Commemorative Banknotes Helping Those in Need

Posted on 4/19/2016

Banknote design competition helps better the lives of children across the United Kingdom.

This £5 polymer Scottish limited edition, hand produced, banknote was primarily auctioned off at Spink Auctions in London, England on December 8, 20151 (Pick Unlisted). Only 50 were printed, while 36 were handled and sold by Spink. Each banknote came with a presentation pack including a certificate of authenticity from the Bank of Scotland. The Bank of Scotland decided that its first polymer note would be special so they produced the banknote in conjunction with the charity BBC Children in Need - an organization that has been around since 1980. Children’s main objective is to raise money for disadvantaged children and young people throughout the United Kingdom. To date they have raised over £800 million ($1.1 Billion USD)!

Next, the Bank of Scotland sent out a call for a design. They set up a competition for children to design a portion of the new upcoming banknote. The design theme was ‘What does BBC Children in Need mean to you?’ Over 4,000 young people responded. This is the first time a children’s design will be a part of a British banknote. The winner was Kayla Robson, a 12-year old school girl from Dundee, Scotland, who drew Pudsey Bear holding a Saltire flag. The retail managing director for the Bank of Scotland had this to say:

“This new five pound note is brighter and bolder than most other banknotes in circulation and really brings to life what BBC Children in Need means to so many people. Kayla did a fantastic job with her design and I am delighted to see how we have been able to incorporate it into our first polymer banknote.”2

Scotland, 2015 £5 "Commemorative", PMG Graded 66 Gem Uncirculated EPQ, front
Click image to enlarge.

Scotland, 2015 £5 "Commemorative", PMG Graded 66 Gem Uncirculated EPQ, back
Click image to enlarge.

Pudsey Bear is the mascot for the charity and has been the face of the charity for nearly 31 years. He has gone through many stylistic changes, but the one constant has been his bandanna covering an eye.

The Saltire that Pudsey is holding is actually the national flag of Scotland. The flag was adopted for national use in the 15th century.

The commemorative was given a very special range of serial numbers: PUDSEY01 through PUDSEY40, PUDSEY88, XX888888 (where the winner was able to create the prefix of their choice, subject to the Bank’s approval), and the rest of the notes the winner was able to personalize all eight digits of the serial number, again subject to the Bank’s approval. Spink offered PUDSEY01 to PUDSEY30, PUDSEY88, XX888888 and four of the complete personalized banknotes. The final auction total after the hammer dropped was £55,100.

This banknote is a reminder that banknotes can have a deeper message behind them and, ultimately, can change lives for the better. In this case, these 50 notes helped the lives of children across the United Kingdom.



PMG is an independent member of the Certified Collectibles Group (CCG).

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