Banknotes of Scotland
Banknotes of Scotland are the banknotes of the Pound Sterling that are issued by the Scottish banks and in circulation in Scotland. The issuing of banknotes by retail banks in Scotland is subject to the Bank Charter Act 1844, the Banknotes Act 1845, the Currency and Bank Notes Act 1928, the Coinage Act 1971. Three retail banks are allowed to print notes for circulation in Scotland: Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale Bank. Scottish banknotes are unusual, first because they are issued by retail banks, not central banks, second, because they are technically not legal tender anywhere in the United Kingdom – not in Scotland; as such, they are classified as promissory notes, the law requires that the issuing banks hold a sum of Bank of England banknotes or gold equivalent to the total value of notes issued. The fact that the notes are not defined as legal tender means that they are not withdrawn from circulation in the same way as the Bank of England notes, which cease to be legal tender on a given date.
Instead the Scottish banks withdraw old notes from circulation as they are banked. Any notes still in circulation continue to be honoured by banks, but retailers may refuse to accept older notes. All Bank of Scotland notes bear a portrait of Sir Walter Scott on the front in commemoration of his 1826 Malachi Malagrowther campaign for Scottish banks to retain the right to issue their own notes; the Bank of Scotland's 2007 series of banknotes is known as the Bridges of Scotland series. These notes were introduced on 17 September 2007, show Scotland's most famous bridges on the reverse side. From 2016, the Bridges of Scotland series is being renewed with the issue of new polymer notes with designs that follow the same basic theme of "bridges"; the Tercentenary and 2007 series of notes are being withdrawn from circulation and replaced with the polymer series as these are issued, but older notes continue to be accepted at banks. In line with this, the Committee of Scottish Bankers encouraged the public to spend or exchange non-polymer five and ten pound notes before 1 March 2018.
Following the announcement that HBOS would be taken over by Lloyds TSB in September 2008, it was confirmed that the new banking company would continue to print bank notes under the Bank of Scotland name. According to the Bank Notes Act 1845, the bank could have lost its note-issuing rights, but by retaining headquarters within Scotland, banknote issue continued; as of August 2017, the Royal Bank of Scotland is in the process of adopting a new series of banknotes. These will be made of polymer. Two have been released, whilst a new £20 note is being designed; the £5 note shows Nan Shepherd on the obverse accompanied by a quote from her book'The Living Mountain', the Cairngorms in the background. The reverse displays two mackerel, with an excerpt from the poem ‘The Choice’ by Sorley MacLean; the obverse of the £10 note shows Mary Somerville, with a quote from her work'The Connection of the Physical Sciences', Burntisland beach in the background. The reverse displays an excerpt from the poem ` Moorings' by Norman MacCaig.
The obverse of the £20 note, to be introduced in 2020, will show Catherine Cranston. The design process of the notes was touted as a "collaboration with the people of Scotland", with a total of 1,178 Scots being included. Nile HQ, a Strategic Design Company led De La Rue printed the notes; each note contributes to an overall theme ‘Fabric of Nature’. Given the national significance of the notes, Nile HQ invited some Scottish designers and calligraphers to develop the creative concept for the new notes; the previous series of Royal Bank of Scotland notes issued in 1987, remains in circulation, although it is now in the process of being replaced by polymer notes: the Committee of Scottish Bankers encouraged the public to spend or exchange non-polymer five and ten pound notes before 1 March 2018.. On the front of each note is a picture of Lord Ilay, the first governor of the bank, based on a portrait painted in 1744 by the Edinburgh artist Allan Ramsay; the front of the notes features an engraving of the bank's former headquarters in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh.
The background graphic on both sides of the notes is a radial star design, based on the ornate ceiling of the banking hall in the old headquarters building. On the back of the notes are images of Scottish castles, with a different castle for each denomination; the Royal Bank of Scotland issues commemorative banknotes. Examples are the £1 note issued to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Alexander Graham Bell in 1997, the £20 note for the 100th birthday of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother in 2000, the £5 note honouring veteran golfer Jack Nicklaus in his last competitive Open Championship at St Andrews in 2005, the £10 note commemorating HM Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee in 2012; these notes are much sought after by collectors, they remain long in circulation. Clydesdale Bank has three series of banknotes in circulation at present; the most recent set of notes, the Polymer series, came into circulation in March 2015, when the Clydesdale Bank became the first bank in Great Britain to issue polymer banknotes.
The £5 commemorative notes, issued to mark the 125th anniversary of the construction of the Forth Bridge, contain several new security features including a reflective graphic printed over a transparent "window" in the banknote. Further notes in the polymer series will be introduced over time, replacing the previous paper notes: the public are being encouraged to spend or exchange non-polymer five and ten
Bank of England £5 note
The Bank of England £5 note known as a fiver, is a banknote of the pound sterling. It is the smallest denomination of banknote issued by the Bank of England. In September 2016, a new polymer note was introduced, featuring the image of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse and a portrait of Winston Churchill on the reverse; the old paper note, first issued in 2002 and bearing the image of prison reformer Elizabeth Fry on the reverse, was phased out and ceased to be legal tender after 5 May 2017. Five pound notes were introduced by the Bank of England in 1793, following the ten pound note, introduced in 1759 as a consequence of gold shortages caused by the Seven Years' War; the 5 pound note was introduced again, due to gold shortages caused by the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars and was the lowest denomination of note issued until 1797. The earliest notes were issued to individuals as needed; these notes were written on one side only and bore the name of the payee, the date and the signature of the issuing cashier.
In 1797, due to the extra money need to fund the war and the uncertainty caused as Britain declared war on France, a series of bank runs drained the Bank of England of its gold supply. The Bank was forced to issue notes of £ 1 and £ 2 denominations; this was known as the'restriction period', as the exchange of notes for their value in gold was restricted. The Restriction Period ended in 1821 as the Government had to anchor the value of the currency to gold in order to control rising inflation and national debt. After a brief period to offset any sudden deflation, the UK returned to the gold standard on 1 May 1821; these notes could again be exchanged in full, or in part, for an equivalent amount of gold when presented at the bank. If redeemed in part, the banknote would be marked to indicate the amount, redeemed. From 1853 printed notes replaced handwritten notes, with the declaration "I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of five pounds" replacing the name of the payee; this declaration remains on Bank of England banknotes to this day.
A printed signature of one of three cashiers appeared on the printed notes, though this was replaced by the signature of the Chief Cashier from 1870 onward. The right to redeem banknotes for gold ceased in 1931, when Britain stopped using the gold standard. Metal thread was introduced on the £5 note in 1945 as a security feature; the printed black and white notes were replaced from 1957 onward by two-sided notes. The first two-sided £5 notes were blue and featured a bust of Britannia on the front and a lion on the back. Series C notes, first introduced in 1963, were the first notes to feature an image of the monarch on the front, with Britannia being relegated to the back. From 1971 onward, with the introduction of series D, a British historical figure was portrayed on the reverse: the soldier and statesman the Duke of Wellington in this case. Series E notes, first issued in 1990, are multicoloured, although they are predominantly turquoise-blue; these notes feature a portrait of railway pioneer George Stephenson, as well as for the first time'windowed' metal thread.
In 2002, a problem was identified in. The problem was highlighted after six members of the public complained to The Bank of England; the Bank said the move was a "precautionary measure while we carry out further tests and investigative work into what might have caused the fault and how widespread the problem is". The bank did rigorous testing and found the problem to be that the serial numbers were printed over the varnish rather than under it allowing the ink to be removed if enough force was applied; the Bank started to varnish the notes in an attempt to make them last longer than previous notes which only had an estimated lifespan of nine months. A spokesman for the Bank of England said: "The notes are still legal tender and the public shouldn't have a problem spending them in the shops; as long as shopkeepers check the anti-counterfeit measures the lack of serial numbers is not a problem. "If members of the public are concerned they should take the notes back to the bank where they will be exchanged."
In April 2013, the Governor of the Bank of England Sir Mervyn King announced on behalf of the bank that Elizabeth Fry would be replaced by Winston Churchill on the next £5 note which would enter circulation in 2016. It was announced that the images featured on the reverse would include a 1941 portrait of Churchill by Yusuf Karsh, a view of the Houses of Parliament, a quote by Churchill and a background image of Churchill's Nobel Prize in Literature, while the obverse would feature an image of Queen Elizabeth II. In December 2013 the Bank of England announced that the next £5 note would be printed on a polymer, rather than cotton paper; the bank cited that they would be "cleaner, more secure and more durable". It was said that the new polymer notes would be more environmentally friendly, lasting 2.5 times as long as cotton paper notes, according to the Bank's own environmental testing. The note was introduced on 13 September 2016, with an initial print run of 440 million notes, over the period of co-circulation.
It was announced that there would be a co-circulatory period with the old series E notes, on 5 May 2017, the series E would cease to be legal tender. However, as with all Bank of England notes, they can be exchanged at f
Bank of Scotland
The Bank of Scotland plc is a commercial and clearing bank based in Edinburgh, Scotland. With a history dating to the 17th century, it is the fifth-oldest surviving bank in the United Kingdom, is the only commercial institution created by the Parliament of Scotland to remain in existence, it was one of the first banks in Europe to print its own banknotes, it continues to print its own sterling banknotes under legal arrangements that allow Scottish banks to issue currency. In June 2006, the HBOS Group Reorganisation Act 2006 was passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, allowing the bank's structure to be simplified; as a result, The Governor and Company of the Bank of Scotland became Bank of Scotland plc on 17 September 2007. Bank of Scotland has been a subsidiary of Lloyds Banking Group since 19 January 2009, when HBOS was acquired by Lloyds TSB; the Governor and Company of the Bank of Scotland was established by an Act of the Parliament of Scotland on 17 July 1695, the Act for erecting a Bank in Scotland, opening for business in February 1696.
Although established soon after the Bank of England, the Bank of Scotland was a different institution. Where the Bank of England was established to finance defence spending by the English government, the Bank of Scotland was established by the Scottish government to support Scottish business, was prohibited from lending to the government without parliamentary approval; the founding Act granted the bank a monopoly on public banking in Scotland for 21 years, permitted the bank's directors to raise a nominal capital of £1,200,000 pound Scots, gave the proprietors limited liability, in the final clause made all foreign-born proprietors naturalised Scotsmen "to all Intents and Purposes whatsoever". John Holland, an Englishman, was one of the bank's founders, its first chief accountant was George Watson. The Bank of Scotland was suspected of Jacobite sympathies, its first rival, The Royal Bank of Scotland was formed by royal charter in 1727. This led to a period of great competition between the two banks as they tried to drive each other out of business.
Although the "Bank Wars" ended in around 1751, competition soon arose from other sources, as other Scottish banks were founded throughout the country. In response, the Bank of Scotland itself began to open branches throughout Scotland; the first branch in London opened in 1865. The bank took the lead in establishing the security and stability of the entire Scottish banking system, which became more important after the collapse of the Ayr Bank in 1772, in the crisis following the collapse of the London house of Neal, James and Down; the Western Bank collapsed in 1857, the Bank of Scotland stepped in with the other Scottish banks to ensure that all the Western Bank's notes were paid. See Credit crisis of 1772. In the 1950s, the Bank of Scotland was involved in several mergers and acquisitions with different banks. In 1955, the Bank merged with the Union Bank of Scotland; the Bank expanded into consumer credit with the purchase of Chester based, North West Securities. In 1971, the Bank agreed to merge with the British Linen Bank, owned by Barclays Bank.
The merger saw Barclays Bank acquire a 35% stake in the Bank of Scotland, a stake it retained until the 1990s. The merchant banking division of the Bank of Scotland was relaunched as British Linen Bank. In 1959 Bank of Scotland became the first bank in the UK to install a computer to process accounts centrally. At 11 am on 25 January 1985 the Bank introduced HOBS, an early application of remote access technology being made available to banking customers; this followed a small-scale service operated jointly with the Nottingham Building Society for two years but developed by Bank of Scotland. The new HOBS service enabled customers to access their accounts directly on a television screen, using the Prestel telephone network; the arrival of North Sea oil to Scotland in the 1970s allowed the Bank of Scotland to expand into the energy sector. The Bank used this expertise in energy finance to expand internationally; the first international office opened in Houston, followed by more in the United States and Singapore.
In 1987, the Bank acquired Countrywide Bank of New Zealand. The Bank expanded into the Australian market by acquiring the Perth-based Bank of Western Australia. A controversial period in the Bank's history was the attempt in 1999 to enter the United States retail banking market via a joint venture with evangelist Pat Robertson; the move was met with criticism from civil rights groups in the UK, owing to Robertson's controversial views on homosexuality. The Bank was forced to cancel the deal when Robertson described Scotland as a "dark land overrun by homosexuals". In the late 1990s, the UK financial sector market underwent a period of consolidation on a large scale. Many of the large building societies were demutualising and becoming banks in their own right or merging with existing banks. For instance Lloyds Bank and TSB Bank merged in 1995 to create Lloyds TSB. In 1999, the Bank of Scotland made a takeover bid for National Westminster Bank. Since the Bank of Scotland was smaller than the English-based NatWest, the move was seen as an audacious and risky move.
However, The Royal Bank of Scotland tabled a rival offer, a bitter takeover battle ensued, with the Royal Bank the victor. The Bank of Scotland was now the centre of other merger opportunities. A proposal to merge with the Abbey National was explored, but rejected. In 2
See X mark for the use of diagonal crosses outside of heraldry or vexillology. A saltire called Saint Andrew's Cross or the crux decussata, is a heraldic symbol in the form of a diagonal cross, like the shape of the letter X in Roman type; the word comes from Middle Latin saltatoria. From its use as field sign, the saltire came to be used in a number of flags, in the 16th century for Scotland and Burgundy, in the 18th century as the ensign of the Russian Navy, for Ireland. Notable 19th-century usage includes some of the flags of the Confederate States of America, it is used on seals, as a heraldic charge in coats of arms. The term saltirewise or in saltire refers to heraldic charges arranged as a diagonal cross; the shield may be divided per saltire, i.e. diagonally. A warning sign in the shape of a saltire is used to indicate the point at which a railway line intersects a road at a level crossing. In Unicode, a decussate cross is encoded at U+2613 ☓ SALTIRE. See X mark for similar symbols; the saltire is one of geometric charges that span throughout the shield.
As suggested by the name saltire, the ordinary in its early use was not intended as representing a Christian cross symbol. The association with Saint Andrew is a development of the 15th to 16th centuries; the Cross of Burgundy emblem originates in the 15th century, as a field sign, as the Saint Andrew's Cross of Scotland was used in flags or banners from the 16th century, used as naval ensign during the Age of Sail. When two or more saltires appear, they are blazoned as couped. For example, contrast the single saltire in the arms granted to G. M. W. Anderson—with the three saltires couped in the coat of Kemble Greenwood. Diminutive forms include the fillet saltire considered half or less the width of the saltire, the saltorel, a narrow or couped saltire. A field per saltire is divided into four areas by a saltire-shaped "cut". If two tinctures are specified, the first refers to the areas above and below the crossing, the second refers to the ones on either side. Otherwise, each of the four divisions may be blazoned separately.
The phrase in saltire or saltirewise is used in two ways: Two long narrow charges "in saltire" are placed to cross each other diagonally. Common forms include the crossed keys found in the arms of many entities associated with Saint Peter and paired arrows; when five or more compact charges are "in saltire", they are arranged with one in the center and the others along the arms of an invisible saltire. Division of the field per saltire was notably used by the Aragonese kings of Sicily beginning in the 14th century, showing the pales of Aragon and the "Hohenstaufen" eagle; the Flag of Scotland, called The Saltire or Saint Andrew's Cross, is a blue field with a white saltire. According to tradition, it represents Saint Andrew, supposed to have been crucified on a cross of that form at Patras, Greece; the Saint Andrew's Cross was worn as a badge on hats in Scotland, on the day of the feast of Saint Andrew. In the politics of Scotland, both the Scottish National Party and Scottish Conservative Party use stylised saltires as their party logos, deriving from the flag of Scotland.
Prior to the Union the Royal Scots Navy used a red ensign incorporating the St Andrew's Cross. With its colours exchanged, the same design forms part of the arms and flag of Nova Scotia; the Cross of Burgundy, a form of the Saint Andrew's Cross, is used in numerous flags across Europe and the Americas. It was first used in the 15th century as an emblem by the Valois Dukes of Burgundy; the Duchy of Burgundy, forming a large part of eastern France and the Low Countries, was inherited by the House of Habsburg on the extinction of the Valois ducal line. The emblem was therefore assumed by the monarchs of Spain as a consequence of the Habsburgs bringing together, in the early 16th century, their Burgundian inheritance with the other extensive possessions it inherited throughout Europe and the Americas, including the crowns of Castile and Aragon; as a result, the Cross of Burgundy has appeared in a wide variety of flags connected with territories part of the Burgundian or Habsburg inheritance. Examples of such diversity include the Spanish naval ensign, the flag of Carlism, the flag of the Dutch capital of Amsterdam and municipality of Eijsden and the flag of Chuquisaca in Bolivia.
The naval ensign of the Imperial Russian and Russian navies is a blue saltire on a white field. The international maritime signal flag for M is a white saltire on a blue background, indicates a stopped vessel. A red saltire on a white background denotes the letter V and the message "I require assistance"; the Brazilian cities of Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza use a blue saltire on a white field, with their coats-of-arms at the hub. The flags of the Spanish island of Tenerife and the remote Colombian islands of San Andrés and Providencia use a white saltire on a blue field. Saltires are seen in several other flags, including the flags of Grenada, Alabama, Jersey, Logroño, Amsterdam, Katwijk and Valdivia, as well as the former Indian princely states of Khairpur and Jaora; the design is part of the Confederate Battle Flag and Naval
Bank of England £50 note
The Bank of England £50 note is a banknote of the pound sterling. It is the highest denomination of banknote issued for public circulation by the Bank of England; the current cotton note, first issued in 2011, bears the image of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse and the images of engineer and scientist James Watt and industrialist and entrepreneur Matthew Boulton on the reverse. £50 notes were introduced by the Bank of England for the first time in 1725. The earliest notes were issued as needed to individuals; these notes were written on one side only and bore the name of the payee, the date, the signature of the issuing cashier. With the exception of the Restriction Period between 1797 and 1821, when the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars caused a bullion shortage, these notes could be exchanged in full, or in part, for an equivalent amount of gold when presented at the bank. If redeemed in part, the banknote would be signed to indicate the amount, redeemed. From 1853 printed notes replaced handwritten notes, with the declaration "I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of fifty pounds" replacing the name of the payee.
This declaration remains on Bank of England banknotes to this day. A printed signature of one of three cashiers appeared on the printed notes, although this was replaced by the signature of the Chief Cashier from 1870 onwards; the ability to redeem banknotes for gold ceased in 1931 when Britain stopped using the gold standard. The £50 note ceased to be produced by the Bank of England in 1943 and did not reappear until it was reintroduced in 1981; these D series notes were predominantly olive green on both sides, with an image of Queen Elizabeth II on the front and an image of architect Christopher Wren on the back. As a security feature, this note had a metallic thread running through it, upgraded to a "windowed" thread from July 1988 onward; the thread is woven into the paper such that it forms a dashed line, yet appears as a single line when held up to the light. The series D note was replaced by the series E, beginning in 1994; this reddish note replaced Christopher Wren with John Houblon, the first governor of the Bank of England, on the reverse.
As an additional security feature, these notes had a foil patch on the front. The E revision series didn't have a £50 note; the current £50 note was introduced in 2011. It features two portraits on the reverse: engineer and scientist James Watt and industrialist and entrepreneur Matthew Boulton, along with the Whitbread Engine and the Soho Manufactory, Birmingham; the note has a number of security features in addition to the metallic thread, including motion thread, raised print, a watermark, microlettering, a see-through register, a colourful pattern that only appears under ultraviolet light. The current note is the first Bank of England banknote to feature two people on the reverse, the first Bank of England note to feature the motion thread security feature; this is an image in a broken green thread. The Bank of England has issued new £5 and £10 notes in polymer form. In October 2018, the Bank of England announced that the £50 note would be retained, with a new Series G polymer note planned to replace the Series F note at some point after 2020.
The Bank of England has a committee to consider nominations for the face of the new notes via public consultation. Peter Sands, an advisor to the British Government and former Chief Executive of Standard Chartered, has raised concern with the Bank of England over high denomination notes and their role in tax evasion, he claimed that scrapping the £50, other high denomination notes such as the CHF 1000 and $100, would reduce financial crime. Information taken from Bank of England website. Bank of England note issues Bank of England website
A banknote is a type of negotiable promissory note, made by a bank, payable to the bearer on demand. Banknotes were issued by commercial banks, which were required to redeem the notes for legal tender when presented to the chief cashier of the originating bank; these commercial banknotes only traded at face value in the market served by the issuing bank. Commercial banknotes have been replaced by national banknotes issued by central banks. National banknotes are legal tender, meaning that medium of payment is allowed by law or recognized by a legal system to be valid for meeting a financial obligation. Banks sought to ensure that they could always pay customers in coins when they presented banknotes for payment; this practice of "backing" notes with something of substance is the basis for the history of central banks backing their currencies in gold or silver. Today, most national currencies have no backing in precious metals or commodities and have value only by fiat. With the exception of non-circulating high-value or precious metal issues, coins are used for lower valued monetary units, while banknotes are used for higher values.
In China during the Han dynasty promissory notes were made of leather. Rome may have used a durable lightweight substance as promissory notes in 57 AD which have been found in London. However, Carthage was purported to have issued bank notes on parchment or leather before 146 BC. Hence Carthage may be the oldest user of lightweight promissory notes; the first known banknote was first developed in China during the Tang and Song dynasties, starting in the 7th century. Its roots were in merchant receipts of deposit during the Tang dynasty, as merchants and wholesalers desired to avoid the heavy bulk of copper coinage in large commercial transactions. During the Yuan dynasty, banknotes were adopted by the Mongol Empire. In Europe, the concept of banknotes was first introduced during the 13th century by travelers such as Marco Polo, with European banknotes appearing in 1661 in Sweden. Counterfeiting, the forgery of banknotes, is an inherent challenge in issuing currency, it is countered by anticounterfeiting measures in the printing of banknotes.
Fighting the counterfeiting of banknotes and cheques has been a principal driver of security printing methods development in recent centuries. Paper currency first developed in Tang dynasty China during the 7th century, although true paper money did not appear until the 11th century, during the Song dynasty; the usage of paper currency spread throughout the Mongol Empire or Yuan dynasty China. European explorers like Marco Polo introduced the concept in Europe during the 13th century. Napoleon issued paper banknotes in the early 1800s. Cash paper money originated as receipts for value held on account "value received", should not be conflated with promissory "sight bills" which were issued with a promise to convert at a date; the perception of banknotes as money has evolved over time. Money was based on precious metals. Banknotes were seen by some as an I. O. U. or promissory note: a promise to pay someone in precious metal on presentation, but were accepted - for convenience and security - in the City of London for example from the late 1600s onwards.
With the removal of precious metals from the monetary system, banknotes evolved into pure fiat money. Development of the banknote began in the Tang dynasty during the 7th century, with local issues of paper currency, although true paper money did not appear until the 11th century, during the Song dynasty, its roots were in merchant receipts of deposit during the Tang Dynasty, as merchants and wholesalers desired to avoid the heavy bulk of copper coinage in large commercial transactions. Before the use of paper, the Chinese used coins that were circular, with a rectangular hole in the middle. Several coins could be strung together on a rope. Merchants in China, if they became rich enough, found that their strings of coins were too heavy to carry around easily. To solve this problem, coins were left with a trustworthy person, the merchant was given a slip of paper recording how much money they had with that person. If they showed the paper to that person, they could regain their money; the Song Dynasty paper money called "jiaozi" originated from these promissory notes.
By 960 the Song dynasty, short of copper for striking coins, issued the first circulating notes. A note is a promise to redeem for some other object of value specie; the issue of credit notes is for a limited duration, at some discount to the promised amount later. The jiaozi did not replace coins during the Song Dynasty; the central government soon observed the economic advantages of printing paper money, issuing a monopoly right of several of the deposit shops to the issuance of these certificates of deposit. By the early 12th century, the amount of banknotes issued in a single year amounted to an annual rate of 26 million strings of cash coins. By the 1120s the central government stepped in and produced their own state-issued paper money. Before this point, the Song government was amassing large amounts of paper tribute, it was recorded that each year before 1101 AD, the prefecture of Xin'an alone would send 1,500,000 sheets of paper in seven different varieties to the capital at Kaifeng. In that year of 1101, the Emperor Huizong of Song decided to lessen the amount of paper taken in the tribute quota, because it was causing detrimental effects and creating heavy burdens on the people of the regio
In the Middle Ages, the term bezant was used in Western Europe to describe several gold coins of the east, all derived from the Roman solidus. The word itself comes from the Greek Byzantion, ancient name of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire; the original "bezants" were the gold coins produced by the government of the Byzantine Empire, first the nomisma and from the 11th century the hyperpyron. The term was used to cover the gold dinars produced by Islamic governments. In turn, the gold coins minted in the Kingdom of Jerusalem and County of Tripoli were termed "Saracen bezants", since they were modelled on the gold dinar. A different electrum coin based on Byzantine trachea was minted in the Kingdom of Cyprus and called the "white bezant"; the term "bezant" in reference to coins is common in sources from the 10th through 13th centuries. Thereafter, it is employed as a money of account and in literary and heraldic contexts. Gold coins were minted in early medieval Western Europe, up until the 13th century.
Gold coins were continually produced by the Byzantines and medieval Arabs. These circulated in Western European trade in smallish numbers, originating from the coinage mints of the Eastern Mediterranean. In Western Europe, the gold coins of Byzantine currency were prized; these gold coins were called bezants. The first "bezants" were the Byzantine solidi coins; the name hyperpyron was used by the late medieval Greeks, while the name bezant was used by the late medieval Latin merchants for the same coin. The Italians used the name perpero or pipero for the same coin. Medievally from the 12th century onward, the Western European term bezant meant the gold dinar coins minted by Islamic governments; the Islamic coins were modelled on the Byzantine solidus during the early years after the onset of Islam. The term bezant was used in the late medieval Republic of Venice to refer to the Egyptian gold dinar. Marco Polo used the term bezant in the account of his travels to East Asia when describing the currencies of the Yuan Empire around the year 1300.
An Italian merchant's handbook dated about 1340, Pratica della mercatura by Pegolotti, used the term bisant for coins of North Africa, Cyprus and Tabriz, whereas it used the term perpero / pipero for the Byzantine bizant. Although the medieval "bezant" was a gold coin, medieval Latin texts have silver coin bezants; the silver bezants were called "white bezants". In Latin they were called "miliaresion bezants" / "miliarense bezants". Like the gold bezants, the silver bezants by definition were issuances by the Byzantine government or by an Arabic government, not by a Latin government, the usage of the term was confined to the Latin West. In heraldry, a roundel of a gold colour is referred to in reference to the coin. Like many heraldic charges, the bezant originated during the crusading era, when Western European knights first came into contact with Byzantine gold coins, were struck with their fine quality and purity. During the Fourth Crusade the city of Constantinople was sacked by Western forces.
During this sacking of the richest city of Europe, the gold bezant would have been much in evidence, many of the knights no doubt having helped themselves liberally to the booty. This event took place at the dawn of the widespread adoption of arms by the knightly class, thus it may have been an obvious symbol for many returned crusaders to use in their new arms; when arms are strewn with bezants, the term bezantée or bezanty is used