20 x £50 notes
The Bank of England has unveiled a new £50 note that features the scientist Alan Turing, who is best known for breaking codes during the second world war. The note will go into circulation on June 23, which is Alan Turing’s birthday.
On Thursday morning, the design, which incorporates a number of Turing-related elements, was scheduled to be unveiled by Andrew Bailey, governor of the Bank of England.
The note includes his signature, a photograph of Turing taken three years before his death in 1951, ticker tape with his birth date written in binary, and a quote from an interview he gave: This is only a shadow of the future and a foretaste of what is to come.
The Bank has completed its transition away from paper currency with the introduction of this most recent polymer note.
It will join the Churchill £5, Austen £10, and Turner £20, all of which are made of polymer, which is said to last longer and keep better than paper.
The Bank of England was keen to highlight the note’s advanced security features, which were intended to discourage forgery and counterfeiting. Turing was probably best known for helping crack the Enigma code during the second world war and for pioneering the modern computer.
The polymer notes the Bank issued were described as the “most secure series of banknotes yet.” The £50 has two windows and a foil of two colors, like the £20, making it “very difficult” to counterfeit. When the note is tilted from side to side, a hologram image switches between the words “Fifty” and “Pounds.”50 x £10 note
20 x £50 notes
Bailey remarked on the design, saying: We have every right to think about and celebrate the people depicted on our banknotes because the currency that we use reflects a nation’s character. Therefore, I am delighted that our brand-new £50 features Alan Turing, one of Britain’s most important scientists.
He went on to say that Turing, who was born in 1912, was a leading mathematician, developmental biologist, and computer science pioneer in addition to his work at Bletchley Park.
He was also gay, and as a result, he received appalling treatment. Bailey stated, “We are celebrating his accomplishments and the values he represents by placing him on our new polymer £50 banknote.”
In 1952, Turing was tried for being a homosexual. Two years later, an inquest found that Turing committed suicide by taking cyanide poisoning.
After a public consultation process designed to honor a prominent British scientist, the selection of Turing to appear on the new £50 note was made public in July 2019.
The Bank got a sum of 227,299 designations covering 989 qualified characters, which were trimmed down to a waitlist of 12, with the then Bank lead representative, Imprint Carney, settling on the last choice.