Our new polymer £20 note entered circulation on 20 February 2020
Don’t worry, you can still use the paper £20 note for now
We’ll give you 6 months’ notice of the date you’ll no longer be able to use the paper
Key security features
Focus on these two key security features to help confirm that your notes are genuine:
Hologram image change
Tilt the note from side to side. Check the words change between ‘Twenty’ and ‘Pounds’.
Look at the metallic image over the main window. Check the foil is blue and gold on the front of the note and silver on the back.
Look for a second, smaller window in the bottom corner of the note.
Other security features
The Queen’s portrait in the see-through window
A portrait of the Queen is printed on the window with ‘£20 Bank of England’ printed twice around the edge.
Silver foil patch
A silver foil patch contains a 3D image of the coronation crown. You will find this above the see-through window on the front of the note.
Purple foil patch
A round, purple foil patch contains the letter ‘T’. You will find this on the back of the note, directly behind the silver crown on the front of the note.
Feel of polymer and raised print
The note is printed on polymer, which is a thin and flexible plastic material. On the front of the note, you can feel raised print. For example, on the words ‘Bank of England’ and in the bottom right corner, over the smaller window.
The printed lines and colours on the note are sharp, clear and free from smudges or blurred edges. If you use a magnifying glass, you will see the value of the note written in small letters and numbers below the Queen’s portrait.
Ultra violet number
Under a good quality ultra-violet light, the number ’20’ appears in bright red and green on the front of the note, against a duller background.
On the front of the note (the side with raised print), there are three clusters of raised dots in the top left hand corner. This tactile feature helps blind and partially sighted people identify the value of the note.
The higher the value of a note, the larger it is. This note is approximately 139mm x 73mm.
A unique serial number is printed horizontally and vertically on the back of the note. The horizontal number is in the bottom right corner. It is made up of multi-coloured letters and numbers, which increase in height from left to right. The vertical number runs down the left-hand side and the numbers and letters are the same height and colour.
The international copyright symbol is on the front and back of the note, below the ‘Twenty Pounds’ text.
JMW Turner’s self-portrait was painted circa 1799 and is currently on display at Tate Britain.
The Fighting Temeraire is one of Turner’s most famous paintings. This was a tribute to the ship HMS Temeraire, which played a distinguished role in Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
‘Light is therefore colour’ is a quote from a lecture Turner gave in 1818 and a reference to his innovative use of light, shade, colour and tone.
Turner’s signature is from his Will, in which he left many of his paintings to the nation.
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