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10 Pounds Sterling 2017, Kingdom of Great Britain

no number in katalog -
Years of issue: 04.10.2017
Signatures: Group chief executive: Mr. Ross McEwan
Serie: Scotland
Specimen of: 2016
Material: Polymer
Size (mm): 132 x 69
Printer: De la Rue currency,Loughton

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

10 Pounds Sterling 2017



10 pnd 2017 Royal Bank of Scotland plc

New emblem of the Bank, an inscription (vertically) - TEN10 and transparent denomination in numeral - 10.

The new emblem of RBS.

The RBS Group uses branding developed for the Bank on its merger with the National Commercial Bank of Scotland in 1969. The Group's logo takes the form of an abstract symbol of four inward-pointing arrows known as the "Daisy Wheel" and is based on an arrangement of 36 piles of coins in a 6 by 6 square,representing "the accumulation and concentration of wealth by the Group".


10 Pounds Sterling 2017

Mary Fairfax Somerville

The engraving on banknote is made after this painting by John Jackson. Owner: Somerville College, University of Oxford.

Mary Fairfax Somerville (26 December 1780 – 29 November 1872) was a Scottish science writer and polymath. She studied mathematics and astronomy, and was nominated to be jointly the first female member of the Royal Astronomical Society at the same time as Caroline Herschel.

When John Stuart Mill, the philosopher and economist, organised a massive petition to Parliament to give women the right to vote, he had Somerville put her signature first on the petition.

When she died in 1872, Mary Somerville was hailed by The Morning Post as "The Queen of Nineteenth-Century Science".

While Mary Somerville did not discover or invent anything, she made science accessible to a much wider audience by breaking down complicated scientific topics into more simple terms and thereby started the trend for "Popular Science" through her widely published and used

scientific writing.

One of Mary’s great qualities as a scientific writer was an openness to new possibilities. She entranced her readers not only by reporting on the extraordinary new discoveries of her own time, but by opening the door to wondrous possibilities in the future.

Her 1831 book, "Mechanism of the Heavens", made Pierre Laplace’s "Celestial Mechanics" more accessible with her own commentaries and simple explanations of the difficult elements, which meant that it was used as a college text for the next century.

“I translated Laplace’s work from algebra into common language” said Mary. Mary’s books spread across several scientific disciplines such as astronomy, physics, geography and biology and it was her work that prompted the creation of the term ‘scientist’, a new professional concept and umbrella term to define it, coined in 1834 by William Whewell.

Centered, at the bottom, the note features a Quotation by Mary Somerville. This particular passage was chosen for its reference to water - connecting it to the shoreline which is the theme of the note, and for its mention of the behaviour of light - connecting to the overall theme of the Note family "natural colour and light".

"Anyone who has observed the reflection of the waves from a wall on the side of a river after the passage of a steam-boat, will have a perfect idea of the reflection of sound and light."

Reference: "The connection of the physical sciences", p. 119, Mary Somerville, 1834, Publisher: Philadelphia: "Key and Biddle", public domain.

burntisland beach

On background is the Burntisland Beach. For engraving were used the photo by Peter Dibdin.

“Genteel poverty” is the phrase that has been used to describe Mary Fairfax’s circumstances. She ran wild in the coastal countryside of her home in Burntisland, and inheriting her father’s fascination with natural history (in his case, plants and especially tulips), she studied the sea

shells, birds and flowers that she found around her.

“With the exception of dulse and tangle I knew the names of none, though I was well acquainted with and admired many of these beautiful plants. I also watched the crabs, live shells, jelly-fish, and various marine animals, all of which were objects of curiosity and amusement to me in my lonely life.”

Reference: Mary Somerville. “Personal Recollections, from Early Life to Old Age", of Mary Somerville.” p. 47.

moon diagramm moon diagramm

Hidden in the UV layer is the Moon diagram. It is taken from Mary Somerville’s book "Mechanism of the Heavens", where it illustrates how we can use the light of the sun hitting the moon to calculate the distance between the Earth and the Sun. This is an example of her efforts to make knowledge available to the wider population.

Acanthometra Bulbosa

Blinkbox, centered, on top - security element references both the otter and another of the illustrations from Mary’s book "On molecular and microscopic science".

Acanthometra Bulbosa is a microscopic cellular organism found in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean. The tiny marine animal is considered one of the lowest forms of animal existence.

color palette

On banknote are used the Colour palettes, developed by Donna Wilson.

tweed pattern

On banknote are Bespoke tweed pattern - Variation on a houndstooth (dog-otterstooth), developed by tweed designers Elspeth Anderson and Alistair McDade.

Denominations in numerals are in top corners, in words on top, centered.


10 Pounds Sterling 2017

The £10 otter lives on our coast & celebrates our beaches and shorelines.

Norman MacCaig Norman MacCaig

The reverse of the £10 note features an excerpt from Scottish poet Norman MacCaig poetry "Moorings" - "The cork that can’t be travels - Nose of a dog otter." (visible on banknote) and "It’s piped at, screamed at, sworn at by an elegant oystercatcher..." (visible in UV light). Calligraphy by Susi Leiper.

Norman MacCaig (1910-1996) was one of the great generation of Scottish poets writing after the Second World War who were pre-eminently associated with particular locations and real geographies. He is best known as a great love poet of the natural world: mountains, lochs, birds, beasts and landscapes of the north-west generally.

On banknote are Scottish Secretary Hand and Scotch Modern typefaces.

Scottish Secretary Hand is a style of writing employed in Scottish offices during the XVI and XVII Centuries, replacing the previously dominant "book hand" as a more

legible, faster written style better suited to the growth of national and international communication in business and law.

Scotch Modern typefaces emerge as a distinctive typographic form from Scottish type-foundries of the late XVIII / early XIX Century. In style they are rational, logical

and practical whilst also expressing great personality and character. Scotch modern types found success in the UK but with their introduction to America, at a time

of dramatic growth in mass literacy, they became highly influential at an international level.

Each note in this polymer series also will feature a midge, to “represent the reality of everyday living in the Scottish countryside”, according to RBS. “It’s a reminder that Scottish nature nips us as well as thrills people”.

Lutra Lutra Lutra Lutra

At 10 pounds banknote are the couple of otters (Lutra lutra). The choice of otter is not accidental - it is an permanent resident of Scottish seashores.

The Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra), also known as the European otter, Eurasian river otter, common otter, and Old World otter, is a semiaquatic mammal native to Eurasia. The most widely distributed member of the otter subfamily (Lutrinae) of the weasel family (Mustelidae), it is found in the waterways and coasts of Europe, many parts of Asia, and parts of northern Africa. The Eurasian otter has a diet mainly of fish, and is strongly territorial. It is endangered in parts of its range, but recovering in others.

Although male and female otters are rarely seen together they make a special appearance on this note. The male is shown side on and the female from the top.

Scotland is one of the best places in Western Europe to see otters, especially along the coasts of the Hebrides and North Isles. Currently estimated at around 8,000 animals, Scottish otters can be rather different in their behaviour from otters elsewhere. Only around half the otters in Scotland live in freshwaters, whereas almost all of those in England and Wales do so.

The coastal dwelling Scottish otters can be very active during the day. So otter viewing is easier around Scottish shores – a boon for wildlife enthusiasts and filmmakers.

The Scottish otter population benefited from the end of otter hunting many decades ago and is being helped now by improvement in the quality of water in lochs, rivers and canals across the country. So the otter symbolizes health of both inshore and freshwater habitat.

Source: Kenny Taylor, wildlife expert.

With thanks to...

Hans Kruuk, Biologist with expertise in otters: validation of otter drawings.

Kenny Taylor, Wildlife expert: supplying expert knowledge.

Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue: reference images of male and female otters.

The International Otter Survival Fund: Otter habitat and anatomy reference material.

Palmaria Palmata Palmaria Palmata

On banknote, on reverse and obverse, are The Dulse (Palmaria Palmata).

Dulse is a red seaweed that grows in the area between the high tide and low tide to depths of 20 meters below the surface on the northern coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. Harvested from the Scottish coasts, it was used by the early Scots for dyeing yarn brown for the coloring of the tweeds and tartans for their plaids and kilts.


Irvine, L.M. & Guiry, M.D. “Palmariales and Rhodymeniales” in Irvine, L.M.

1983. Seaweeds of the British Isles. Volume 1. Part 2A. Cryptonemiales (sensu stricto) Palamriales, Rhodymeniales. British Museum (Natural History), London.

Eva Lamber, commercial natural dyer at Shilasdair the Skye Yarn Company & author of the book "The Complete Guide to Natural Dyeing".

hidden 10

Denomination 10 hidden on female otter nose.

Simuliidae Simuliidae

On obverse and reverse of banknote are the Midges.

The Scottish midge, an ever present element of summer in the Scottish countryside. Shown in all the notes as a cluster on the obverse and individually hidden on the reverse.

Denominations in numerals are in lower left and top right corners, in words - on top.


RBS board chair Malcolm Buchanan said the bank had “never before featured a woman on its main issue bank notes” and that the new issues celebrated “the fantastic, and often overlooked, achievements of two great Scottish women”. (RBS)