British currency is a beautiful thing. Not only can it buy you a delicious cup of tea and an iced bun when you’re hungry for elevenses, but it is actually a rather colorful, lovely specimen in and of itself.
Maybe only those of us who have grown up with the dull and dreary greenback can appreciate the vibrancy of a British banknote. I’m fascinated that folks like Charles Darwin, Adam Smith and even a lively hummingbird have cameos on some of the notes (Charles Dickens, Florence Nightingale and William Shakespeare have also appeared on the notes, before the notes were taken out of circulation and replaced with another line-up). I don’t even mind Queen Elizabeth’s mug on the front – she looks so classically royal and Mona Lisa-esque. And who doesn’t love the delicious spectrum of colors including tangerine, lavender and lime.
My sister-in-law Liz has pointed out another use for such color, beyond beauty. The identifiable color scheme makes it easy to see, at a quick glance, how much you’ve got. Brits never make the mistake of thinking a 5 pound note is actually a 20 pound note. How many times have we all made the mistake of thinking we were carrying more money than we were, only to discover after close inspection, that we had three one-dollar bills? Not even enough for said cup of tea and iced bun.
Makeover and color code your money, Americans. That’s just good dollars and sense.