Counterfeit money detection:
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20 pound note

20 Pound Sterling note

+ Pound sterling- General information

Quick links to banknotes: Quick links to current banknotes:

- 5 Pound Sterling polymer note
- 10 Pound Sterling polymer note
- 20 Pound Sterling note
- 50 Pound Sterling note

Withdrawn banknotes:

- 5 Pound Sterling note
- 10 Pound Sterling note

Size: 149 x 80 mm 

20 pound note obverse 20 pound note reverse

Current 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 note, which also includes enhanced security features entered circulation on 13 March 2007.

+Security Features:

20 pound note specimen front 
20 pound note specimen back

(1)Check the paper and the 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 sterling 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. This appears as silver dashes on the back of the 20 pounds sterling note. If you hold the note up to the light the metallic thread will appear as a continuous dark line.

(3)Check the watermark.

20 pound sterling note watermark 

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

(4)Check the print quality.

20 pound sterling note print quality

The printed lines and colours on the 20GBP note are sharp, clear and free from smudges or blurred edges.

(5)Check microlettering

20 pound sterling 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)Check the ultra-violet 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 Ppounds sterling note has a number of foil patches along its lenght which cotain alternating holographic images. The position of the patches varies along the strip. When note is tilted, one hologram shows a multi-coloured image of Adam Smith, the othe changes between multi-coloured 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 note see-through register

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

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