Culture

New polymer £10 note featuring Jane Austen enters circulation

New polymer £10 note featuring Jane Austen enters circulation”

The Bank of England's new 10-pound note enters circulation Thursday, and with it the most advanced features seen yet on United Kingdom bills.

Like the £5 note already in circulation featuring Sir Winston Churchill, the new £10 banknote featuring Pride And Prejudice author Austen is made from polymer. "First of all we were trying to understand, is it possible to have a feature that is easy to recognise, and will last well", the bank's chief cashier Victoria Cleland told Business Insider prior to the note's release.

That quote caused some controversy when announced, as in its original context, the character who utters the words, Caroline Bingley, is being more than a little disingenuous.

The Bank of England said that the task of updating "tens of thousands of machines" was "significant". "Austen's novels have a universal appeal and speak as powerfully today as they did when they were first published", he said.

Why is there a new £10 note?

The note was first unveiled by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney at a ceremony at Winchester Cathedral in July, but it is now officially available for British citizens to use. They will launch their new £10 notes into circulation in the coming weeks.

In August, following a public consultation, the Bank said that after "careful and serious consideration", there would be no change to the composition of polymer used for future banknotes.

The Bank assessed whether palm oil or coconut oil should be used instead, but concluded that this might not be able to be sourced sustainably and changing production would also involve considerable extra costs to taxpayers. They also have features that accommodate the blind and partially sighted.

The plastic £10 notes are also more hard to counterfeit than paper ones, with numerous unique security features including multi-coloured holograms, a clear window, and UV ink.

Beatrix Potter and Barbara Hepworth were both mooted as the new face of the £20 note, but in the event lost out to JMW Turner.

One investment company has calculated that £10 from 1817 - when Jane Austen died - equates to roughly £786, in today's money. They remain an acceptable form of cash until early next year.



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