old english banknotes

Old English Banknotes

How to check the £5 polymer note for authenticity.

Polymer note checking

The Bank of England gives two methods to check the £5 polymer notes for authenticity. The quick check and the thorough test of the notes security features. First, we will list the quick check you can achieve without additional equipment. The second is a more comprehensive test that requires a magnifying glass and an Ultraviolet light source to authenticate the security markings fully.

Quick Check

To quickly check the polymer banknotes, use these two tests:

  1. Hologram image change: Tilt the note side by side to view the hologram change from ‘note value’ to the word ‘pounds’.
  2. See-through window: In the window, check the foil image is silver on the back but gold coloured on the front.

Thorough £5 polymer note check

Time needed: 3 minutes

£5 Sir Winston Churchill polymer note checks

  1. Check the see-through window.

    A portrait of the Queen is printed on the see-through window with ‘£5 Bank of England’ printed twice around the edge.

  2. Tilt the note to reflect the light.

    When you tilt the note, a coloured border around the edge of the see-through window will change from purple to green. The ‘£’ symbol in the window changes from purple to green.

  3. Observe the silver foil patch.

    A silver foil patch contains a 3D image of the coronation crown. This is above the see-through window on the front of the note.

  4. Feel for raised print.

    On the front of the £5 note, you can feel the raised print on the words’ Bank of England’ and around the number ‘5’ in the bottom right corner.

  5. Inspect print quality

    The printed lines and colours on the note are sharp and clear, with no smudges or blurred edges.

  6. Use the magnifying glass.

    Use a magnifying glass to see the note’s value in small letters and numbers below the Queen’s portrait.

  7. Use a UV lamp

    Under a good-quality ultraviolet light, the ultraviolet number ‘5’ appears in bright red and green on the front of the note against a duller background.

  8. View the circular green foil patch.

    A circular green foil patch contains the word ‘BLENHEIM’ on the back of the note, directly behind the silver crown on the front.

Following these steps, you can verify the authenticity of £5 Sir Winston Churchill polymer banknotes.