Novelist and poet Nan Shepherd will be on Royal Bank of Scotland £5 note

Scientist Mary Somerville will appear on the £10 note
By , Special to Coin World
Published : 05/04/16
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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 feature women. 

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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