Security Features | Design Features
We currently have two £5 notes in circulation: the paper £5 note featuring Elizabeth Fry and the polymer £5 note featuring Sir Winston Churchill. You can continue to spend paper £5 notes as usual until 5 May 2017. After this they will cease to be legal tender.
The paper £5 note, with a portrait of Elizabeth Fry on the back, is the lowest denomination in value and the smallest in size (approx. 135mm x 70mm).
Denomination numeral - there is a large number 5 and £ symbol in the top left corner of the front of the note to assist easy recognition of its value. There is also a slightly smaller number 5 in the top right corner.
Recognition symbol – for the partially sighted, the £5 note has a densely coloured turquoise circle on the front.
Unique numbering – a unique number is printed horizontally and vertically on the front of the £5 note. The horizontal number is in the top left corner and consists of multicoloured letters and numbers, increasing in height from left to right. The vertical number runs down the right side and has letters and numbers that are the same height and colour.
Copyright symbols –the international copyright symbol is included on the front and the back of the £5 note, around the edge of the watermark area.
Historical character - Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845). The images on the back of the note are related to the life and work of this social reformer. The main illustration shows Elizabeth Fry reading to prisoners at Newgate. In recognition of her work she was awarded the key to the prison and this is used in the design of the banknote.