Home Scotland Edinburgh Pictures Fellows Miscellaneous
Scotland - General Information Scotland - History Scotland - Money Scotland - Map

A whole lotta mess - and somehow kewl

lthough the Pound Sterling is the official and only currency in the United Kingdom and all its remaining oversea dominions, there is quite a remarkable variation in the actual appearance of the money. The banknotes issued by the "Bank of England" are the most common banknotes and probably most well known to foreigners. However, in Scotland the situation differs a little bit. Keeping in memory the 'special' relationship the Scots have to their southern neighbour, one can guess they're not really eager to pay with "English pounds". Thus, the Scots have their own Scottish pounds with a completely different design. And there's not only one series of Scottish pounds, but even three, as the major three Scottish bank institutes all issue banknotes with a different look.

Coming from the standardised Euro zone, I found this quite fascinating; it's like the 'Dresdner Bank' or the 'Deutsche Bank' in Germany would issue all their own and different looking Euros. However, the British seem to be able to deal with that without a lot of problems, even though there are about nine or ten differing series of Pound sterling. Because it's not only the Bank of England and the three major Scottish banks that issue their own pounds, but also at least four banks in Northern Ireland (as I observed) and at least one on the Isle of Man. And the cashiers in the shops can usually deal with that perfectly (heard only once of a friend who had problems to get rid of his Scottish Pounds in London).

It has to be kept in mind that all these series of banknotes are Pound Sterling and worth exactly the same amount. And my conclusion is now: there'd be no problem to issue country specific Euro banknotes at all (I always disliked the sterile and somehow boring design of our new currency). When the British can work out that monetary mess (you always get the 'right' Pounds at the cash machine of a special bank), where should be the problem to issue, for instance, Euro banknotes with a national reverse?

Scottish pounds

've been collecting banknotes from different countries for several years now. Scotland, however, turned out to be an expensive location for this hobby, as there are not one but three different series of banknotes to collect. And besides that, the Pound is not the cheapest thing... ;)
Therefore, I restricted myself to the 5 Pound banknotes, and contented myself with taking pictures from the others (note: there might be an confusing variability of series of Pounds, but all series usually don't contain more than three or four banknotes. A fifty pound banknote is the highest note one can get, and even this one is very rarely seen. Usual are 5, 10 and 20 Pound banknotes, anything else is uncommon).

Royal Bank of Scotland
four values: 1 Pound, 5 Pounds, 10 Pounds, 20 Pounds (click thumbnails to enlarge the picture)
Bank of Scotland
four values: 5 Pounds, 10 Pounds, 20 Pounds, 50 Pounds (click thumbnails to enlarge the picture)
Clydesdale Bank
three values: 5 Pounds, 10 Pounds, 20 Pounds (click thumbnails to enlarge the picture)

Related Links (external links opening in a new browser window)