Adam Smith £20 note

Contributed by Bank of England Museum

Adam Smith £20 note

The Bank of England has been issuing banknotes for over 300 years, since its inception in 1694. During that time, both the notes themselves and their role in society have undergone continual change. Gaining and maintaining public confidence in the currency is a key role of the Bank of England and one which is essential to the proper functioning of the economy.

The Adam Smith Series F £20 note was first issued in 2007. The note is 149mm x 80mm and is made of a strong paper produced from cotton and linen rags. Security features - a watermark and the metallic thread - are integrated into the paper itself, before any printing takes place. This note contains eight security features including raised print, metallic thread, a watermark, holographic strip, an ultra-violet feature, microlettering, specialist printing techniques, and a see-through register which is unique to this note.

The historical character featured on the note is Adam Smith (1723-1790), one of the fathers of modern economics. The note quotes his famous example of workers in a pin factory, which demonstrated the benefits created by the division of labour and 'the great increase in the quantity of work that results'.

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