The Future of Money

I had a rare day off today — the kind that’s not just a day off from work but from childcare too — so took the opportunity to visit the Bank of England Museum, and in particular their new exhibit on The Future of Money which opened this past Wednesday.

Poster outside the Bank of England Museum advertising The Future of Money exhibition

To be completely honest, the main reason I went was to see the new banknotes featuring King Charles III, which are planned to go into circulation later this year.

A complete set of British banknotes and coins featuring the new King.

The way things are going with payments shifting away from cash in favour of cards and digital payments it’s not obvious how much we’ll all end up using these. As if to highlight the diminished role of cash in my life, it was only when I looked at the display of different sets of notes through the ages that I discovered the Adam Smith £20 was phased out and replaced by JMW Turner way back in 2020. I hope I’m not the only one who didn’t notice.

A couple of sets of banknotes from different time periods. The most recent ones feature Winston Churchill, Jane Austen, JMW Turner, and Alan Turing.

Two other points of interest to note: the vending machine that I got stuck in…

I'm holding a gold bar that's extremely well secured in a display that nonetheless allows you to experience how heavy it is.

… and the book selection in the gift shop being right on point.

A bookshelf full of Terry Pratchett's "Making Money"

The exhibition is on until late next year so you have plenty of time to check it out if you’re interested.