£5 notes

There has been the new £5 note in circulation for a while now. As I had both a new and an old £5 note with me, I thought I would compare the differences as revealed by a UV torch.

First we look at the old note which has a 5 which shows up when illuminated by a UV torch. Here I used the 365nm Nichia torch.

UV-induced visible fluorescence - old £5 note
UV-induced visible fluorescence – old £5 note

The new £5 note has a different pattern to it, which is revealed by the UV torch.

UV-induced visible fluorescence - new £5 note
UV-induced visible fluorescence – new £5 note

On the back of the new note, there is a section which illuminates with the UV torch (covering part of Winston Churchills left cheek, but there does not appear to be a similar area on the old note.

UV-induced visible fluorescence - back of new £5 note
UV-induced visible fluorescence – back of new £5 note

Now one of the things which I had read about the new note is that in the transparent part of the note where the Queen’s face is situated, shining a red laser light through where the Queen’s neck is, would result in a pattern of red dots with a triangular configuration. Hence I thought I would do a 1:1 macro shot of that area to see what that area looks like.

Queen's face - neck region
Queen’s face – neck region

Now I did try to shine a red laser through that area, but I did not manage to get the triangular arrangement of red dots. Not quite sure why.

Red laser shined through the Queen's neck on new £5 note
Red laser shined through the Queen’s neck on new £5 note

I can understand people using the UV light to check the authenticity of these notes, but I can’t see people using the red laser as a security check though (especially as I can’t seem to replicate it).

Boon