The New £10 Note is Now in Circulation

By Kim Snaith on at

The new-fangled plastic £10 note to match last year's new fivers is now in circulation. Don't throw your old ones away just yet though — they're legal tender until Spring 2018.

The new tenner is a little smaller than the old one, and like the £5 note, comes with new security features and is made with a more durable polymer material. Cue lots of YouTube videos of people trying to rip them in half.

The new note has dropped its previous resident of Charles Darwin and instead features a portrait of author Jane Austen. She's also featured on a new £2 coin.

For the first time in the UK, braille has been used to allow blind and partially-sighted people feel which note it is. The top-left hand corner of the note will feature a series of raised bumps to indicate it's a £10 note.

Somewhat controversially, the Bank of England has continued to produce the new notes using tallow — a substance made from animal fat — despite vegan and religious groups kicking up a fuss over the £5 note. "[We have] note taken this decision lightly," the Bank said on the matter. It's almost certainly a matter of production cost — palm oil or coconut oil was considered, but both cost considerably more and raise questions over sustainable sourcing.

You'll start seeing the new tenners very soon — one billion notes have already been printed and will be fed into circulation gradually over the next couple of months.

No official date has been released yet to say when our old £10 notes will stop being legal tender, but we have until at least Spring 2018. The Bank of England will release a statement three months before the date, so we've got plenty of time to keep spending them.

As for a new £20? It's on its way, but we'll have to wait until 2020 for that one. [BBC]

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