Paper Money

Northern Ireland banks to release notes with upgraded current designs

Northern Ireland’s Bank of Ireland UK and Danske Bank are each placing new polymer £20 bank notes into circulation on July 20, the same day as the previously announced issue from Ulster Bank makes its debut.

The issues will retain the basic designs of the paper versions they are replacing, but with enhanced security elements including clear windows, holographic foil, a tactile feature with three arrangements of four dots in a square formation, and color changing ink.

The face of the green Bank of Ireland note has an oval vignette of Hibernia seated on the left half with the country’s six county shields at her right.

The serial numbers, in a font that gradually increases in size, appear twice, once in red ink and once in black. The back has a famous image of the Old Bushmills Distillery in County Antrim, the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world.

This design first went into circulation on April 22, 2008, on the 400th anniversary of King James I granting a license to the area around Bushmills to distill whiskey.

The Bank of Ireland is the largest issuer of bank notes in Northern Ireland.

The subtly changed blue Danske Bank £20 note will still feature the portrait of County Down born inventor Harry Ferguson. Ferguson, who was born in 1884, is best known for developing the modern tractor and the hydraulic rear linkage system still in use today.

He was also the first person in Ireland to build and fly his own airplane. His portrait on the note remains unchanged, but the tractor is updated.

The old currency from each bank can still be used but will be gradually removed from circulation.

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