The new plastic £10 note has officially entered circulation, featuring world-renowned author Jane Austen, to coincide with the 200th anniversary of her death.
The Bank of England’s “cleaner, safer and stronger” note joins the Churchill £5 banknote which was released last year, with a new £20 note featuring J.M.W Turner to follow in 2020.
Here’s all you need to know about the new tenner.
When will I be able to get the new £10 note?
The new £10 note is available from today and you’ll be able to get your hands on them over the following days and weeks as the notes leave cash centres around the country and enter general circulation.
Scotland will release three different version of the polymer note starting from 21 September, which will feature Scottish poet Robert Burns, novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott and science writer and polymath Mary Somerville.
What’s different about it?
Made of polymer, the release of the new note marks the next stage of the Bank of England’s bid to issue “cleaner, safer and stronger” banknotes.
As announced in July 2013, the note will celebrate the achievements of Jane Austen. The design includes the quote “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!”, from Austen’s Pride and Prejudice as well as a portrait of the author herself.
Security is also a key feature of the new £10 note, making it very difficult to counterfeit. It is expected to last at least 2.5 times longer than the current paper £10 notes – around five years in total – and stay in better condition during day-to-day use.
There is also a new tactile feature to help blind and partially sighted users.
What are the security features?
Two holograms are featured on the new note; one which contains the word ‘Ten’ and changes to ‘Pounds’ when tilted and another of the coronation crown which appears 3D and multi-coloured when the note is tilted.
Other security features include micro-lettering beneath the Queen’s portrait with letters and numbers that are only visible under a microscope; Winchester Cathedral shown in gold foil on the front of the note and silver on the back; a see-through window featuring the Queen’s portrait and a quill at the side of the window which changes from purple to orange.
What are those raised dots for?
A series of raised dots in the top left-hand corner of the note has been included to make the new £10 the first Bank of England banknote with a tactile feature to help blind and partially sighted users.
This feature is in addition to the elements already incorporated in Bank of England banknotes for vision impaired people; the tiered sizing, bold numerals, raised print and differing colour palettes.
What is it made from?
Polymer banknotes are manufactured from a transparent plastic film, which enables the inclusion of ‘windows’ or clear portions in the design which enhance protection against counterfeits.
Polymer banknotes are also more environmentally friendly than paper due to their durability, and carry a lower carbon footprint than the paper version.
The Bank ran into trouble with vegans and vegetarians last year when it emerged the polymers used to make the new batch of notes contained tallow, an animal fat rendered from beef or mutton.
However, despite concerns, the Bank said it would not withdraw the polymer notes and would continue to use a similar process for the £10 note.
Can I still use my old tenners?
You can continue to spend paper £10 notes as usual before they are gradually withdrawn and by spring 2018 with the exact date being announced at least three months in advance.