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Currency

British Currency

Decimal
Notes

Decimal
Coins

Pre Decimal
Notes

Pre Decimal
Coins

Bullion
Coins

Maundy
Money

Scotland

Northern
Ireland

Channel
Islands

Isle
of Man

St. Helena

Falkland
Islands

Gibraltar

People
featured

Latin
Translations

Slang
Terms


English banknotes (Bank of England)

The majority of sterling notes are printed by the Bank of England. These are legal tender in England and Wales and generally accepted throughout the UK, Isle of Man, and Channel Islands. They are also accepted in the Overseas Territories which are at parity with sterling.

Scottish banknotes

These are recognised currency in Scotland and are generally acceptable throughout the UK. Until recently many people outside Scotland were unfamiliar with the notes and they were sometimes refused. However, such institutions as the Post Office will readily accept Scottish bank notes as will major stores. Branches of the Scottish note-issuing banks situated in England dispense Bank of England notes and may not dispense their own notes from those branches.

Northern Ireland banknotes

These are rarely seen outside Northern Ireland. They are often not accepted in England and Wales without some explanation.

Banknotes from the Crown dependencies

The Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey and the Isle of Man are possessions of the Crown but are outside the UK; they are in currency union with Britain and issue sterling banknotes in local designs, but these notes cannot generally be used in the UK (Jersey and Guernsey pounds are freely interchangeable within the Channel Islands, however).

British Overseas Territories

There are fourteen British Overseas Territories which all issue their own currencies which are distinct under ISO 4217; Gibraltar, Saint Helena and the Falkland Islands have their own pounds which are at par with Sterling. These notes cannot be used in the UK or outside the territories of origin. Falkland Island Pounds are also commonly used in the South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and St Helena pounds can also be used on neighbouring Ascension Island.


British Banknotes

£1£5£10£20£50
Series D
Reverse

Introduced
Withdrawn

Isaac Newton

09.02.78
11.03.88

Duke of Wellington

11.11.71
29.11.91

Florence Nightingale

20.02.75
20.05.94

William Shakespeare

09.07.70
19.03.93

Christopher Wren

20.03.81
20.09.96

Series E
Reverse

Introduced
Withdrawn

George Stephenson

07.06.90
21.11.03

Charles Dickens

29.04.92
31.07.03

Michael Faraday

05.06.91
28.02.01

John Houblon

20.04.94

Series E revision
Reverse

Introduced
Withdrawn

Elizabeth Fry

21.05.02

Charles Darwin

07.11.00

Edward Elgar

22.06.99

Series F
Reverse

Introduced
Withdrawn

Adam Smith

13.03.07

James Watt
Matthew Boulton

02.11.11

All banknotes, regardless of when they were withdrawn from circulation,
may be presented at the Bank of England where they will be exchanged for current ones.

Other notes

£100

These are issued by the Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale Bank, and some of the Northern Irish banks.

£1,000,000

These are used only internally within the Banks and are never seen in circulation.


Decimal Coins

The obverse of all decimal coinage features Queen Elizabeth II

The faces depicted have been altered to reflect the change in Her Majesty's appearance over the years withe the designs by the following:

Arnold Machin until 1984
Raphael Maklouf between 1985 and 1997
Ian Rank-Broadley since 1998

All coins also carry a form of the inscription:

ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA FIDEI DEFENSOR
("Elizabeth II, by the grace of God, Queen and Defender of the Faith")

This typically appears in the abbreviated form :

ELIZABETH II D G REG F D

The designs on the reverse of decimal coinage to 2008.

½p — A crown, symbolising the monarch (discontinued 1984).

1p — A crowned portcullis with chains (the badge of the Houses of Parliament).

2p — The Prince of Wales's feathers: a plume of ostrich feathers within a coronet.

5p — A crowned thistle, formally "The Badge of Scotland, a thistle royally crowned".

10p — A crowned lion, part of the crest of England.

20p — A crowned Tudor Rose, a traditional heraldic emblem of England.

25p — Commemorative Crowns. (see below)

50p — issued on October 14, 1969 — Britannia and lion. Numerous variants have been issued.(see below)

£1 — Numerous different year-specific designs. (see below)

£2 — An abstract design symbolising technological development. Numerous variants have been issued.(see below)

£5 - Commemorative coins. (see below)


Designs from 2008 (The Royal Shield)

This is the first time that one design has been used across several coins.

1p — first and third quarter of the shield, representing England and Northern Ireland.

2p — second quarter of the shield, showing the lion rampant representing Scotland.

5p — center of the shield, showing the meeting of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland at the middle of the arms.

10p — first quarter of the shield, containing the three lions passant representing England.

20p — second and fourth quarter, representing England and Scotland.

50p — bottom of the shield where the harp and lions passant meet, representing England and Northern Ireland again.

£1 — Royal Shield seen in its entirety.


Bullion Coins


Half sovereign — St. George slaying a dragon.

Sovereign — Royal coat of arms on a shield surrounded by a Tudor double rose.


Britannia : — a British bullion gold coin with a face value of £100. Issued since 1987 and containing one troy ounce of gold.

There are also fractional Britannia coins (half, quarter, and one-tenth of an ounce, with corresponding face values).

Since 1997 Silver Britannias have been produced also with one, half, quarter, and one-tenth values.


Maundy Money


Four coins valued at 1, 2, 3 and 4 pence

All Maundy coins, back to 1822, remain legal tender in Britain at their stated value in new pence.


Alternative Coin Designs


Commemorative 25p (Decimal Crowns)


1972
SILVER WEDDING ANNIVERSARY OF HM THE QUEEN AND HRH THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH
Reverse : The initials EP crowned and with a floral garland, with a naked figure of Eros at the centre
Inscription : ELIZABETH AND PHILIP 20 NOVEMBER 1947 - 1972

1977
HM THE QUEEN'S SILVER JUBILEE
Reverse : A design showing coronation regalia. The Ampulla and Anointing Spoon used in the Queen's coronation are displayed crowned, and encircled by a floral border.

1980
THE EIGHTIETH BIRTHDAY OF HM QUEEN ELIZABETH THE QUEEN MOTHER
Reverse : A portrait of the Queen Mother surrounded by a radiating pattern of bows and lions, a pun on her maiden name Bowes-Lyon.
Inscription : QUEEN ELIZABETH THE QUEEN MOTHER AUGUST 4th 1980.

1981
THE WEDDING OF HRH THE PRINCE OF WALES AND LADY DIANA SPENCER
Reverse : A profile portrait of Lady Diana Spencer partially covered by a profile portrait of HRH The Prince of Wales, both facing to the left
Inscription : H.R.H. THE PRINCE OF WALES AND LADY DIANA SPENCER 1981.


Designs on 50p coins


1969–1972
Reverse :
BRITANNIA AND LION, NEW PENCE ABOVE, 50 BELOW
1971–1972 were issued in collectors' sets only

1973 : UK'S ACCESSION TO THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY
Reverse : Nine clasped hands, 1973 50 PENCE in the centre.

1974–1981
Reverse :
BRITANNIA AND LION, NEW PENCE ABOVE, 50 BELOW
1974–1975 were issued in collectors' sets only

1982–1984
Reverse :
BRITANNIA AND LION, NEW PENCE ABOVE, 50 BELOW
1984 only available in collectors' sets

1985–1993
Reverse :
BRITANNIA AND LION, NEW PENCE ABOVE, 50 BELOW
All dates except 1985 available in collectors' sets only

1992–3 : COMPLETION OF THE EC SINGLE MARKET AND THE BRITISH PRESIDENCY OF THE EC
Reverse : Conference table with seats and stars, 50 PENCE below, 1992 1993 above.

1994 : 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE NORMANDY LANDINGS ("D-DAY")
Reverse :An invasion force of ships and planes, 50 PENCE to the right.

1995–1997
Reverse :
BRITANNIA AND LION, NEW PENCE ABOVE, 50 BELOW
available in collectors' sets only

1997
Reverse :
BRITANNIA AND LION, NEW PENCE ABOVE, 50 BELOW

1998–2007
Reverse :
BRITANNIA AND LION, NEW PENCE ABOVE, 50 BELOW

1998 : 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF BRITAIN JOINING THE EU
Reverse : Arrangement of 12 stars with 1973 EU 1998 underneath and 50 PENCE below.

1998 : 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE
Reverse : Caring hands holding sun's rays, FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY above and 50 PENCE below, NHS repeated 5 times around the border.

2000 : 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE PUBLIC LIBRARIES ACT OF 1850
Reverse : Open book above pillared building inscribed PUBLIC LIBRARIES 1850 2000 above and 50 PENCE to the right.

2003 : CENTENARY OF THE WOMEN'S SOCIAL AND POLITICAL UNION
Reverse : Suffragette chained to railing holding a banner inscribed WSPU in her left hand, 50 PENCE to the left and a billboard inscribed GIVE WOMEN THE VOTE to the right, with 1903 below and 2003 to the right.

2004 : 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FIRST SUB-FOUR-MINUTE MILE, ROGER BANNISTER, 6 MAY 1954
Reverse : Lower body of a runner, superimposed on a stopwatch showing 3 minutes 59 seconds. Large 50 and PENCE at bottom, between runner's legs.

2005 : 250TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE PUBLICATION OF SAMUEL JOHNSON'S DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
Reverse : 50 at top, with the dictionary definitions of 'fifty' and 'pence'.

2006 : 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE VICTORIA CROSS
Reverse : Pictures of both sides of the Victoria Cross, inscribed 29 JAN 1856 with VC FIFTY PENCE below.

2006 : 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE VICTORIA CROSS
Reverse : Soldier carrying wounded comrade, FIFTY PENCE below

2007 : 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE SCOUT MOVEMENT
Reverse : Scouting fleur-de-lys, FIFTY PENCE above, BE PREPARED below.

2008
Reverse : THE BOTTOM OF THE ROYAL SHIELD, FIFTY PENCE BELOW

2009 : 250TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FOUNDATION OF THE ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS AT KEW Reverse :


Yearly designs of the £1 coins


1983 : ORNAMENTAL ROYAL ARMS
Edge :
DECUS ET TUTAMEN

1984 : THISTLE SPRIG IN A CORONET, REPRESENTING SCOTLAND
Edge : NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT

1985 : LEEK IN A CORONET, REPRESENTING WALES
Edge : PLEIDIOL WYF I'M GWLAD

1986 : FLAX IN A CORONET, REPRESENTING NORTHERN IRELAND
Edge : DECUS ET TUTAMEN

1987 : OAK TREE IN A CORONET, REPRESENTING ENGLAND
Edge : DECUS ET TUTAMEN

1988 : CROWN OVER SHIELD
Edge : DECUS ET TUTAMEN

1989 : THISTLE SPRIG IN A CORONET, REPRESENTING SCOTLAND
Edge : NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT

1990 : LEEK IN A CORONET, REPRESENTING WALES
Edge : PLEIDIOL WYF I'M GWLAD

1991 : FLAX IN A CORONET, REPRESENTING NORTHERN IRELAND
Edge : DECUS ET TUTAMEN

1992 : OAK TREE IN A CORONET, REPRESENTING ENGLAND
Edge : DECUS ET TUTAMEN

1993 : ORNAMENTAL ROYAL ARMS
Edge : DECUS ET TUTAMEN

1994 : LION RAMPANT WITHIN A DOUBLE TRESSURE FLORY COUNTER-FLORY, REPRESENTING SCOTLAND
Edge : NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT

1995 : WELSH DRAGON
Edge : PLEIDIOL WYF I'M GWLAD

1996 : CELTIC CROSS AND PIMPERNEL, REPRESENTING NORTHERN IRELAND
Edge : DECUS ET TUTAMEN

1997 : THREE LIONS PASSANT GUARDANT, REPRESENTING ENGLAND
Edge : DECUS ET TUTAMEN

1998 and 1999 issues were for collectors only and not realeased into circulation

1998 : ORNAMENTAL ROYAL ARMS
Edge : DECUS ET TUTAMEN

1999 : LION RAMPANT WITHIN A DOUBLE TRESSURE FLORY COUNTER-FLORY, REPRESENTING SCOTLAND
Edge : NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT

2000 : WELSH DRAGON
Edge : PLEIDIOL WYF I'M GWLAD

2001 : CELTIC CROSS AND PIMPERNEL, REPRESENTING NORTHERN IRELAND
Edge : DECUS ET TUTAMEN

2002 : THREE LIONS PASSANT GUARDANT, REPRESENTING ENGLAND
Edge : DECUS ET TUTAMEN

2003 : ORNAMENTAL ROYAL ARMS
Edge : DECUS ET TUTAMEN

2004 : FORTH BRIDGE
Reverse : Forth Rail Bridge, ONE POUND below. Encircled by a railway line
Edge : Two overlapping lines, one curved and one angular, reminiscent of the shape of the bridge.

2005 : MENAI SUSPENSION BRIDGE
Reverse : Menai Suspension Bridge, ONE POUND below. Encircled by a truss
Edge : Two overlapping lines, one curved and one angular.

2006 : MACNEILL'S EGYPTIAN ARCH AT NEWRY (BELFAST–DUBLIN RAILWAY LINE)
Reverse : MacNeill's Egyptian Arch, ONE POUND below. Encircled by a truss
Edge : Two overlapping lines, one curved and one angular.

2007 : MILLENNIUM BRIDGE, NEWCASTLE/GATESHEAD
Reverse :Millennium Bridge, ONE POUND below. Encircled by a truss
Edge : Two overlapping lines, one curved and one angular.

Jan–Apr 2008 : ORNAMENTAL ROYAL ARMS
Edge : DECUS ET TUTAMEN

2008 : THE SHIELD FROM THE ROYAL COAT OF ARMS
Reverse : The Royal Shield, ONE and POUND either side of the shield


Designs of the £2 coins


1986 : 13TH COMMONWEALTH GAMES, HELD IN SCOTLAND
Reverse : Thistle on St Andrew's Cross, 1986 above
Edge : XIII COMMONWEALTH GAMES SCOTLAND 1986

1989 : TERCENTENARY OF THE ENGLISH BILL OF RIGHTS
Reverse : Intertwined W and M (for William and Mary) with mace, English crown above, 1689 over 1989 below, TERCENTENARY OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS above
Edge : No inscription.

1989 : TERCENTENARY OF THE SCOTTISH CLAIM OF RIGHT
Reverse : Intertwined W and M (for William and Mary) with mace, Scottish crown above, 1689 over 1989 below, TERCENTENARY OF THE CLAIM OF RIGHT above.
Edge : No inscription.

1994 : TERCENTENARY OF THE BANK OF ENGLAND
Reverse : Seal of the Bank of England, intertwined W and M (for William and Mary) surmounted by crown above legend BANK OF ENGLAND 1694 1994.
Edge :
SIC VOS NON VOBIS .

1995 : 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE END OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR
Reverse : Dove carrying olive branch.
Edge : 1945 IN PEACE GOODWILL 1995.

1995 : 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE UNITED NATIONS
Reverse : Array of flags, 50 and UN symbol with legend: NATIONS UNITED FOR PEACE 1945 – 1995.
Edge : Milled edge, no inscription.

1996 : EURO 96 EUROPEAN FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Reverse : Representation of a football, 1996 in centre, 16 small rings representing the 16 competing teams. Designed by John W Mills; designer's initials indicated in stitching.
Edge : TENTH EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP.

1999 : RUGBY WORLD CUP
Reverse : Symbolic representation of a stadium with a rugby ball and goalposts; 1999 above the design, TWO POUNDS below.
Edge : RUGBY WORLD CUP 1999.

2001 : TRANSATLANTIC RADIO CENTENARY
Reverse : Symbolic representation of Marconi's transatlantic wireless transmission of 1901; TWO POUNDS below.
Edge : WIRELESS BRIDGES THE ATLANTIC...MARCONI...1901.

2002 : COMMONWEALTH GAMES, MANCHESTER (ENGLISH ISSUE)
Reverse : XVII COMMONWEALTH GAMES 2002 around an athlete holding a banner, £2 in front and the English flag.
Edge : SPIRIT OF FRIENDSHIP MANCHESTER 2002.

2002 : COMMONWEALTH GAMES, MANCHESTER (WELSH ISSUE)
Reverse : XVII COMMONWEALTH GAMES 2002 around an athlete holding a banner, £2 in front and the Welsh flag.
Edge : SPIRIT OF FRIENDSHIP MANCHESTER 2002.

2002 : COMMONWEALTH GAMES, MANCHESTER (NORTHERN IRISH ISSUE)
Reverse : XVII COMMONWEALTH GAMES 2002 around an athlete holding a banner, £2 in front and the Northern Irish flag.
Edge : SPIRIT OF FRIENDSHIP MANCHESTER 2002.

2002 : COMMONWEALTH GAMES, MANCHESTER (SCOTTISH ISSUE)
Reverse : XVII COMMONWEALTH GAMES 2002 around an athlete holding a banner, £2 in front and the Scottish flag.
Edge : SPIRIT OF FRIENDSHIP MANCHESTER 2002.

2003 : 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DISCOVERY OF THE STRUCTURE OF DNA
Reverse : Representation of the DNA double helix, DNA DOUBLE HELIX above, 1953 TWO POUNDS 2003 below
Edge : DEOXYRIBONUCLEIC ACID followed by a decorative side view of a double helix.

2004 : BICENTENARY OF THE FIRST RAILWAY LOCOMOTIVE
Reverse : Richard Trevithick's 1804 locomotive with TWO POUNDS above it, with a "toothed wheel" design on the inner edge of the gold coloured ring, and the inscription: 2004 R. TREVITHICK 1804 INVENTION - INDUSTRY - PROGRESS around.
Edge : decorative design intended to represent a railway track.

2005 : 400TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE GUNPOWDER PLOT
Reverse : Three Parliamentary maces, three episcopal crooks, and six swords in the centre, 1605 - 2005 above, TWO POUNDS below, and fourteen gunpowder explosion stars on either side.
Edge : REMEMBER REMEMBER THE FIFTH OF NOVEMBER

2005 : 60TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE END OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR
Reverse : Saint Paul's Cathedral crossed with searchlights, 1945 - 2005 below, TWO POUNDS above.
Edge : IN VICTORY MAGNANIMITY IN PEACE GOODWILL

2006 : BICENTENARY OF THE BIRTH OF ISAMBARD KINGDOM BRUNEL
Reverse : Roof of Brunel's Paddington Station, TWO POUNDS below, 2006 above.
Edge : SO MANY IRONS IN THE FIRE.

2006 : BICENTENARY OF THE BIRTH OF ISAMBARD KINGDOM BRUNEL
Reverse : Brunel portrait with the Royal Albert Bridge behind, TWO POUNDS above, 2006 below.
Edge : ISAMBARD KINGDOM BRUNEL · ENGINEER 1806-1859

2007 : BICENTENARY OF THE ABOLITION OF THE SLAVE TRADE IN THE BRITISH EMPIRE
Reverse : 1807, with the 0 as part of a broken chain, 2007 below, AN ACT FOR THE ABOLITION OF THE SLAVE TRADE above and around.
Edge : AM I NOT A MAN AND A BROTHER

2007 : TRICENTENARY OF THE ACTS OF UNION 1707
Reverse : Split into four jigsaw pieces, Scottish thistle in the top left, English rose in the bottom right, parliamentary gates in the top right and bottom left. TWO 2007 above, 1707 POUNDS below.
Edge : UNITED INTO ONE KINGDOM

2008 : 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE 1908 LONDON SUMMER OLYMPICS

2009 : 200TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF CHARLES DARWIN AND THE 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF PUBLICATION OF THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES

2009 : 250TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF ROBERT BURNS


Commemorative £5 Coins


1990 : 90TH BIRTHDAY OF QUEEN ELIZABETH THE QUEEN MOTHER.
Reverse : Crown over two intertwined 'E's, rose & thistle QUEEN ELIZABETH THE QUEEN MOTHER 1900 1990.
Milled edge.

1993 : 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CORONATION.
Obverse : Small portrait of same design as the 1960 crown, surrounded by trumpeters and swords. ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA FID DEF above, FIVE POUNDS below.
Reverse : Crown within 40 radially aligned trumpets FAITH AND TRUTH I WILL BEAR UNTO YOU 1953-1993.
Milled edge.

1996 : THE QUEEN'S 70TH BIRTHDAY.
Reverse : Flags flying with Windsor Castle behind. One flag inscribed 1926, another 1996. Also Royal Standard, Union Flag and the Queen's personal flag.
Edge :
VIVAT REGINA ELIZABETHA

1997 : THE QUEEN'S GOLDEN WEDDING ANNIVERSARY.
Obverse : Conjoined heads of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. ELIZABETH II D G REG F D PHILIP PRINCEPS.
Reverse : Royal Arms and Coat of Arms of Prince Philip. St Edward's Crown above and anchor below 20 NOVEMBER 1947 1997 FIVE POUNDS. Milled edge.

1998 : THE PRINCE OF WALES'S 50TH BIRTHDAY.
Reverse : A portrait of The Prince of Wales against a background relating to the work of The Prince's Trust. FIFTIETH BIRTHDAY OF HRH THE PRINCE OF WALES above, 1948 FIVE POUNDS 1998 below.
Milled edge.

1999 : DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES, MEMORIAL ISSUE.
Reverse : A portrait of Diana, Princess of Wales facing right. IN MEMORY OF DIANA PRINCESS OF WALES around, 1961 1997 to the right, FIVE POUNDS below.
Milled edge.

1999 : MILLENNIUM.
Reverse : Clock face showing time as midnight. Map of Great Britain and Ireland, arranged so that Greenwich is at the centre of the clock; ANNO DOMINI below, 1999 2000 FIVE POUNDS around.
Inscription : WHAT'S PAST IS PROLOGUE (a quote from Shakespeare)

2000 : MILLENNIUM.
Reverse : Clock face showing time as midnight. Map of Great Britain and Ireland, arranged so that Greenwich is at the centre of the clock; ANNO DOMINI below, 1999 2000 FIVE POUNDS around.
Inscription : WHAT'S PAST IS PROLOGUE.

2000 : MILLENIUM DOME ISSUE.
Identical to the last issue except for the addition of a mintmark at the 3 o'clock position on the reverse.
Sold only at the Millennium Dome, at a premium.

2000 : 100TH BIRTHDAY OF QUEEN ELIZABETH THE QUEEN MOTHER.
Reverse : Portrait of Queen Mother in front of people waving flags, signature Elizabeth R in exergue; outer : QUEEN ELIZABETH THE QUEEN MOTHER, inner : 1900-2000 FIVE POUNDS.

2001 : QUEEN VICTORIA DEATH CENTENARY.
Reverse : Wyon head of Victoria in 'V' representing railway lines with representation of Crystal Palace around. 1901 2001 above, 5 POUNDS to low left.
Milled edge.

2002 : THE QUEEN'S GOLDEN JUBILEE.
Obverse : Queen Elizabeth II mounted on a horse. ELIZABETH II DEI GRA REGINA FID DEF AMOR POPULI PRAESIDIUM REG around, 2002 and coat of arms below. Reverse : Portrait of the Queen, FIVE POUNDS below.
Milled edge.

2002 : QUEEN ELIZABETH THE QUEEN MOTHER MEMORIAL ISSUE.
Reverse : Portrait of Queen Mother, QUEEN ELIZABETH THE QUEEN MOTHER around. 1900-2002 below.
Inscription : STRENGTH DIGNITY LAUGHTER

2003 : CORONATION 50TH ANNIVERSARY.
Reverse: Central motif GOD SAVE THE QUEEN, CORONATION JUBILEE FIVE POUNDS 2003 around.
Milled edge.

2003 : 400TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF ELIZABETH I
Reverse : Small side portrait of Elizabeth I taken from a late 16th century coin placed over the top of Elizabeth's coat of arms with SEMPER EADEM 1603-2003 around.
Milled edge

2004 : ENTENTE CORDIALE.
Reverse: Fused busts of Britannia and Marianne. 1904 ENTENTE 2004 CORDIALE around.
Milled edge.

2005 : BICENTENARY OF THE BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR.
Reverse : Portrait of Admiral Lord Nelson, HORATIO NELSON above the portrait, 1805 to left, 2005 to right of the portrait.

2005 : BICENTENARY OF THE BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR.
Reverse : HMS Victory leading Nelson's fleet into battle

2006 : THE QUEEN'S 80TH BIRTHDAY.
Reverse : Three ceremonial trumpets, VIVAT REGINA above, 1926 to left, 2006 to right.

2007 : THE DIAMOND WEDDING ANNIVERSARY OF THE QUEEN AND THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH.
Reverse : The rose window of Westminster Abbey accompanied by the Latin inscription TVEATVR VNITA DEVS
Inscription : MY STRENGTH AND STAY

2008 : THE 60TH BIRTHDAY OF THE PRINCE OF WALES
Reverse : Effigy of Prince Charles with THE PRINCE OF WALES - 1948 ICH - DIEN 2008

2008 : THE 450TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ACCESSION OF QUEEN ELIZABETH I
Reverse : Inspired by the "Armada" portrait of Elizabeth by George Gower, the Queen is crowned and set within a mandorla created by four decorative arches. A Tudor rose has been placed at each connecting point while the two side arches each contain a leaf pattern. The inscription is ELIZABETH REGINA MDLVIII MMVIII

2009 : THE 500TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ACCESSION OF KING HENRY VIII.


Pre-Decimal British Banknotes

10 Shillings

£1

£5

£10

£20


Pre-Decimal British Coins


Before decimalisation in 1971, the pound was divided into shillings and pennies (pence).

£1 = 20 shillings (s)

1 shilling = 12 pennies (d)

Denominations

In the years just prior to decimalisation, the circulating British coins were:

Halfpenny (½d)
reverse :
Golden Hind.

Penny (1d)
reverse :
Britannia

Threepence (3d)
reverse :
Tudor portcullis

Sixpence (6d)
reverse :
Entwined samrock, Leek, Rose and Thistle

Shilling (1/-)
reverse :
Three Lions

Florin (2/-)
reverse :
Tudor rose surrounded by thistles, shamrocks, and leeks

Half crown (2/6)
reverse :
Royal Standard


Commemorative Crowns

The crown (5/-) was issued periodically as a commemorative coin but was rarely found in circulation.

1965

Winston Churchill Crown


Scotland

Bank of Scotland

Royal Bank of Scotland

Clydesdale Bank


Bank of Scotland notes

Tercentenary Series
introduced at the time of the banks' 300th anniversary in 1995:

£5 - featuring a vignette of oil and energy

£10 - featuring a vignette of distilling and brewing

£20 - featuring a vignette of education and research

£50 - featuring a vignette of arts and culture

£100 - featuring a vignette of leisure and tourism

All the notes also depict Sir Walter Scott who was instrumental in retaining the right of Scottish banks to issue their own notes in 1826.

Bridges of Scotland
introduced on 17 September 2007:

£5 - features the Brig o' Doon

£10 - features the Glenfinnan Viaduct

£20 - features the Forth Bridge

£50 - features the Falkirk Wheel

£100 - features the Kessock Bridge

All the notes depict Sir Walter Scott on the front.


Royal Bank of Scotland notes

In circulation are:

£1 - featuring Edinburgh Castle

£5 - featuring Culzean Castle

£10 - featuring Glamis Castle

£20 - featuring Brodick Castle

£50 - featuring Inverness Castle

£100 - featuring Balmoral Castle

All these notes also depict Lord Ilay (1682-1761), first governor of the bank.

Commemorative Notes:

£5 note honouring veteran golfer Jack Nicklaus in his last competitive Open competition at St Andrews in 2005

£20 note for the 100th birthday of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother in 2000


Clydesdale Bank notes

£5
obverse :
Robert Burns
reverse : a vignette of a field mouse from Burns' poem To a Mouse on the reverse

£10
obverse :
Mary Slessor
reverse : a vignette of a map of Calabar and African missionary scenes

£20
obverse :
Robert the Bruce
reverse : a vignette of the Bruce on horseback with the Monymusk Reliquary against a background of Stirling Castle

£50
obverse :
Adam Smith
reverse : a vignette of industry tools against a background of sailing ships on the back

£100
obverse :
Lord Kelvin
reverse : a vignette of the University of Glasgow

Commemorative notes:

£10 pound note celebrating the bank's sponsorship of the Scotland team at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.


Northern Ireland

Bank of Ireland

First Trust Bank

Northern Bank

Ulster Bank


Currently, four Irish banks practice their right to issue pound sterling notes in Northern Ireland, with different series of denominations.


Bank of Ireland

obverse : Queen's University of Belfast.

£5 - blue

£10 - pink

£20 - green

£50 - blue-green


First Trust Bank

£1 - obverse : two children, one male, one female

£5 - obverse : two children, one male, one female

£10 - obverse : two middle-aged people, one male, one female and the vessel Girona (galleass)

£20 - obverse : two middle-aged people, one male, one female and the chimney at Lacada Point

£50 - obverse : two elderly people, one male, one female and a commemorative medal

£100 - obverse : two elderly people, one male, one female and the Armada


Northern Bank

Reverse : The portico of Belfast's city hall

£10 - obverse : J. B. Dunlop

£20 - obverse : Harry Ferguson

£50 - obverse : Sir S.C. Davidson

£100 - obverse : Sir James Martin

14th March 2005 the colours of the notes changed :

£10 - brown to green

£20 - purple to blue

£50 - green to purple

£100 - black to red

Commemorative notes

£5 - A polymer note featuring the U.S. space shuttle commemorating the new millennium.

The only polymer banknote in the entire U.K.


Ulster Bank

obverse : View of Belfast harbour flanked by landscape views
reverse : Bank's coats-of-arms £5 - grey
£10 - blue-green

£20 - purple

£50 - blue

Notes issued from January 1st 2007 feature the bank's new logo, similar to the Royal Bank of Scotland Group logo.

Commemorative notes

November 2006

£5 - Commemorating the first anniversary of the death of George Best.


Channel Islands

Jersey

Guernsey


States of Jersey notes

Obverse : Queen Elizabeth II

£1 - green, St. Helier Parish Church

£5 - purple, La Corbiθre, lighthouse

£10 - red, The Death of Major Pierson, Battle of Jersey, 1781

£20 - blue, Saint Ouen's manor, Jersey

£50 - grey, Government House

Commemorative note:

2004 £1 marking the 800th anniversary of the division of the Duchy of Normandy in 1204. The design includes Mont Orgueil Castle and other historic symbols.


States of Jersey Coins

1p — Le Hocq Tower (coastal defence)

2p — L'Hermitage of Saint Helier St Helier

5p — Seymour Tower (offshore defence)

10p — Faldouet Dolmen, St Martin

20p — Lighthouse of La Corbiθre

50p — Grosnez Castle

£1 - edge : INSULA CAESAREA


25p — Commemorative Crowns (see below)

50p — Commemorative (see below)

£1 — Commemorative (see below)

£2 — Commemorative (see below)

£5 — Commemorative (see below) £10 — Commemorative (see below)


Commemorative 25p

1977 : QUEEN'S SILVER JUBILEE
Reverse : Castle of Mont Orgueil


Commemorative 50p

1972 : 25TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
Reverse : Royal Mace of the Bailiff of Jersey

1985 : 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF LIBERATION
Reverse :

2003 : CORONATION SET
Reverse : set of four different coins


£1 Coins

edge : INSULA CAESAREA

1972 : 25TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
Reverse : three florets of the Jersey Lily (Amaryllis belladonna).

1981 : BICENTENNIAL BATTLE OF JERSEY
Reverse : rhomboid the badge of the Royal Jersey Militia

1983 : ST. HELIER
Reverse : shield charged with two crossed axes.

1984 : ST. SAVIOUR
Reverse : crown of thorns and three nails recall the Saviour’s suffering.

1984 : ST. BRELADE
Reverse : fish

1985 : ST. CLEMENT
Reverse : shield charged with a gold anchor on a blue field.

1985 : ST. LAWRENCE
Reverse: grid-iron (grill) upon which St. Lawrence was roasted alive.

1986 : ST. PETER
Reverse : The design of two crossed keys represents the keys of Heaven in the charge of St. Peter.

1986 : GROUVILLE
Reverse : Eight alternating bands of silver and red form the Parish emblem and this variation has been captured in the detailed engraving of the coin.

1987: ST. MARTIN
Reverse : Seven alternating silver and red horizontal bands form the emblem for this coin.

1987 : ST. OUEN
Reverse : a Latin cross

1988 : TRINITY
Reverse : diagrammatical form, the mystery of the Trinity. The initials inset in the design represents Peter, Filius, Spirtus Sanctus and Deus.

1988 : ST. JOHN
Reverse :

1989 : ST. MARY
Reverse : lily

1991 : SHIP BUILDING SERIES
Reverse : the Tickler (a schooner)

1991 : SHIP BUILDING SERIES
Reverse : the Percy Douglas (a vintage full rigged ship),

1992 : SHIP BUILDING SERIES
Reverse : the Hebe (a brig)

1992 : SHIP BUILDING SERIES
Reverse : the Bailiwick Seal

1993 : SHIP BUILDING SERIES
Reverse : the Gemini (a barque)

1993 : SHIP BUILDING SERIES
Reverse : the Century (a brigantine)

1994 : SHIP BUILDING SERIES
Reverse : the Resolute (a top sail schooner)

250 of each of the Shipbuilding Series were also issued in gold.


Commemorative £2 Coins

1972 : 25TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
Reverse : 306 ton barque, Alexandra, built and registered in Jersey in 1865

1981 : PRINCE CHARLES AND LADY DIANA
Reverse : the Prince and Princess

1985 : 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF LIBERATION
Reverse : the destroyer H.M.S. Beagle
Edge : "Our dear Channel Islands will also be freed today."

1986 : XIII COMMONWEALTH GAMES EDINBURGH
Reverse : male and female sprinters

1987 : WORLD WILDLIFE FUND
Reverse : Two Pink Pigeons (Nesoerias mayeri)

1989 : ROYAL VISIT
Reverse : Royal Mace of the Bailiwick of Jersey super imposed on map of the island

1990 : 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN
Reverse: Spitfire over the outline of the British Isles

1990 : 90TH BIRTHDAY OF QUEEN MOTHER
Reverse : Jersey Pink, Dianthus gallicus, and Jersey Fern, Anogramma leptophylla, linked by Her Majesty's personal cypher, E for Elizabeth.

1993 : 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CORONATION
Reverse : St. Edward's crown superimposed on a ceremonial Mace which is chased and ornamented with emblems of the United Kingdom. Above this is the Coat of Arms of Jersey.

1995 : 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF LIBERATION
Reverse :

1996 : QUEEN'S 70TH BIRTHDAY
Reverse : birthday bouquet of Jersey lilies


Commemorative £2.50p coin

1972 : 25TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
Reverse : Lobster, (Homarus Vulcaris).


Commemorative £5 coin

1990 : 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN
Reverse : Spitfire over the outline of the British Is

1997 : 50TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
Reverse :

2000 : THE NEW MILLENNIUM
Reverse : golden silhouette of the island of Jersey acknowledge the imminent arrival of the new millennium with a celebratory banner highlighting the historic passage of time from 1999 to 2000

2002 : DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES MEMORIAL FUND
Reverse :

2002 : DUKE OF WELLINGTON
Reverse : Duke of Wellington during the Peninsular War

2002 : GOLDEN JUBILEE PROCESSION
Reverse:

2003 : PRINCE WILLIAM
Reverse: Prince William

2003 : ROYAL NAVY
Reverse : Francis Drake

2004 : ROYAL NAVY
Reverse : HMS Victory

2004 : D-DAY
Reverse : Land, air and naval forces employed in the operation and includes the symbol of The Royal British Legion, the red poppy, printed in full colour

2006 : V.C WINNERS
Reverse : Guy Gibson

2006 : WINSTON CHURCHILL
Reverse : Winston Churchill


Commemorative £10 Coin

2003 : 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CORONATION
Reverse:


States of Guernsey notes

The Guernsey Pound is legal tender only in Guernsey, but also circulates freely in Jersey.

£1 - green
Obverse :
Daniel De Lisle Brock, Bailiff of Guernsey (1762 - 1842) and Royal Court, St Peter Port (1840)
Reverse : the Market, St Peter Port

£5 - pink
Obverse :
Queen Elizabeth II and the Town Church, St Peter Port
Reverse : Fort Grey and Hanois Lighthouse (1862) on the back

£10 - blue/orange
Obverse :
Queen Elizabeth II and Elizabeth College, St Peter Port
Reverse : Saumarez Park, Les Niaux Watermill, Le Trepid Dolmen

£20 - pink
Obverse :
Queen Elizabeth II and St James Concert Hall, St Peter Port
Reverse : Vale Castle and St Sampson's Church


States of Guernsey Coins

1p — Crab

2p — Guernsey cow

5p — Yacht

10p — Guernsey Tomato

20p — Depiction of light industry /Map of Guernsey

50p — Guernsey Freesias

£1 — Finance motif

£2 - Flag of Guernsey motif


Isle of Man

The Isle of Man Government issues its own banknotes and coinage, which are legal tender only on the Isle of Man. Manx pounds are a local issue of the pound sterling.

Obverse : Queen Elizabeth II (not wearing a crown) and the Triskeles (three legs emblem).
Reverse :

£1 - Tynwald Hill

£5 - Castle Rushen

£10 - Peel Castle

£20 - the Laxey Wheel

£50 - Douglas Bay

Decimal coinage

In 1971, ½, 1, 2, 5, 10 and 50 new pence coins were introduced. All had the same composition and size as the corresponding British coins.

From 1972 onwards, production of the coinage and commemorative crowns was transferred from the Royal Mint to Pobjoy Mint.

The word "new" was removed from the coins in 1976. A 1 pound coin was introduced in 1978, five years before a similar coin was issued in the UK. A 20 pence coin was introduced alongside its UK counterpart in 1982.

Similarly, a bimetallic 2 pound coin was introduced alongside the UK version in 1998.

The obverse of Manx coins bears the same portrait of Elizabeth II as UK coins, with the words ISLE OF MAN to the left. Unlike the UK equivalent, the Manx one pound coin does not bear an edge inscription.

The Isle of Man regularly changes the designs on its coins, sometimes as often as every year. 1p — Keill (native Manx chapel)

2p — Manx fishing boat

5p — Manx stylised cross

10p — St German's Cathedral

20p — Rushen Abbey

50p — Manx pre-Norse carving

£1 — Triskeles, with three bells

£2 — 10th Century Manx design


Saint Helena pound

The British overseas territory of St Helena and Ascension have their own currency, the Saint Helenian pound, which is linked to the Pound Sterling. As a consequence, the government of St Helena mints its own coins.

The designs on the reverse of the coins.

1p — Tuna

2p — Donkey with firewood

5p — Turtle

10p — Dolphin

20p — Lily

50p — Sea Turtle

£1 — Sooty Tern

£2 — St Helena coat of arms


Falkland Islands pound

The British overseas territory of the Falkland Islands has its own currency, the Falkland pound, which is linked to the Pound Sterling. As a consequence, the government of the Falkland Islands mints its own coins.

The designs on the reverse of the coins.

1p — Gentoo Penguin

2p — Upland Goose

5p — Albatross

10p — South American Sea Lion

20p — Sheep

50p — Falkland Island Fox

£1 — Falkland Coat of Arms

£2 — Map of the Falkland Islands


Gibraltar pound

The British overseas territory of Gibraltar has its own currency, the Gibraltar pound, which is pegged with the Pound sterling at par. As a consequence, the Government of Gibraltar mints its own coins.

Gibraltar Notes

£1 - reverse : The Convent - the official residence of the Governor of Gibraltar (1988)

£5 - reverse : The Convent - the official residence of the Governor of Gibraltar (1988)

£10 - reverse : The House of Representatives (1986)

£20 - reverse : The House of Representatives (1986)

£20 - reverse : Picture of HMS Victory returning to Gibraltar in 1805 and a portrait of Admiral Nelson (1995)

£5 - reverse : Modern scenes from Gibraltar, issued to commemorate the Millennium (2000)

£10 - reverse : An illustration of Casemates Square (2002)


Gibraltar coins.

1p — Barbary Partridge

2p — Europa Point Lighthouse

5p — Barbary macaque

10p — Europort

20p — Our Lady of Europe

50p — Bottlenose Dolphins

£1 — Fortress and Key

£2 — Labours of Hercules

The £2 coin has featured a new design every year since its introduction, as it depicts each of the 12 Labours of Hercules.


Tercentenary edition

In 2004 the Government of Gibraltar minted a new edition of its coins to commemorate the tercentenary of 300 years of British Gibraltar (1704-2004).

1p — Barbary macaque

2p — Keys of Gibraltar

5p — Constitution Order 1969

10p — Operation Torch 1942

20p — Discovery of Neanderthal skull in Gibraltar 1848

50p — Battle of Trafalgar 1805

£1 — Great Siege of Gibraltar


People featured on banknotes.


Adam Smith : Scottish moral philosopher and a pioneering political economist.

Charles Darwin : English naturalist, who proposed and provided scientific evidence of evolution.

Charles Dickens : English novelist and vigorous social campaigner.

Christopher Wren : 17th century English architect.

Duke of Wellington : Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, a leading military and political figures of the nineteenth century.

Edward Elgar : English composer.

Elizabeth Fry : English prison reformer, social reformer and, as a Quaker, a Christian philanthropist.

Florence Nightingale : Pioneer of modern nursing, a writer and a noted statistician.

George Stephenson : English engineer who built the first public railway in the world to use steam locomotives.

Jack Nicklaus : American professional golfer

James Watt : Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer

J. B. Dunlop : Inventor and one of the founders of the rubber company that bore his name, the Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Company.

John Houblon : First Governor of the Bank of England from 1694 to 1697.

Harry Ferguson : Had an important role in the development of the modern agricultural tractor, his name lives on in the name of the Massey Ferguson company.

Isaac Newton : English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist and theologian.

Lord Ilay : First Governor of The Royal Bank of Scotland.

Lord Kelvin : William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, was an Irish mathematical physicist and engineer.

Major Pierson : Francis Pierson, Commander of British Forces during the 1781 French invasion of Jersey.

Mary Slessor : a Scottish missionary to Nigeria.

Matthew Boulton : English manufacturer and business partner of James Watt.

Michael Faraday : English chemist and physicist who contributed to the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry.

Robert Burns : a poet and a lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland

Robert the Bruce : Robert I, King of Scots from 1306 to 1329

Sir James Martin : British engineer and co-founder of the Martin-Baker aircraft company.

Sir S.C. Davidson : Inventor and business man.

Sir Walter Scott : A prolific Scottish historical novelist and poet.

William Shakespeare : English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language.


Tanslations of Latin Inscriptions


DECUS ET TUTAMEN ("An ornament and a safeguard")

NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT ("No-one provokes me with impunity") – the Latin motto of the Order of the Thistle

PLEIDIOL WYF I'M GWLAD ("True am I to my country") – from the chorus of the Welsh National Anthem

SIC VOS NON VOBIS ("thus we labour, but not for ourselves") - motto of William Paterson

VIVAT REGINA ELIZABETHA (Long Live Queen Elizabeth)

ELIZABETH II DEI GRA REGINA FID DEF AMOR POPULI PRAESIDIUM REG (the love of the people is the Queen’s protection)

TVEATVR VNITA DEVS ("May God guard these united [kingdoms]")

INSULA CAESAREA ("island of Jersey")


Slang terms


century - £100

grand - £1,000

Lady Godiva - rhyming slang for a fiver £5 monkey - £500

nicker - £1

nugget - £1

pony - £25

quid - £1

score - £20

shrapnel - an inconvenient pocketful of loose change.

ton - £100