Coda

10 Mindbending Anti-Counterfeiting Measures of the New Plastic £5 Note

Posted on 28th September 2016

The Bank of England issued a new five pound note this month. The new fiver features the face of former Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill on its reverse side, but that is not the most noticeable change. The newly issued note is printed on plastic polymer, making it the first legal tender to be printed on plastic in England and Wales. Eventually, the Bank of England intends to switch all of our currency notes from paper to plastic, because plastic enables them to include better anti-counterfeiting measures.


New five pound note

There are ten major anti-counterfeiting measures employed on the new five pound note, some of which were just not possible to include in a paper note.


  1. See-through window. Unlike paper, plastic polymer can be coloured or transparent.
  2. Detailed metallic image. The note features a rendering of the Elizabeth Tower from the Palace of Westminster - gold on one side, and silver on the other.
  3. Colour changing pound symbol. A £ printed on the see through window will change from purple to green when the note is tilted.
  4. Foil patches. Tilting the note will also change the word 'five' to the word 'pounds' on a foil patched beneath the see-through window.
  5. 3D crown. A three dimensional crown sits above the see-through window.
  6. Blenheim dot. On the reverse of the 3D crown is a foil patch inscribed with the word 'Blenheim'. Winston Churchill was born in Blenheim Palace.
  7. Raised Print. Being printed on plastic allows some words to be printed in relief.
  8. Print Quality. Paper is absorbent so even the highest quality prints would show ink smudges under magnification. Not so with the new polymer notes.
  9. Microletters. The number five is incorporated into the design in numerals and letters too small to see with the naked eye.
  10. Ultraviolet number 5. A large numeral '5' can be seen when an ultraviolet light is shone on the note.

These impressive features should give the counterfeiters a real headache! Don't worry if you still have some of the old paper five pound notes; you have until May next year to spend them and banks will continue to change them for new ones after that date.


At Coda Plastics Ltd, we know that plastic is an extremely useful and versatile material. We're not at all surprised that the Bank of England is switching to polymer notes. If you have an idea that could be realised in plastic, then get in touch by calling us on +44 1692 501020 or emailing sales@codaplastics.co.uk.


Stay up-to-date with the latest news from the plastics industry by following us on Twitter at @CodaPlastics.


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