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Twenty pound sterling note

20 pound sterling note

Quick links to banknotes
Current banknotes in circulation:
 Five Pound Sterling polymer note Ten Pound Sterling polymer note Twenty Pound Sterling polymer note Fifty Pound Sterling polymer note

Withdrawn banknotes:
Five Pound Sterling series E Ten Pound Sterling series V Fifty Pound Sterling note Fifty Pound Sterling series E

Size: 149 x 80mm
Main color: Purple
Date of issue: 13 March 2007

20 Pound note obverse 20 Pound note reverse

The Series F banknote of 20 pound note, drew some commentary because it features the Scottish economist, Adam Smith, the first Scot to appear on an English note. Previous issues of Bank of England 20 pound notes were known to have suffered from a higher incidence of counterfeiting (276,000 out of 290,000 cases detected in 2007) than any other denominations. The Bank of England announced that £20 Series F banknote will be withdrawn from circulation on 30 September 2022.

Security Features

Security features can help you to tell if a £20 note is fake or real.

20 pound specimen obverse 20 pound specimen reverse

(1)Check the paper and raised print

20 Pound Sterling note raised print

Banknotes are printed on special paper that gives them their unique feel. By running your finger across the front of the 20 pound note you can feel raised print in areas such as the words ‘Bank of England’ and in the bottom right corner, around the number 20.

(2)Check the metallic thread

20 Pound Sterling note metallic thread

There is a metallic thread embedded in every banknote. If you hold the 20 pound note up to the light the metallic thread will appear as a continuous dark line.

(3)Check the watermark.

20 pounds note watermark.

Hold the banknote up to the light and you will see the image of the Queen’s portrait together with a bright 20 and Pound symbol.

(4)Check the print quality.

Twenty pound banknote print quality

The printed lines and colors on the twenty pound note are sharp, clear and free from smudges or blurred edges.

(5) Check microlettering

20 pound note microlettering

Using a magnifying glass, look closely at the lettering beneath the Queen’s portrait on the- you will see the value of the note written in small letters and numbers.

(6)Ultraviolet feature

20 Pound note ultra-violet feature

If you look at the front of the note under a good quality ultra-violet light, the number 20 appears in bright red and green. Randomly spread bright red and green flecks are also visible on both the front and back of the note. The remainder of the note ;appears dull in contrast.

(7) Check the hologram

20 Pound note hologram

The strip of the 20 pound sterling note has a number of foil patches along its length which contain alternating holographic images. The position of the patches varies along the strip. When note is tilted, one hologram shows a multi-colored image of Adam Smith, the other changes between multi-colored pound symbol and the number 20. The number 20 is also embossed on the strip and is positioned in the same place on every note- just to the right of the signature of the Chief Cashier.

(8)Check the see-through register

20 Pound see-through register

Hold the note up to the light and you will see colored irregular shapes printed on the front and back that combine to form the pound symbol.