Everything you wanted to know about the new polymer £10… but were too afraid to ask

The new polymer £10 note

You’ve had almost a year to get used to the new polymer £5 notes, and regardless what you think of them there’s a chance you’ve already forgotten what their old paper counterparts looked like.
So, are you ready to go through the upheaval of a new note all over again? The details of the new polymer £10, which will be arriving after the summer, were released on 18th July; it’s one stunning note.

jane austen polymer

What is the new £10 note made of?

The new £10 will follow the example of the polymer £5 released last September. This means that it too will feature small amounts of tallow, or animal fat, which is used in the creation of the polymer pellets. A petition to ban the polymer notes has amassed more than 100,000 signatures since the 2016 release of the £5. The Bank of England has confirmed that the release of the new £10 will go ahead regardless, although will not say whether the £20, which is set for release in 2020, will also feature tallow.

Whose face will feature on the new note?

As you’d expect the new £10 note will feature the Queen on its front face. However, the image of Charles Darwin that you’ve no doubt become accustomed to will be replaced by a portrait of famous author Jane Austen, the hand behind Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Northanger Abbey, and Mansfield Park, amongst others. The note’s release will coincide with the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death; the preview of the note came on Tuesday 18th July, which marked the date exactly.

What are the note’s special features?

The £10 has been designed to reflect Jane Austen’s life and passions. It will include an image of a writing desk, an image of Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice, the quote, “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading” from the same novel, and a picture of Godsmersham Park House, which was owned by the author’s brother. Even the note’s enhanced security features come as a nod to Jane; there is a metallic foil image of Winchester Cathedral, where she is buried, and a quill. Other security features include micro lettering, holograms, a see-through window, and an ultra-violet ‘10’ that changes colour based upon directions.

When should I keep an eye out for the first note?

The new £10 notes should be arriving into circulation on the 14th September 2017. You will then have until spring 2018 to spend the Darwin notes before they are withdrawn. Do not fear though; the Bank of England will exchange any withdrawn notes for face value at any point. Alternatively, consider donating your old currency to a charity of your choice.

Is that everything we need to know?

The Royal Mint has released a series of special £2 coins that also bear Jane Austen’s image. These will be released from Tuesday 18th July in places with a connection to Austen, such as Winchester and Basingstoke. The rest of the UK can expect the coins later in the year.

We’re sure there will be more news surrounding the £10 note’s release to follow; do keep your eyes peeled for those first edition notes, and any updates from the Bank of England and the Royal Mint.

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