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Polymer and Cleopatra: Egypt Reveals New EGP 20 Banknote

June 21, 2023
Photo courtesy of Al Masry Al Youm

Egypt’s EGP 20 banknote will be getting an upgraded look and feel, announced the country’s central bank (CBE) on 21 June through a press statement on their website.

The new banknote will be made of polymer, a type of plastic, akin to the recently refreshed EGP 10 banknote that started distribution in July 2022.

“The new 20-pound is the first denomination of its kind issued in the Egyptian market, using cutting-edge technologies to enable the blind and visually impaired individuals to identify the banknote’s value by sensing the tactile ADA Braille dots crafted on the top-left of the currency,” highlighted the CBE in their press statement.

The introduction of plastic banknotes aligns with the CBE’s clean cash policy, which aims to enhance the quality of banknotes in circulation while reducing the expenses associated with printing older notes. This initiative was announced by the CBE last year.

The CBE is yet to announce when the new banknote will begin circulating.

Consisting of a mint green colour, the new EGP 20 places Cleopatra as the central figure on the English side while maintaining the previously featured Muhammad Ali mosque on the Arabic side.

Cleopatra last featured on an EGP 20 note in 1976.

The press statement also assured citizens that the previous banknote, first issued in 1978, will remain valid in circulation and transactions.

According to data from the central bank, the EGP 20 banknote ranked as the fourth most widely circulated currency in 2022, trailing behind the EGP 200, EGP 100, and EGP 50 notes.


1976 – 1978
Image Credit: Numista
1978 – 1998
Image Credit: Numista
1999 – 2023
Image Credit: Numista
2023 –
Image Credit: Numista

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