The new £20 note

Our new polymer £20 note is coming on 20 February 2020. It features the artist JMW Turner.

Key facts

character-announcement

22 April 2016

JMW Turner was announced as the face of the new £20 note

banknote-unveil

10 October 2019

The new £20 note was unveiled

Hand holding a banknote

20 February 2020

The new £20 note will be issued

Polymer £20 note specimen front
Polymer £20 note specimen back

Explore our polymer £20 note

Drag the note or use the slider to find out about the features on the note

Hologram

The word changes between ‘Twenty’ and ‘Pounds’ when the note is tilted.

See-through windows

The foil is blue and gold on the front and silver on the back. A second, smaller window is in the bottom corner.

The Queen’s portrait

A portrait of the Queen is printed on the window with ‘£20 Bank of England’ printed twice around the edge.

Raised dots

There are three clusters of raised dots in the top left hand corner to help blind and partially sighted people identify the value of the note.

Ultra-violet number

Under ultra-violet light, the number ‘20’ appears in bright red and green, against a duller background.

Size

The higher the value of a note, the larger it is. This note is approximately 139mm x 73mm.

Purple foil patch

A round, purple foil patch contains the letter ‘T’.

Historical character

JMW Turner’s self-portrait was painted circa 1799 and is currently on display at Tate Britain.

Artwork

The Fighting Temeraire is one of Turner’s most famous paintings. This was a tribute to the ship HMS Temeraire, which played a distinguished role in Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

Quote

‘Light is therefore colour’ is a quote from a lecture Turner gave in 1818 and a reference to his innovative use of light, shade, colour and tone.

Signature

Turner’s signature is from his will, in which he left many of his paintings to the nation.

Copyright symbols

The international copyright symbol is on the front and back of the note.

Unique numbering

The numbers and letters in the vertical serial number are all the same height and colour. The horizontal serial number is multi-coloured and increases in height from left to right.

Print quality

The printed lines and colours on the note are sharp, clear and free from smudges or blurred edges.

Print quality

The value of the note is written in tiny letters and numbers below the Queen’s portrait. This is visible with a magnifying glass.

Silver foil patch

A silver foil patch contains a 3D image of the coronation crown.

Raised print

You can feel raised print on the words ‘Bank of England’ and over the smaller window in the bottom right corner.

Key security features

Focus on these two key security features to help confirm that your notes are genuine:

Hologram image change

Hologram

Tilt the note from side to side.  Check the words change between 'Twenty' and 'Pounds'.

See-through windows

Silver-foil-small

Look at the metallic image over the main window. Check the foil is blue and gold on the front of the note and silver on the back.

Look for a second, smaller window in the bottom corner of the note.

Other security features

The Queen's portrait in the see-through window

Queen

A portrait of the Queen is printed on the window with '£20 Bank of England’ printed twice around the edge.

Silver foil patch

Crown

A silver foil patch contains a 3D image of the coronation crown. You will find this above the see-through window on the front of the note.

Purple foil patch

Purple-foil

A round, purple foil patch contains the letter 'T'. You will find this on the back of the note, directly behind the silver crown on the front of the note.

Feel of polymer and raised print

Raised-print

The note is printed on polymer, which is a thin and flexible plastic material.  On the front of the note, you can feel raised print. For example, on the words ‘Bank of England’ and in the bottom right corner, over the smaller window.

Print quality

Print-quality Microlettering

The printed lines and colours on the note are sharp, clear and free from smudges or blurred edges. If you use a magnifying glass, you will see the value of the note written in small letters and numbers below the Queen's portrait.

Ultra-violet number

Ultra-violet

Under a good quality ultra-violet light, the number '20' appears in bright red and green on the front of the note, against a duller background.

Design features

Tactile feature

On the front of the note (the side with raised print), there are three clusters of raised dots in the top left hand corner. This tactile feature helps blind and partially sighted people identify the value of the note.

Size

The higher the value of a note, the larger it is. This note is approximately 139mm x 73mm.

Unique numbering

A unique serial number is printed horizontally and vertically on the back of the note. The horizontal number is in the bottom right corner. It is made up of multi-coloured letters and numbers, which increase in height from left to right. The vertical number runs down the left-hand side and the numbers and letters are the same height and colour.

Copyright symbols

The international copyright symbol is on the front and back of the note, below the ‘Twenty Pounds’ text.

Historical character

JMW Turner’s self-portrait was painted circa 1799 and is currently on display at Tate Britain.

Artwork

The Fighting Temeraire is one of Turner’s most famous paintings. This was a tribute to the ship HMS Temeraire, which played a distinguished role in Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

Quote

'Light is therefore colour’ is a quote from a lecture Turner gave in 1818 and a reference to his innovative use of light, shade, colour and tone.

Signature

Turner’s signature is from his Will, in which he left many of his paintings to the nation.

Exchanging old notes

You will still be able to use the paper £20 note until we withdraw it from circulation. We will announce the withdrawal date after we have issued our new polymer £20 note. We will give six months’ notice of this withdrawal date.

Many banks will accept withdrawn notes as deposits from customers. The Post Office may also accept withdrawn notes as a deposit into any bank account you can access at the Post Office. And, you can always exchange withdrawn notes with us.

Current notes

This page was last updated 18 November 2019
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