The Royal Bank of Scotland and the De La Rue printing firm jointly
released the designs for the bank’s forthcoming £5 and £10 bank notes
on April 25. The bank says this is the first time the two notes will
Scottish novelist and poet Nan Shepherd will be on the £5 note when
it is introduced later this year and, as previously announced,
scientist Mary Somerville will appear on the £10 note slated for
release in 2017. The choice of Shepherd was made by the bank’s board
while Somerville was the winner of a recent public vote.
The theme for both notes is “the Fabric of Nature.” They will be
printed on De La Rue’s Safeguard polymer substrate and will contain a
variety of security features that De La Rue says will make them hard
to counterfeit but easy to authenticate. Among them will be a broad
clear window running across the notes containing the bank’s logo
printed in optically variable SPARK Orbital ink. The logo can be seen
from both sides of the note.
Behind the portrait on of the £5 note is a picture of the
Cairngorms, a subject of Shepherd’s writing, and a quote from her book
The Living Mountain. The back of the note features two mackerel, the
single most valuable stock for the Scottish fishing industry, and an
excerpt from the poem “The Choice” by Sorley MacLean.
Behind Somerville’s portrait on the face of the £10 note is
Burntisland Beach, where she lived as a child. Below it is a quote
from her The Connection of the Physical Sciences, one of the
best-selling science books of the 19th century. On the back are two
otters at play and an excerpt from the poem “Moorings” by Norman MacCraig.
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