On Thursday 14 September 2017 the Bank of England introduced the new British 10-pound banknote into circulation. The polymer note, embossed with Jane Austen's portrait, is the second of the new series, following the five-pound note, which was introduced in September last year. In addition to the novelist's appearance, the banknote features Winchester Cathedral, where she was buried after her death in 1817.
The new banknote is 15% smaller than the old paper predecessor. The old 10-pound note starring Charles Darwin, will be withdrawn in spring 2018, after a three-month notice period. The £10 note was first introduced in 1759, this is the fifth one. Read more facts on The New Ten here...
The next note in the series will appear in 2020: the 20-pound note, starring J.M.W. Turner, 'English Romantic landscape painter, watercolourist and printmaker, whose style can be said to have laid the foundation for Impressionism'. Read more about Turner here....
Excerpt from Bank of England's Withdrawn Banknotes page:
'All withdrawn Bank of England notes remains payable at face value for all time. They can be exchanged for new banknotes at the Bank of England, either in person in London or by post.'
The banknote has stirred debates about the use of animal fat, yet despite animal rights protests, the use will continue. Yet, in accordance with international standard PAS 2050, 'The Carbon Trust has certified that over their full life cycle, the carbon footprint of a £5 polymer banknote is 16% lower than the £5 paper banknote, while the carbon footprint of a £10 polymer banknote is 8% lower than the £10 paper banknote.'
"I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading."
Controversy also revolved around the questionable choice of Pride & Prejudice quote selected to appear alongside the novelist. Instead of directly celebrating literature, Miss Bingley who was notably disinterested in books but declares the above in the unfulfilled hope of wooing Mr Darcy. An oversight?
Jane Austen fans responded with a Mexican wave of eye-rolls, tutt-tutts and full on rage, claiming it was clearly an error and insult, especially as Bingley was no friend to the beloved Bennetts. Others were left tickled,
Others were left tickled. One representative argued that it reflected the social satire riddled in Austen's many masterpieces, saying 'If you know her work, you can enjoy the irony of that... it works on many levels.'
“Jane Austen certainly merits a place in the select group of historical figures to appear on our banknotes. Her novels have an enduring and universal appeal and she is recognised as one of the greatest writers in English literature."
One thing's for sure, it's gotten people talking about cash...
The Scottish 10-pound note
The three Scottish issuing banks are also issuing their next £10 notes on polymer on a similar timescale to the Bank of England. For further information see The Committee of Scottish Bankers.
The new 12-sided one-pound coin
The Royal Mint issued a new £1 coin in March 2017. They are withdrawing the round pound on 15 October 2017. For further information go to The Royal Mint.