The new £10 note – find out about the new Bank of England plastic £10 note

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The Bank of England has issued its new plastic banknote today. The new £10 features Jane Austen and has a number of security features. Find out more about the new £10 note.

The new £10 note

The Bank of England has issued a new £10 note today. Already a billion of these notes have been printed so you should start to see them in cash machines and shops fairly soon. Here are some of the details of the new £10 note:

  • The novelist Jane Austen’s image features on the note. There was a vocal social media campaign a few years ago to get Jane Austen’s image on the new note.
  • A foil image of Winchester Cathedral, where Jane Austen is buried, is on the note – it’s gold on one side and silver on the other.
  • Around the image of the Queen, the words ‘£10 Bank of England’ are printed twice.
  • There’s a book shaped copper foil patch with the letters JA.
  • There’s an image of a quill which changes colour as you tilt the note.
  • There are two clusters of raised dots on the side of the note that carries the Queen’s image. These will help blind and partially sighted people.
  • The £10 note contains tallow – which is animal fat – like the plastic £5 note does. The Bank of England say they’ve looked at alternatives, but the only other option is palm oil, which itself is controversial

SAVVY TIP: Do you have a valuable new tenner? All banknotes have serial numbers on them. When the new plastic £5 note was issued, some were sold on eBay for far more than their face value because they had a low serial number. Expect the same excitement this time round! Banknotes with the prefix ‘AA’ should – in theory – be the most valuable.

How long do I have to spend my paper £10 notes?

The Bank of England website only says that we’ll be able to carry on using paper £10 notes until next spring and that it will give us the precise date at least three months ahead of the deadline. When I picked up my new £10 note today, I asked the Bank of England press officer whether the new plastic £10 notes could be used until May next year and she said they could. I picked May because when the new plastic £5 note was introduced a year ago (almost to the day!), it was legal tender until the following May.

Do shops have to take new £10 notes?

Shops don’t have to accept the new £10 note. The new £10 note is now legal tender but – in legal terms – it doesn’t mean retailers have to take it. The British Retail Consortium, which represents the big retailers, told me that companies have been preparing for this change for some time, but that doesn’t mean that all self-service checkouts in all retailers will accept both old and new notes.

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