The Bank of England has unveiled its completed design for the new polymer five pound note, which goes into circulation Sept. 13.
The new notes, prototypes of which PRW caught sight of more than two years ago, will be around 15 percent smaller than the current paper notes, but will retain the traditional look of the existing currency, featuring a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the front and historic characters on the reverse.
Consumers will have until May 2017 to use paper notes, after which they will cease to be legal tender. After this, any remaining paper notes can be exchanged at the Bank of England.
The new bill is the first of the Bank of England's new series of polymer notes, with the 10 and 20 pound notes to be replaced with polymer designs over the coming years.
The new polymer 10 pound note featuring Jane Austen will enter circulation in summer 2017, while the new polymer 20 featuring painter JMW Turner will enter circulation by 2020.
The new security features include a hologram which contains the word ‘Five' and changes to ‘Pounds' when the note is tilted and a hologram of the coronation crown which appears 3-D and multi-colored when the note is tilted.
The note will also celebrate the achievements of Winston Churchill. The design includes the image of the Big Ben with the hands of the Great Clock at 3 o'clock — the approximate time on May 13, 1940, when Churchill declared in his first speech as prime minister: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.”
The change in size and material also will require merchants, banks and other groups to update cash handling equipment such as ATMs and ticket booths.