Front of note Rear of note Front of note Front of note Front of note Front of note Front of note Rear of note Rear of note Rear of note Rear of note Rear of note
Front of note / Look / Print Quality Front of note / Look / Print Quality
Front of note / Look / Transmission Front of note / Look / Transmission
Front of note / Look / Security Thread Front of note / Look / Security Thread
Front of note / Look / See Through Front of note / Look / See Through
Front of note / Look / Microprint Front of note / Look / Microprint
Front of note / Look / Serial Numbers Front of note / Look / Serial Numbers
Front of note / Look / Denomination Numerals Front of note / Look / Denomination Numerals
Front of note / Feel / Polymer Quality Front of note / Feel / Polymer Quality
Front of note / Feel / Raised Print Front of note / Feel / Raised Print
Front of note / Feel / Embossed Numeral Front of note / Feel / Embossed Numeral
Front of note / Tilt / Iridescence Front of note / Tilt / Iridescence
Front of note / Tilt / Spark Front of note / Tilt / Spark
Front of note / Check / UV Fluorescence Front of note / Check / Gemini UV Printing
Front of note / Check / Compare Front of note / Check / Compare
Rear of note / Check / Compare Rear of note / Check / Compare
Rear of note / Look / Print Quality Rear of note / Look / Print Quality
Rear of note / Look / Transmission Rear of note / Look / Transmission
Rear of note / Look / Denomination Numerals Rear of note / Look / Denomination Numerals
Rear of note / Look / Microprint Rear of note / Look / Microprint
Rear of note / Feel / Polymer Quality Rear of note / Feel / Polymer Quality
Rear of note / Feel / Raised Print Rear of note / Feel / Raised Print
Rear of note / Tilt / Iridescence Rear of note / Tilt / Iridescence
Rear of note / Tilt / Spark Rear of note / Tilt / Spark
Rear of note / Check / UV Fluorescence Rear of note / Check / UV Fluorescence
Rear of note / Check / Gemini UV Printing Rear of note / Check / Gemini UV Printing
Rear of note / Look / See Through Rear of note / Look / See Through
Royal Bank of Scotland £5 note
Polymer Series
Size: 125mm x 65mm
Colour: Blue
Design Features: (click to highlight an area of interest)
  • Two Mackerel
  • An excerpt from the poem 'The Choice' by Sorley MacLean
  • A midge
  • Background imagery of botanicals used in the dyeing process
  • Royal Bank of Scotland name and logo
Royal Bank of Scotland £5 note
Polymer Series
Size: 125mm x 65mm
Colour: Blue
Design Features: (click to highlight an area of interest)
  • Portrait of Nan Shepherd, her name and dates of birth and death
  • A quote from The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd
  • Background picture of the Cairngorms
  • Spark® Orbital™ Royal Bank of Scotland logo
  • Royal Bank of Scotland name and logo
Look: Print Quality
Lines should be sharp and well defined with no blurred edges. Colours should be clear and distinct. Print Quality
Look: Transmission
As the note is a polymer there is no watermark, however due to the substrate used when the note is held up to the light you should be able to see visible images from the opposite side Transmission
Look: Security Thread
The security thread has been replaced with the words "FIVE" and the number "5", visible on the front of the note running vertically along parts of the edge of the polymer window Security Thread
Look: See Through
There is a clear polymer window on the left of the note that runs vertically when viewed from the front. The Spark® Orbital™ image of the Royal Bank of Scotland logo appears towards the top of the window. See Through
Look: Microprinting
MICROPRINTING features in various locations throughout the note and some examples which you can see using a good quality magnifying glass are given here. On the front of the note the horizontal line above the portrait reads 'ROYALBANKOFSCOTLAND'. Both the "5" value and "FIVE5FIVE5" appear repeatedly in sections of the background image and shading. Microprint
Look: Serial Numbers
Each Note has a unique serial number which is printed twice on the front of the note, horizontally on the lower right and vertically on the upper left. Serial numbers consist of two letters followed by six numbers. The vertical serial number will fluoresce under Ultra Violet Light. Serial Numbers
Look: Denomination Numerals
The number 5 accompanied by a '£' sign appears vertically in the top left and horizontally in the top right on the front of the note. Denomination Numerals
Feel: Polymer Quality
The note should feel smoother than a paper note, though this will reduce over time. Like paper notes, polymer notes have raised print giving them a tactile quality. Polymer Quality
Feel: Raised Print
On the front of the note you will feel raised print if you run your finger along:
  • The "£5" in the top left corner
  • The Royal Bank of Scotland name and logo and all writing including signatures
  • The portrait of Nan Shepherd
  • The background image of the Cairngorms
Raised Print
Feel: Embossed Numeral
You will see a small number 5 embossed into the clear window. You can also feel this with your fingertips. Embossed Numeral
Tilt: Iridescence
There is a shiny band of coloured IRIDESENT ink which can be clearly seen when you move the note around. The band runs from the left of the note, across the window to the portrait; a small section of band is also visible on the right hand edge of the note. Iridescence
Tilt: Spark® Orbital™
The Royal Bank of Scotland logo set over the transparent polymer window is printed in shiny metallic ink which changes colour from Blue to green and can be seen from both sides of the note. You will also see a circular effect as you tilt the note. Spark
Check: UV Fluorescence
If you place the note under a good quality ULTRA-VIOLET light you will see a solid rectangular block towards the bottom left hand corner of the portrait box that will fluoresce. Within the block you will see an outline of a Mackerel. The image of the 5 Midges with their wings outstretched to form a pentagon in the bottom left corner and both serial numbers, along with areas of the background will also fluoresce. UV Fluorescence
Check: Compare
Always compare both sides of a suspect note with another note that you know to be genuine, looking for differences between the two. Make sure you check the size of a suspect note against a known genuine note. Compare Compare
Check: Compare
Always compare both sides of a suspect note with another note that you know to be genuine, looking for differences between the two. Make sure you check the size of a suspect note against a known genuine note. Compare Compare
Look: Print Quality
Lines should be sharp and well defined with no blurred edges. Colours should be clear and distinct. Print Quality
Look: Transmission
As the note is a polymer there is no watermark, however due to the substrate used when the note is held up to the light you should be able to see visible images from the opposite side Transmission
Look: Denomination Numerals
On the back of the note the number 5 accompanied by a '£' sign appears vertically in the top right and bottom left corners of the note. Denomination Numerals
Look: Microprinting
On the back of the note the "5" is used repeatedly in sections of the background shading and is also present in the eye of both Mackerel. Microprint
Feel: Polymer Quality
The note should feel smoother than a paper note, though this will reduce over time. Like paper notes, polymer notes have raised print giving them a tactile quality. Polymer Quality
Feel: Raised Print
On the back of the note you will feel raised print if you run your finger along:
  • The two Mackerel and background imagery
  • The numerical value at the top right of the note
  • The Royal Bank of Scotland name and logo and all writing including poetry
Raised Print
Tilt: Iridescence
When viewed from the back, part of the Iridescent band can be seen through the clear window. Iridescence
Tilt: Spark® Orbital™
When the note is viewed from the back the Spark® Orbital™ can be viewed through the clear window. Spark
Check: UV Fluorescence
If you place the note under a good quality ULTRA-VIOLET light you will see hidden lines of poetry written within the light blue area between the Mackerel fluoresce. UV Printing
Check: Gemini UV Printing
If you place the note under a good quality ULTRA-VIOLET light, you will see there are areas of the note that appear as a single colour in daylight but fluoresce as two separate colours under ultra-violet. An example of this are the 2 Mackerel on the back of the note. Gemini UV Printing
Look: See Through
There is a clear polymer window on the right of the note that runs vertically when viewed from the back. Part of the Spark® Orbital™ image of the Royal Bank of Scotland logo can be seen through the window. See Through
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