Did you hear about how this Tuesday, the 13th of September, a new £5 note entered into circulation? Did you also know that it’s also plastic? Yes, that’s right it’s plastic …for those of you who haven’t got your hands on one of these notes yet, you’re probably wondering what it feels like to touch. Is it just like monopoly money?
So why has it actually gone plastic? The Bank of England has claimed that the new polymer material is a lot cleaner, safer and stronger. The note still has the picture of Elisabeth II on one side but they’ve scrapped the picture of Elizabeth Fry (otherwise referred to as the”Angel of Prisons”) for a picture of the World War II British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. Of course, Winston Churchill is known as one of the greatest British icons so it’s only natural that Elizabeth Fry would have been scrapped for him.
440 million of new notes were released on Tuesday, and it’s safer because these notes have many components that are very difficult to replicate including, a hologram which changes colour when you move and a see it through glass. The notes also have a picture of the Big Ben with the hands pointing to 3 o’clock.
Why 3 o’clock? Well, this was the time when Winston Churchill uttered the famous sentence at parliament:”I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat”, which referred to his fight for victory against war and tyranny. Interestingly, Churchill is also known as one of the European Union’s founding fathers often showing his ambition for a united political government. Could there be a hidden meaning about Britain’s membership in Europe with this new image of Churchill on the new £5 note? I guess we’ll never know if there truly is a second meaning.
In the next years to come, they will replace some of the current notes. The new £10 note is expected to come out in the summer of 2017 and the £20 one is going to be released around 2020.
Did you know why we call it the “Pound”?
The Pound Sterling is the oldest currency still in use. ‘Pound’ first referred to a unit of weight of sterling silver. The name Pound Sterling is coming from the Latin name Libra Pondo, it means “a unit of weight”. English people started to use the name Pound, it comes from Pondo, but in Spanish we are still using the Latin term Libra.
The English word “pound”; first referred to a unit of weight; the monetary pound originated as a pound of silver.