place of the old style of note, which features the image of Sir John Houblon. There are an estimated 210 million £50 notes in circulation, worth £10.5bn.
Boulton and Watt were chosen to adorn the note in tribute of their contribution to industrial advancement in the West Midlands in the late eighteenth century, as Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King explained: “Boulton and Watt’s steam engines and their many other innovations were essential factors in the nation’s industrial revolution.” The pair’s association to currency reform is well established within the history books. Their pioneering steam engine powered Boulton’s Mint in Birmingham, which manufactured coins designed to thwart an alarming rise in counterfeit. The use of their image on the new fifty pound note symbolises the commitment of the Bank of England to restoring public trust in the denomination.
The Boulton and Watt note retains raised print, metallic thread, special paper, watermark and sharp print quality. These security features have been subtly adapted to make the render the note more difficult to counterfeit.
Gone is the foil patch displaying a reflective rose and medallion, seen to the right of the portrait of the Queen. Instead, the Boulton and Watt features microlettering, motion thread and a see-through register. Certain features of the note appear in bright red and green when viewed under an ultra-violet light, a common security check. A random spread of green and red flecks will also be visible on both sides of the note.
For a detailed summary of these security features, visit the Bank of England website.
Advice and information on spotting fake ID can be accessed in Fake Driving Licence Warning.