New £5 and £10 polymer notes unveiled
To design the notes Royal Bank of Scotland engaged with thousands of people across Scotland through workshops, online communities and polling surveys. As a result of this ‘the Fabric of Nature’ was chosen as the theme to underpin the design elements of the note set. The new notes will be printed on De La Rue’s Safeguard® Polymer material and will also contain a variety of new security features, making them difficult to counterfeit but easy to authenticate.
The choice of Nan Shepherd to feature on the £5 note was taken by the RBS Scotland Board. This announcement follows the recent public vote that led to scientist Mary Somerville being chosen to feature on the £10 notes which will enter circulation in 2017.
On the choice of Nan Shepherd to appear on the £5 note, Robert Macfarlane, writer and Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge commented:
"It is thrilling to see Nan Shepherd celebrated and commemorated in this way. Nan was a blazingly brilliant writer, a true original whose novels, poems and non-fiction broke new ground in Scottish literature, and her influence lives on powerfully today.
“Nan's book ‘The Living Mountain’ is a slender masterpiece that has brought many thousands of readers to see the Scottish landscape with fresh, astonished eyes. In person as in language, Nan followed her own path - she was a woman of fierce independence and inspiring vision.
“It is just wonderful news that she will now become known to millions more people in Scotland and beyond."
Malcolm Buchanan, Chair, Scotland Board, said:
“I am delighted that we have been able to involve the public throughout this process; from the workshops and surveys that helped to decide on the theme, right through to the public vote that resulted in Mary Somerville being chosen to feature on the £10 note.
“People in Scotland will be using this money every day and it is quite right that they got to play an important role in designing it. This truly is the people’s money.
“The Royal Bank of Scotland has never before featured a woman on its main issue bank notes. It gives me enormous pleasure that we are able to celebrate the fantastic, and often overlooked, achievements of two great Scottish women. Both made huge contributions in their respective fields."
The reverse of the £5 note features two Mackerel, the single most valuable stock for the Scottish fishing industry, as well as an excerpt from the poem ‘The Choice’ by Sorley MacLean. Behind the portrait sits a picture of the Cairngorms, beloved by Nan Shepherd and celebrated in her writing, as well as a quote from her book ‘The Living Mountain’.
The £10 note sees two otters at play on the reverse and an excerpt from the poem ‘Moorings’ by Norman MacCraig. Burntisland Beach, where Mary Somerville lived as a child, features behind the portrait, along with a quote from her work ‘The Connection of the Physical Sciences’.
The Royal Bank of Scotland has today announced that James Clerk Maxwell, Mary Somerville and Thomas Telford have been shortlisted to appear on its new polymer £10 note, set to be issued in the second half of 2017. The final decision will be made following a public vote running from Monday 1 February to Sunday 7 February.
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There are 18 comments add yours
- Archibald Stevenson
- The design of these two notes is remarkable. I wonder if you will be making both notes available as you have done with previous notes as a collectors pack? If so how would one go about requesting such packs? Also could you request low issue numbers?
- Frank S.
- Congratulations to the RBS, you designed two beautiful new notes and for the first time two women to appear on the notes. I can´t wait to see the notes to be issued!!
- David Perry
- Hi, very interested in the issue of the new £5, and £10 notes. Previously, we have been able to purchase new issue notes to become keepsakes, so I was hoping that you will be able to let the ordinary public purchase one or two when they are issued. thank you. ( Natwest customer for over 50 years)
- RBS moderator
- @ Archibald: Thank you for your interest. The new Polymer £5 and £10 notes will be full circulation banknotes, replacing the current paper £5 and £10 series and therefore will not be accompanied with collector presentation packs as per commemorative banknote designs. The Polymer £5 notes will be available in RBS branches and ATMs once issued into circulation during the second half of 2016 and the Polymer £10 notes will follow during second half of 2017. The low serial numbers will be auctioned for our chosen charities and full details will be communicated nearer the time.
- RBS moderator
- @ David: Thank you for your interest. The new Polymer £5 and £10 notes will be full circulation banknotes, replacing the current paper £5 and £10 series. The Polymer £5 notes will be available in RBS branches and ATMs once issued into circulation during the second half of 2016 and the Polymer £10 notes will follow during second half of 2017.
- Jean Donaldson
- I would like to see Pauline Johnson on a Canadian bill. She was both aboriginal and caucasion, a wonderful blend of strength and talent.
- Damian Coyle
- sad to see the iconic Lord Ilay go. Ah well.
- jason graham
- when will the spink auction be for the low serial numbers be auctioned for your chosen charities ??
- Mary Thomson
- I think these new notes are absolutely awful ,they will soon be the size of a postage stamp
- paul richardson
- I saw the new £5 note today with Pocahontas on the front. very lively. wonderful colours and the use of fishes on the reverse reminds us all of Christ . well done RBS. Im going to frame mine and hang them in the toilet, with my collection.
- April Ritchie
- I thought I'd just been handed a fake fiver. Scottish born and dried and have no idea who Nan Shepherd is. Where's Rabbie Burns or Robert Louis Stevenson? What's the point if no one knows who the person is without resorting to Google?
- F, PRIOR
- I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE POPPY IN THE DESIGN OF ALL NEW NOTES, ] LEST WE FORGET ]
- Nancy Friel
- Love the man shepherd £5 ,are there many in circulation.?
- Mr E P Graham
- Can you tell me when the Culzean Castle paper £5 note will be withdrawn from circulation?
- Diane Robinson
- When is the 10 pound release. As I'm looking forward to getting one as the town on the bank note Burntisland is my family's home town. And will I be able to go into a RBS branch in england to get one.
- RBS moderator
- @ Mr E P Graham: Thank you for your query. There is no plan of a formal withdrawal and no plan to issue any more of these notes.
- RBS moderator
- @Diane: There’s no confirmed date for the £10 launch as yet but we’ll confirm an exact date in due course. Scottish notes are not issued outside Scotland and they are not available from branches in England.
- Mick Corbett
- When in 2017 is the new £10 polymer note coming out?