The new ‘plastic’ £10 note: all the essential information, right here

Have you got any old-style £10 notes left around the house? Time has now run to spend them and you risk losing the cash permanently if you don’t act fast. Here’s all you need to know.  

Here’s all you need to know about ensuring you don’t lose out.

new £10 note

The new ten pound note features Jane Austen

When will the current paper £10 note go out of circulation?

You’ll need to get a move on – it’s been revealed that paper tenners will cease to be legal tender on March 1, 2018.

Once this date is reached, you’ll no longer be able to pay for services or goods using the ‘paper’ £10 note.

Countdown to the paper tenner going out of circulation

What if a shop worker etc gives me a ‘paper’ tenner?

Reject it out of hand! Either before or after the note ceases to be legal tender, shops and the like should not be continuing to circulate notes.

What happens if I forget or find a wad of notes after the March 1 deadline?

Don’t worry, for a certain amount of time you’ll be able to change your ‘paper’ notes at a  bank, building society or Post Office.

However, if changing at one of these establishments, you will need to have the money paid into an account.

If your local bank, building society or Post Office refuse to take the notes, you can still exchange them at the Bank of England. This can be in person or by recorded delivery.

If exchanging large amounts of the ‘old’ notes, it’s possible you will be asked to provide proof of identity, such as a passport.

When did the new ten pound note enter circulation?

The Bank of England introduced the ‘plastic’ tenners on 14th September, 2017.


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Plastic £10 timeline

Unveil event – 18 July, 2017

New £10 polymer note is unveiled at Winchester Cathedral.

New £10 goes into circulation 14 September, 2017

The new plastic £10 will become available. You should start to see it from this date.

Old £10 note goes out of circulation – 1 March, 2018

Once the new £10 is issued, the old ones will be gradually faded out.

Does the new £10 polymer note feature the animal product  called tallow – like the ‘plastic’ fiver?

As the new £10 note will be made of the same materials as the polymer £5 note, it will again contain small amounts of tallow – a rendered form of beef or mutton fat.

Due to the backlash from vegetarians and vegans, the Bank of England said it considered destroying, reprinting and delaying the issue of the new note.

However, it said that doing so would compromise anti-counterfeit measures and would prove expensive. So expect the tallow to remain.

Who features on the new note?

  • A portrait of Jane Austen commissioned by James Edward Austen Leigh (Jane Austen’s nephew) in 1870, adapted from an original sketch of Jane Austen drawn by her sister, Cassandra Austen.
  • The quote – ‘I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!’ from Pride and Prejudice (Miss Bingley, Chapter XI).
  • An illustration of Miss Elizabeth Bennet undertaking ‘The examination of all the letters which Jane had written to her’ – from a drawing by Isabel Bishop (1902-1988).
  • Jane Austen’s writing table – the central design in the background is inspired by the 12-sided writing table, and writing quills, used by Jane Austen at Chawton Cottage.

Enjoy paper cash while you can – a new ‘plastic’ tenner will soon join the fiver Credit: Bank of England


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 Here are the new security features as reported by the BBC

  • A see-through window featuring the Queen’s portrait.
  • Winchester Cathedral shown in gold foil on the front of the note and silver on the back.
  • A quill at the side of the window which changes from purple to orange.
  • A hologram which contains the word “Ten” and changes to “Pounds” when the note is tilted.
  • A hologram of the coronation crown which appears 3D and multi-coloured when the note is tilted.
  • A book-shaped copper foil patch which contains the letter JA.
  • Micro-lettering beneath the Queen’s portrait with tiny letters and numbers that are visible under a microscope.
  • The words “Bank of England” printed in intaglio (raised ink) along the top of the note.

What notes are worth a ‘fortune’?

As with all UK currency that enters circulation, collectors will be on the look out for any notes that may be worth more than their face value. Here are the serial numbers you should look out for on the new ten pound note:

  • 16 121775 and 18 071817 – these represent Jane Austen’s date of birth and death
  • 17 751817 – Austen’s birth and death year combined
  • 28 011813 – the date Pride and Prejudice was first published

It’s also worth keeping an eye out for any unusual or low serial numbers when the new note hits the streets.

How much would £10 have been worth in Jane Austen’s time?

Research has found that ten pounds in Jane Austen’s time would have been worth the equivalent of £786 in today’s money.

Future banknotes

A polymer £20 note is set to be launched in 2020 and will features the artist J.M.W Turner.

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