£
GBP
Pound sterling
Official bank or department

Bank of England

Countries
United Kingdom
Languages
English
Contact information

Bank of England
Threadneedle Street
London EC2R 8AH
United Kingdom

E-mail: enquiries@bankofengland.co.uk

General information about the reproduction of banknotes

It is a criminal offence, without the prior written consent of the Bank, to reproduce on any substance whatsoever, and whether or not on the correct scale, any Bank of England banknote or any part of a banknote.

 

It is illegal to deface Bank of England banknotes (including printing, writing or impressing words, letters or figures).

 

It is an offence to copy a copyright work without consent or a licence from the copyright owner.  Bank of England banknotes are copyright of the Bank of England.

 

The Bank of England consents to the reproduction of our banknotes, or a part of one, providing that the reproduction satisfies the reproduction conditions set out below.

 

Whether you are using one of the Bank of England’s approved images, or creating your own, you must comply with our banknote reproduction conditions at all times.  Failure to do so may result in legal action.

 

The banknote reproduction conditions apply:

  • whether you are reproducing all or part of a banknote;
  • whether you are reproducing the front or the back of a banknote; and
  • to reproductions of all banknotes issued by the Bank of England, whether they are current legal tender or not.

 

Approved images of current and withdrawn banknotes that can be used in reproductions, can be downloaded from the current banknotes image library and the withdrawn banknotes section on our website.

Novelty banknotes and inappropriate reproductions

Novelty versions of our banknotes, for example ones featuring a celebrity, must not be produced. This is because there have been cases of banknotes that have been altered in this way being mistakenly accepted as genuine. 

Reproductions of our banknotes that show or use them in an inappropriate context, or where they could be mistaken for a genuine banknote, do not meet the conditions and must not be produced. This includes:

 

  • Reproductions that are double-sided.
  • Reproductions that are the same size as the actual banknote.
  • Reproductions based on the destruction of banknotes.  For example, banknote images being cut or burned, or products that will be destroyed, like tissues.
  • Products that associate banknotes with inappropriate content, for example sexually explicit images.
  • Images that distort the Queen or any of the people featured on banknotes in a disrespectful manner.
  • Reproductions printed on a material that is too similar to that used to print current Bank of England banknotes, unless it includes the word ‘SPECIMEN’, or is only showing half of the banknote. 

 

This is because reproductions like this could affect the integrity or public image of our banknotes, cause offence, or infringe copyright.

Reproduction in printed media

For physical reproductions, you must ensure you meet the banknote reproduction conditions set out below:

  1. Reproductions must be one sided only.
  2. Reproductions must not be the same size as actual banknotes; they must be at least 25% smaller or at least 25% larger. 
  3. Reproductions may not appear in an offensive or inappropriate context or in such a manner that the Bank, in its sole opinion, believes would undermine the integrity of the currency.
  4. There should be no distortion to the Queen's image (apart from an enlargement, reduction or slant).

At least one of the following conditions must also be met:

  1. Reproductions must be printed on a material clearly different and distinguishable from materials used to print current series Bank of England banknotes.
  2. Reproductions showing more than 50% of the total surface area of one side must be overprinted with the word "SPECIMEN" unless on a slant of over 20 ̊. SPECIMEN markings must be in bold grey font, at a 45 ̊ slant through the centre of the banknote, not less than 1/3 the length and 1/10 the height of the note.
  3. Reproductions showing less than 50% of the total surface area of one side do not need to be slanted or overprinted with the word "SPECIMEN".
Reproduction in electronic media

For digital reproductions, you must ensure you meet the banknote reproduction conditions set out below:

  1. Reproductions may not appear in an offensive or inappropriate context or in such a manner that the Bank, in its sole opinion, believes would undermine the integrity of the currency.
  2. There should be no distortion to the Queen's image (apart from an enlargement, reduction or slant).

At least one of the following conditions must also be met:

  1. Reproductions showing more than 50% of the total surface area of one side must be overprinted with the word "SPECIMEN" unless on a slant of over 20 ̊. SPECIMEN markings must be in bold grey font, at a 45 ̊ slant through the centre of the banknote, not less than 1/3 the length and 1/10 the height of the note.
  2. Reproductions showing less than 50% of the total surface area of one side do not need to be slanted or overprinted with the word "SPECIMEN".