The British Stephenson 5 Pound Note Whoops of 1990

February 7, 2011

In 1990 the Bank of England produced a new banknote featuring the pioneer of steam technology and father of the British railway, George Stephenson. Five pound paper notes worth 30 million pounds of face value were printed before an embarrassing bungle was realised.

An error inscribing the printing plate had meant that the date on six million notes was wrong. It's most likely the engraver misread the handwriting and inscribed the plates 1971-1845 instead of the correct date of his passing of 1848. The bank acknowledged the slip-up and explained a loss of 180,000 pounds in printing costs. Whoops.

All the error notes were destroyed before new notes were printed. This particular note has been demonetised in England as of 21 November 2003

Posted by harrisk at February 7, 2011 1:21 PM
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