7 questions on fivers

7 questions on banknotes

More £5 notes are going to be put into circulation through cash machines, to improve the mix of money available when you withdraw cash. Fewer than 3% of UK cash machines dispense the smallest denomination notes, but they are the most used. So how much do you know about them?


1.) Multiple Choice Question

Which of these famous faces has not appeared on a £5 note?

Duke of Wellington, Florence Nightingale, Elizabeth Fry and George Stephenson
  1. The Duke of Wellington
  2. Elizabeth Fry
  3. Florence Nightingale
  4. George Stephenson

2.) Multiple Choice Question

The £5 note is made from cotton fibre and what?

Hand holding cotton
  1. Linen rag
  2. Polymer
  3. Both of the above

3.) Multiple Choice Question

The £5 note used to feature railway engineer George Stephenson. When they were first issued several million had to be destroyed - why?

George Stephenson
  1. Wrong blue ink used
  2. Serial number could be rubbed off
  3. Year of his death was wrong

4.) Multiple Choice Question

Which of the following sports stars has NOT appeared on a £5 note?

  1. George Best
    George Best
  2. Jack Nicklaus
    Jack Nicklaus
  3. JPR Williams
    JPR Williams


The Ulster Bank issued commemorative £5 notes featuring George Best in 2006 to mark his death. Jack Nicklaus appeared on Royal Bank of Scotland £5 notes in 2005, during his last competitive Open Championship at St Andrews. He won the event in 1966, 1970 and 1978.

George Best banknotes

5.) Multiple Choice Question

Current Bank of England £5 notes are blue in colour, but what is the colour of a fiver in Guernsey?

  1. Purple
  2. Orange
  3. Pink

6.) Multiple Choice Question

A fiver has a much shorter lifespan than other notes. On average how long does it last before it becomes too damaged to use?

  1. Nine months
  2. Eighteen months
  3. Three years

7.) Multiple Choice Question

Which of these is on today's £5 notes, but was not on the original fiver issued in 1793?

Five pound note
  1. 'I promise to pay the bearer'
  2. Bank of England
  3. Monarch's head


  1. It's Florence Nightingale. She appeared on £10 notes between 1975 and 1992. The £5 note has previous featured George Stephenson and the Duke of Wellington, but now features Elizabeth Fry.
  2. It's linen rag. Polymer (biaxially-oriented polypropylene) banknotes have been introduced in some countries, including Brazil, Indonesia and Australia. They are more durable and incorporate security features other banknotes can't.
  3. The year of his death was wrong. Meanwhile, the original issue of £5 notes featuring Elizabeth Fry in 2002 had to be withdrawn because the ink on the serial number could be rubbed off.
  4. It's JPR Williams. Click the > button, right, for more information.
  5. It's pink. There is a portrait of the Queen on the front and pictures of Fort Grey and Hanois Lighthouse on the reverse. In Jersey, fivers are mainly purple, with new sky blue notes issued last year.
  6. It's nine months. This is because £5 get used more regularly than higher denomination notes and retailers hold on to them to give out as change, so there are fewer opportunities for damaged notes to be withdrawn from circulation. A £50 note can be in circulation for up to four years.
  7. It's the monarch's head. It first started to appear on £5 notes in 1963.

Your Score

0 - 3 : Out of circulation

4 - 6 : In short supply

7 - 7 : Loaded

For past quizzes including our weekly news quiz, 7 days 7 questions, expand the grey drop-down below - also available on the Magazine page (and scroll down).