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5 Pounds Sterling 1981, Saint Helena

in Krause book Number: 7b
Years of issue: 1981
Edition: 99269
Signatures: Currency Commissioners: Philip Edwards Aldous, Simon Gillett, George Carter Lawrence
Serie: No Serie
Specimen of: 1976
Material: 100% raw cotton
Size (mm): 151 x 73
Printer: TDLR (Thomas de la Rue & Company), London

* 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.

5 Pounds Sterling 1981




5 Pounds Sterling 1981

HM The Queen Elizabeth II.

The portraits in this group are official portraits, taken by Anthony Buckley, circa 1966. The sitting that produced the photographs on which these engravings are based also produced a number of similar portraits that were used on postage stamps.

In this portrait The Queen is wearing Queen Victoria's Collet Necklace and Earrings. (While this necklace is depicted in Portrait 10, the matching earrings are not used for that portrait.)

Queen Victoria's Collet Necklace

The Coronation Necklace and Earrings are an important set in the Queen's collection not just because of overall diamond weight but, because of historical significance.

The necklace was created for Queen Victoria in 1858 and has been worn by queens for every coronation after Queen Victoria's death, hence the name. It currently has 26 stones: 25 in the necklace itself, plus the 22.48 carat Lahore Diamond as a pendant. "From her Majesty's Jewel vault"

drop earrings

The drops of the earrings are stones taken from the Timur Ruby Necklace, owned by The Queen.

Each old-cut diamond cluster surmount suspending a foliate diamond link and pear-shaped diamond cluster drop, mounted in silver and gold.

King George IV started a practice in the British royal family which continues today: the awarding of family orders. These are diamond-set portraits of the monarch suspended from a silk bow (the color varying by reign), and they are today given to female royal family members of the sovereign's choosing as a personal gift.

Royal Family Order George V

Queen Elizabeth was first given her grandfather George V's order, set on pale blue silk.

Royal Family Order George VI

Followed by her father George VI's, on pink silk, and she wears them both today. (A royal lady can wear all the family orders she has at once.) The orders are positioned on the left shoulder. They are worn for the most formal events, and can usually be seen on the Queen when she's at a tiara event.

In most renditions of this portrait, the Royal Family Order of King George VI is apparent below the left-hand shoulder of Her Majesty, while the uppermost portion of the Royal Family Order of King George V is apparent in only some renditions of the portrait. (Her majesty's Jewel Vault).

The first version of this portrait can be distinguished by the angle of Her Majesty's head, which is squarely set. This portrait was initially used by "Bradbury Wilkinson", but later used by "De La Rue" when they took over the preparation of the notes.

English East India CompanyLeft is the view of Jamestown, the capital of the island.

The engraving on banknote, presumably, is based after the engraving from a sketch by Lt. W Innes Pocock - "Five Views of St Helena", 1815.

William Innes Pocock, a lieutenant of the Royal Navy, visited St Helena in 1810, after his ship was damaged in a storm off the Cape of Good Hope. He used his artistic skills to produce a series of drawings of St Helena, which were published in 1815 as "Views of St Helena". A fine panorama of the island (see above), which had suffered considerable environmental damage in the course of the XVII and XVIII centuries, shows its rugged and rather bleak aspect. (The national archives)

Jamestown is the capital and historic chief settlement of the island of Saint Helena, in the South Atlantic Ocean. Located on the island's north-western coast, is the island's port, with facilities for unloading goods delivered to the island, and the centre of the island's road and communications network. It was founded when English colonists settled on the island in 1659; St Helena is the second-oldest remaining British territory, after Bermuda.

Jamestown was founded in 1659 by the English East India Company and named after James, Duke of York, the future King James II of England. A fort, originally named the Castle of St John, was completed within a month and further houses were built further up the valley. With the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, the fort was renamed James Fort, the town Jamestown and the valley James Valley. Between January and May 1673 the Dutch East India Company forcibly took the island, before English reinforcements restored English East India Company control. Since then the town has been continuously inhabited under English and then British rule.

The town is built on igneous rock in a small enclave, sandwiched between steep cliffs (that form James Valley) that are unsuitable for building. The town is therefore rather long, thin and densely populated, with tightly knit, long and winding streets. Shrubs and trees decorate some of the street corners. The surrounding terrain is rough and steep, and rockfalls are an occurrence, sometimes damaging buildings. The town is commonly divided into Lower and Upper parts, depending on the distance up James Valley.

The town has some examples of British Georgian-era colonial architecture and is proposed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many buildings are built out of local volcanic rock. St James' church dates from 1774 and is the oldest Anglican church in the Southern Hemisphere. Two other notable churches in the town are the (Anglican) St John's and the (Catholic) Sacred Heart, both in the Upper part. Jamestown has more than half of the island's listed buildings, a designation for buildings of historic or architectural merit. Another of the town's prominent features is Jacob's Ladder, a staircase of 699 steps, built in 1829 to connect Jamestown to the former fort on Ladder Hill. The ladder is very popular with tourists, is lit at night and a timed run takes place there every year, with people coming from all over the world to take part.

Being the island's only port (and with the proposed airport yet to be built) the town is the only entrance to the island to visitors, and can be especially busy with tourists when a cruise ship stops just off the coast. The Museum of Saint Helena is situated in Jamestown, one of two museums on the island (the other being Longwood House). Near to Jamestown is the impressive (but currently dilapidated) High Knoll Fort and further inland are the tourist attractions based on Napoleon's exile on the island, namely Longwood House, the Briars and his tomb.

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


5 Pounds Sterling 1981

The Coat of Arms of the British East India Company, with their slogan "Auspicio Regis Et Senatus Anglia", Latin for "By the authority of the King and Parliament of England".

The British East India Company was a privately owned company which was established to create profitable trade with countries in the region of Asia called the "East Indies". Granted a Royal Charter by Queen Elizabeth in 1600, it became one of the most powerful mercantile organizations in the world by maintaining a monopoly on the importation of exotic goods (notably cotton, tea, and silk) from India into Britain. It also maintained a standing military, which was used in many cases to consolidate and enforce local authority in Indian territories. Official Company rule of India, or raj, began in 1757, and was in full swing during the Romantic period, only coming to a close in 1858 following a bloody uprising and revolution.

During the Romantic period, two "Charter Acts" regarding the Company were passed. The first, enacted in 1793, renewed the Company's charter for another 20 years, and essentially made very few changes to the established roles of the Company and its officers. By 1813, however, political upheavals, particularly in the case of Warren Hastings, had made the Company's brutal methods a contested topic. Another twenty year renewal of the Company's charter passed, but the act asserted the British crown's absolute sovereignty over Company controlled territories, revoked the Company's monopoly over trade with India, and, perhaps most interestingly, opened Indian territories to missionaries.

In addition to establishing political and economic aspects of imperial power, the East India Company's influence on British society was great. The availability of new and exciting products from foreign lands was very significant in the evolution of British identity, clearly evidenced by the well-known custom of "tea-time". The fascination that many Romantic literary figures had with the "Orient" was undoubtedly due in some part to the East India Company's dealings.

Right is Emblem of Saint Helena.

It depict a coastal scene of the island and a three-masted sailing ship with the mountainous island to the left. The coastal scene is taken from the colonial seal of the colony and shows the flag of England flying from the ship (when the shield was first introduced in 1874 the flag was a White Ensign).

Sometimes indicates, that depicted ship is "East Indiaman", but more likely, that it is an abstract ship.

Denomination in numeral is centered.


Banknotes, issued in 1976, have a misprint in the Latin motto, on the reverse (ANGLAE instead ANGLIAE).

St. Helena has had a very long history of its own currencies which have come and gone over extended up and down economic periods, especially in comparison to other British colonies.

From 1716, the Governor and Council of the Island of St Helena issued notes for 2½ and 5 shillings and 1 and 2 pounds. These were issued up until the late 18th century.

The next issue of notes occurred sometime after 1917. It was produced by the St Helena Currency Board in denominations of 5, 20 and 40 shillings.

In 1976, the currency board of the Government of Saint Helena began issuing 1- and 5-pound notes, followed by 50-pence and 10-pound notes in 1979.

The 50 pence and 1 pound notes were withdrawn and replaced by coinciding coins in 1984, with 20-pound notes first being introduced in 1986.

A redesign of the 5-pound note was introduced in 1988.

In 2004, a new series of 5, 10, and 20-pound notes was introduced featuring a redesign and newer security features, produced by De La Rue Banknote and Engraving Company. At the issuance of this new series, the 1-pound note was discontinued and withdrawn from circulation.