Legal tender is a medium of payment recognized by a legal system to be valid for meeting a financial obligation. Paper currency and coins are common forms of legal tender in many countries. Legal tender is variously defined in different jurisdictions. Formally, it is anything. Thus, personal cheques, credit cards, similar non-cash methods of payment are not legal tender; the law does not relieve the debt obligation. Coins and banknotes are defined as legal tender; some jurisdictions may restrict payment made other than by legal tender. For example, such a law might outlaw the use of foreign coins and bank notes or require a license to perform financial transactions in a foreign currency. Designation of a particular form of money as legal tender means "that the designated money is valid payment for all debts unless there is a specific agreement to the contrary". In some jurisdictions legal tender can be refused as payment if no debt exists prior to the time of payment. For example, vending machines and transport staff do not have to accept the largest denomination of banknote.
Shopkeepers may reject large banknotes: this is covered by the legal concept known as invitation to treat. The right, in many jurisdictions, of a trader to refuse to do business with any person, means a purchaser may not insist on making a purchase and so declaring a legal tender in law, as anything other than an offered payment for debts incurred would not be effective. Under U. S. federal law, cash in U. S. dollars is a legal offer of payment for antecedent debts when tendered to a creditor. By contrast, federal statutes do not require that someone, not a pre-existing creditor must accept currency or coins as payment for goods or services. Private businesses may formulate their own policies on whether to accept cash unless state law requires otherwise; the term "legal tender" is from French tendre, meaning to offer. The Latin root is tendere, the sense of tender as an offer is related to the etymology of the English word "extend". Demonetization is the act of stripping a currency unit of its status as legal tender.
It occurs whenever there is a change of national currency: The current form or forms of money is pulled from circulation and retired to be replaced with new notes or coins. Sometimes, a country replaces the old currency with new currency; the opposite of demonetization is remonetization, in which a form of payment is restored as legal tender. Coins and banknotes may cease to be legal tender if new notes of the same currency replace them or if a new currency is introduced replacing the former one. Examples of this are: The United Kingdom, adopting decimal currency in place of pounds and pence in 1971, Banknotes remained unchanged. In 1968 and 1969 decimal coins which had precise equivalent values in the old currency were introduced, while decimal coins with no precise equivalent were introduced on 15 February 1971; the smallest and largest non-decimal circulating coins, the half penny and half crown, were withdrawn in 1969, the other non-decimal coins with no precise equivalent in the new currency were withdrawn in 1971.
Non-decimal coins with precise decimal equivalents remained legal tender either until the coins no longer circulated, or the equivalent decimal coins were reduced in size in the early 1990s. The 6d coin was permitted to remain in large circulation throughout the United Kingdom due to the London Underground committee's large investment in coin-operated ticketing machines that used it. Old coins returned to the Royal Mint through the UK banking system will be redeemed by exchanging them for legal tender currency with no time limits; the successor states of the Soviet Union replacing the Soviet ruble in the 1990s. Currencies used in the Eurozone before being replaced by the euro are not legal tender, but all banknotes are redeemable for euros for a minimum of 10 years. India demonetised its 500 and 1000 rupee notes on 8 November 2016; this action affected 86 percent of all cash in circulation. The demonetisation action was intended to curb black money, the hoarding of unaccounted cash, sponsorship of terrorism, but led to long queues from bank runs, leaving more than 30 people dead.
The old notes are now being replaced by new 2000 rupee notes. The Philippines has ceased 2 peso and 50 centavo coins of Flora and Fauna Series in 2000, due to overminting of the coins of BSP Series that has not included the 2 peso and 50 centavo coins of that series. Individual coins or banknotes can be demonetised and cease to be legal tender, but the Bank of England does redeem all Bank of England banknotes by exchanging them for legal tender currency at its counters in London regardless of how old they are. Banknotes issued by retail banks in the UK are not legal tender, but one of the criteria for legal protection under the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act is that banknotes must be payable on demand, therefore withdrawn notes remain a liability of the issuing bank without any time limits. In the case of the euro, coins an
Bank of England 10s note
The Bank of England 10s note was a banknote of the pound sterling. Ten shillings in pre-decimal money was equivalent to half of one pound; the ten-shilling note was the smallest denomination note issued by the Bank of England. The note was issued by the Bank of England for the first time in 1928 and continued to be printed until 1969; the note was removed in favour of the fifty pence coin. In the 18th and 19th centuries, banknotes were handwritten or part-printed and could be exchanged, in whole or in part, for an equivalent amount of gold when presented at the bank. During the First World War the British Government wanted to maintain its stocks of bullion and so banks were ordered to stop exchanging banknotes for gold. One pound and 10 shilling notes were introduced by the Treasury in lieu of gold sovereigns; these notes were nicknamed "Bradburys" because of the prominent signature of Sir John Bradbury, Permanent Secretary to the Treasury displayed on the notes. Britain returned to the gold standard in 1925, but the Bank of England was only obliged to exchange notes for gold in multiples of 400 ounces or more.
The responsibility for the printing of ten-shilling notes was transferred to the Bank of England in 1928, the right to redeem banknotes for gold ceased in 1931 when Britain stopped using the gold standard. The first Bank of England ten-shilling notes were two-sided, printed banknotes featuring the declaration "I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of ten shillings" on the front; this declaration remains on Bank of England banknotes to this day. In 1940, during the Second World War, ten-shilling notes were issued in a new mauve and grey colour scheme in order to deter counterfeiters, although the design remained the same. At the same time, a metallic thread running through the paper was introduced as a security feature. After the war ten-shilling notes were issued in their original red colour; the earliest post-World War II notes did not have the metallic thread security feature, but those issued from October 1948 onward did. A new design for ten-shilling notes was introduced in 1961, with the old notes ceasing to be legal tender in 1962.
These new series C notes were longer and narrower, were the first ten-shilling notes to feature a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the front. The reverse design incorporated the logo of the Bank of England. In the late 1960s it was decided that future banknotes should feature a British historical figure on the reverse; the first such note was the series D £ 20 note, featuring William Shakespeare. A design for a ten-shilling note featuring Walter Raleigh on the reverse was approved in 1964 but was never issued. Instead, in 1969, as part of the process of decimalisation, a new fifty pence coin was introduced as a replacement for the ten-shilling note; the principal reason for the change was economy: the notes had an average lifetime of about five months whereas coins could last at least fifty years. The series C ten shilling notes ceased to be legal tender on 22 November 1970. In the Isle of Man, both the English and Manx Ten Shilling Notes continued to be legal tender for fifty new pence until 2013.
Information taken from Bank of England website. Bank of England note issues Bank of England website
Bank of England
The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom and the model on which most modern central banks have been based. Established in 1694 to act as the English Government's banker, still one of the bankers for the Government of the United Kingdom, it is the world's eighth-oldest bank, it was owned by stockholders from its foundation in 1694 until it was nationalised in 1946. The Bank became an independent public organisation in 1998, wholly owned by the Treasury Solicitor on behalf of the government, but with independence in setting monetary policy; the Bank is one of eight banks authorised to issue banknotes in the United Kingdom, has a monopoly on the issue of banknotes in England and Wales and regulates the issue of banknotes by commercial banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee has a devolved responsibility for managing monetary policy; the Treasury has reserve powers to give orders to the committee "if they are required in the public interest and by extreme economic circumstances", but such orders must be endorsed by Parliament within 28 days.
The Bank's Financial Policy Committee held its first meeting in June 2011 as a macroprudential regulator to oversee regulation of the UK's financial sector. The Bank's headquarters have been in London's main financial district, the City of London, on Threadneedle Street, since 1734, it is sometimes known as The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, a name taken from a satirical cartoon by James Gillray in 1797. The road junction outside is known as Bank junction; as a regulator and central bank, the Bank of England has not offered consumer banking services for many years, but it still does manage some public-facing services such as exchanging superseded bank notes. Until 2016, the bank provided personal banking services as a privilege for employees. England's crushing defeat by France, the dominant naval power, in naval engagements culminating in the 1690 Battle of Beachy Head, became the catalyst for England rebuilding itself as a global power. England had no choice. No public funds were available, the credit of William III's government was so low in London that it was impossible for it to borrow the £1,200,000 that the government wanted.
To induce subscription to the loan, the subscribers were to be incorporated by the name of the Governor and Company of the Bank of England. The Bank was given exclusive possession of the government's balances, was the only limited-liability corporation allowed to issue bank notes; the lenders would give the government cash and issue notes against the government bonds, which can be lent again. The £1.2m was raised in 12 days. As a side effect, the huge industrial effort needed, including establishing ironworks to make more nails and advances in agriculture feeding the quadrupled strength of the navy, started to transform the economy; this helped the new Kingdom of Great Britain – England and Scotland were formally united in 1707 – to become powerful. The power of the navy made Britain the dominant world power in the late 18th and early 19th centuries; the establishment of the bank was devised by Charles Montagu, 1st Earl of Halifax, in 1694. The plan of 1691, proposed by William Paterson three years before, had not been acted upon.
58 years earlier, in 1636, Financier to the king, Philip Burlamachi, had proposed the same idea in a letter addressed to Sir Francis Windebank. He proposed a loan of £1.2m to the government. The royal charter was granted on 27 July through the passage of the Tonnage Act 1694. Public finances were in such dire condition at the time that the terms of the loan were that it was to be serviced at a rate of 8% per annum, there was a service charge of £4,000 per annum for the management of the loan; the first governor was Sir John Houblon, depicted in the £50 note issued in 1994. The charter was renewed in 1742, 1764, 1781; the Bank's original home was in Walbrook, a street in the City of London, where during reconstruction in 1954 archaeologists found the remains of a Roman temple of Mithras. The Bank moved to its current location in Threadneedle Street in 1734, thereafter acquired neighbouring land to create the site necessary for erecting the Bank's original home at this location, under the direction of its chief architect Sir John Soane, between 1790 and 1827.
When the idea and reality of the national debt came about during the 18th century, this was managed by the Bank. During the American war of independence, business for the Bank was so good that George Washington remained a shareholder throughout the period. By the charter renewal in 1781 it was the bankers' bank – keeping enough gold to pay its notes on demand until 26 February 1797 when war had so diminished gold reserves that – following an invasion scare caused by the Battle of Fishguard days earlier – the government prohibited the Bank from paying out in gold by the passing of the Bank Restriction Act 1797; this prohibition lasted until 1821. The 1844 Bank Charter Act tied the issue of notes to the gold reserves and gave the Bank sol
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
Brig o' Doon
The Brig o' Doon, sometimes called the Auld Brig or Old Bridge of Doon, is a late medieval bridge in Ayrshire, a Category A structure. The name Brig o' Doon is an Ulster Scots phrase, when translated, it reads "Bridge of Doom" The bridge is thought to have been built in the early fifteenth century. According to John R. Hume, the bridge was built by James Kennedy, who died in 1465, but the first recorded mention was in 1512; the bridge was described as "ruinous" in 1593. The bridge features on the 2007 series of £5 notes issued by the Bank of Scotland, alongside the statue to Robert Burns, located in Dumfries; the bridge crosses the River Doon. It is a single Arched Bridge, with a steeply humped span of 72 feet and a rise of 26 ft, it has been repaired many times, most in 1978, many parts of the stonework do not match. The B7024 public road is carried over the River Doon New Bridge of Doon, a single-arch stone bridge built downstream of the old one in 1816 to cope with increasing traffic; the old bridge was sold to the builders of the new bridge as a quarry for material, but money was raised to purchase the old bridge back, the trustees of the new bridge decided to quarry somewhere else.
The line of the cobbles in the roadway is cranked, due to the belief that this pattern would stop witches from crossing. It is used as the setting for the final verse of the Robert Burns's poem Tam o' Shanter. In this scene Tam is being chased by Nannie the witch, he is just able to escape her by crossing the bridge, narrowly avoiding her attack as she is only able to grab the horse's tail which comes away in her hands: "The carlin caught her by the rump and left puir Meg wi' scarce a stump." The Broadway musical Brigadoon takes its name from this site, though the musical's location is fictional. Banknotes of Scotland 55.425882°N 4.636831°W / 55.425882.
Banknotes of Northern Ireland
Banknotes have been issued for use in Northern Ireland since 1929, are denominated in pounds sterling. They are legal currency, but technically not legal tender anywhere. However, the banknotes are still accepted as currency by larger merchants and institutions elsewhere in the United Kingdom. Issuing banks have been granted legal rights to issue currency, back the notes with deposits at the Bank of England; the issuing of banknotes in Northern Ireland is regulated by the Currency and Bank Notes Act 1928, the Coinage Act 1971, Banknotes Act 1864, Banknotes Act 1920, Bankers Act 1845, Bankers Act 1928, among others. Pursuant to some of these statutes, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs publishes in the Belfast Gazette an account of "the Amount of Notes authorised by Law to be issued by the several Banks of Issue in Northern Ireland, the Average Amount of Notes in Circulation, of Bank of England Notes and Coin held". On the 27th of February 2019, Ulster Bank and Bank of Ireland released new polymer £5 and £10 notes, while Danske Bank released new polymer £10 notes.
Notes were issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 pounds. Of these denominations, only the 1 pound has ceased to be issued by all banks, with the last produced by the Allied Irish Banks in 1984; the 5 pound note is only issued now by Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank, Northern Bank stopped issuing notes over £20 when it was rebranded as Danske Bank. Until April 2008, all Bank of Ireland notes featured Queen's University of Belfast on the reverse side. A new series of £5, £10 and £20 notes was issued in May 2008, all featuring an illustration of the Old Bushmills Distillery, these notes will replace the previous series; the various denominations are differentiated by their colour and size: 5 pound note, blue 10 pound note, pink 20 pound note, green 50 pound note, blue-green. First Trust Bank is a subsidiary of the Allied Irish Banks. AIB was formed in 1966 from a merger of a group of smaller banks. Following this merger, banknotes issued by the Provincial Bank of Ireland were reissued with the Allied Irish Banks name.
In 1991, AIB merged with TSB Northern Ireland and began trading as the First Trust Bank, since the bank's notes have been issued under the First Trust Bank name. First Trust Bank's current notes have a generic depiction of a Northern Irish person. A young middle-aged man appears on the £10 note, an elderly woman on the £20 note, an elderly man on the £50 note, both elderly people together on the £100 note; the obverse designs feature images associated with the Spanish Armada, commemorating the wrecking of 24 Armada ships off the coast of County Antrim in 1588: 10 pound note featuring the ship Girona 20 pound note featuring the chimney at Lacada Point, Giant's Causeway, near Dunluce, County Antrim, where the Girona was wrecked 50 pound note featuring a commemorative medal 100 pound note featuring the Spanish ArmadaA £5 note featuring Dunluce Castle on the obverse and a £1 note featuring the Girona were issued by the Provincial Bank of Ireland and by AIB, but have not been issued by First Trust Bank.
In February 2019, First Trust Bank will cease issuing its own banknotes in circulation and will replace them with Bank of England banknotes as they are withdrawn from circulation. All First Trust Bank notes can continue to be used until 30 June 2022, after which time they will cease to be legal currency. Following the £26.5 million pound robbery in 2004 at Northern Bank's money handling centre in Belfast, Northern Bank announced, on 7 January 2005, that all its notes were to be recalled and reissued in different colours and styles, using the bank's new logo. The reissue was scheduled to take one month. In 2012, Northern Bank adopted the name of its Copenhagen-based parent company Danske Bank Group and now trades as Danske Bank. Northern Bank had been a subsidiary of the Midland Bank and subsequently National Australia Bank, its banknote design has changed over the years as the company changed hands. In June 2013, the bank issued a new series of £10 and £20 notes bearing the new Danske Bank name in place of Northern Bank.
Older notes bearing the Northern Bank name will continue in circulation for some time as they are withdrawn, remain acceptable forms of payment. Most Danske Bank banknotes depict a range of notable people associated with industry in Northern Ireland on the obverse; the reverse of each note has an illustration of the portico of Belfast City Hall, sculpted by F. W. Pomeroy; the principal colours of Northern Bank notes of greater than £5 face value were changed with the 2005 reissue, are now: While Danske Bank does not issue £5 notes, a special commemorative £5 note was issued by the Northern Bank to mark the Year 2000. Uniquely among sterling notes, this was a polymer banknote, printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company on Australia synthetic polymer substrate instead of paper, making Northern Ireland the first part of the UK to have issued a plastic banknote, it is the only one of the bank's pre-2004 notes still in circulation. Ulster Bank's current notes all share a rather plain design of a view of Belfast harbour flanked by landscape views
Bank of England note issues
The Bank of England, now the central bank of the United Kingdom, has issued banknotes since 1694. In 1921 The Bank of England gained a legal monopoly on the issue of banknotes in England and Wales, a process that started with the Bank Charter Act of 1844 when the ability of other banks to issue notes was restricted. Banknotes were hand-written. Notes were printed from 1855. Since 1970, the Bank of England's notes have featured portraits of British historical figures. Of the eight banks authorised to issue banknotes in the UK, only the Bank of England can issue banknotes in England and Wales, where its notes are legal tender. Bank of England notes are not legal tender in Scotland and Northern Ireland, but are accepted there along with the respective countries' national banknotes. There are four different denominations of notes – £5, £10, £20 and £50; each value has its own distinct colour scheme and the size of each note increases in length and width as the value increases. These images are to scale at 0.7 pixel per millimetre.
For table standards, see the banknote specification table. Source: Bank of England website All current Bank of England banknotes are printed by contract with De La Rue at Debden, Essex, they include the printed signature of the Chief Cashier of the Bank of England and depict Elizabeth II in full view, facing left. On the left hand side of the £20 and £50 notes there is a hidden watermark, featuring the Queen facing right; the £5 and £10 polymer notes do not contain a watermark. More recent issues include the EURion constellation; this is a pattern of yellow circles. They are identified by photocopiers. Elizabeth II has appeared on all the notes issued since Series C in 1960; the custom of depicting historical figures on the reverse began in 1970 with Series D, designed by the bank's first permanent artist, Harry Eccleston. In 2015, the Bank of England launched a public competition to nominate historic personalities with links to the visual arts for a future redesign of the £20 banknote; the Governor of the Bank of England asked the public to "think beyond the obvious" when nominating suggestions, with over 29,700 nominations made.
In September 2015 the Bank of England announced that the next £20 note will be printed on polymer, rather than cotton paper. This was followed by an announcement in April 2016 that Adam Smith will be replaced by artist J. M. W. Turner on the next £20 note which will enter circulation in 2020. Images on the reverse of the new note will include a 1799 self-portrait of Turner, a representation of his painting The Fighting Temeraire, the quotation "Light is therefore colour" from an 1818 lecture by him, a copy of Turner's signature as made on his will. On 13 October 2018, the Bank of England announced that the next £50 note will be printed on polymer, rather than cotton paper. Members of the public have been invited to nominate a scientist to feature on it; the Bank of England has not always had a monopoly of note issue in Wales. Until the middle of the 19th century, private banks in Great Britain and Ireland were free to issue their own banknotes, notes issued by provincial banking companies were in circulation.
Over the years, various Acts of Parliament were introduced by the Parliament of the United Kingdom to increase confidence in banknotes in circulation by limiting the rights of banks to issue notes. The Bank of England gained a monopoly of note issue in England and Wales. Attempts to restrict banknote issue by banks other than the Bank of England began in 1708 and 1709, when Acts of Parliament were passed which prohibited banking companies of more than six partners or shareholders. Notes under 1 guinea & 5 guineas were prohibited in the 1770s and thereafter all the provincial banks were established by the more substantial merchants, landed gentry etc of a town and district. Gold shortages in the 18th century, caused by the Seven Years' War and war with Revolutionary France, began to affect the supply of gold bullion reserves, giving rise to the "Restriction Period"; the result was that the Bank was unable to pay out gold for its notes, at the same time began to issue lower denominations £1 and £2 notes in place of gold guineas, that were hoarded as so was the case in time of war.
Confidence in the value of banknotes was affected, except during 1809–11 and 1814–15 under the extreme conditions of war. The Country Bankers’ Act 1826 allowed some joint-stock banks outside London to issue notes, allowed the Bank of England to open branches in major provincial cities, enabling better distribution of its notes. With the passing of the Bank Notes Act 1833, Bank of England notes over £5 in value were first given the status of "legal tender" in England and Wales guaranteeing the worth of the Bank's notes and ensuring public confidence in the notes in times of crisis or war; the Currency and Bank Notes Act 1954 extended the definition of legal tender to ten shilling and £1 notes. The Bank of England ten-shilling note was withdrawn in 1969 and the £1 was removed from circulation in 1988, leaving a legal curiosity in Scots law whereby there is now no paper legal tender in Scotland; the Bank Charter Act 1844 began the process which gave the Bank of England exclusive note-issuing powers.
Under the Act, no new banks could start issuing notes, note-issuing banks in England and Wales were barred from expanding their no