Bank of England unveils new polymer note

Bank of England unveils new polymer note
Victoria Cleland, Chief Cashier, Bank of England, with the new £10 polymer note. (Image courtesy: Bank of England)
Published: 22 July 2017 - 9 p.m.
By: Martin Menachery

On the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's death – 18 July 2017 – Mark Carney, governor, Bank of England, unveiled the design of the new £10 polymer note featuring the world-renowned author.

The note is printed on polymer and is the first Bank of England banknote with a tactile feature to help blind and partially sighted users.

As it is made of polymer, the new £10 note is cleaner, safer and stronger. It joins the Churchill £5 in the first family of polymer Bank of England banknotes and a new £20 note featuring J.M.W Turner will follow in 2020.

The £10 note contains sophisticated security features, which make it very difficult to counterfeit. It is expected to last at least 2.5 times longer than the current paper £10 notes – around five years in total – and stay in better condition during day-to-day use.

The new tactile feature on this note is a series of raised dots in the top left-hand corner and has been developed in conjunction with the Royal National Institute of Blind (RNIB). This is in addition to the elements already incorporated in Bank of England banknotes for vision impaired people; the tiered sizing, bold numerals, raised print and differing colour palettes.

The new £10 note will be issued on 14 September 2017 and the public will begin to see them in the following days and weeks as the notes leave cash centres around the United Kingdom and enter general circulation.

The public can continue to spend paper £10 notes as usual and these will be gradually withdrawn as they are banked by retailers and the public. Legal tender status of the paper £10 featuring Charles Darwin will be withdrawn in spring 2018 with the exact date being announced at least three months in advance.

Speaking at Winchester Cathedral, the resting place of Jane Austen, Carney said: “Our banknotes serve as repositories of the country’s collective memory, promoting awareness of the United Kingdom’s glorious history and highlighting the contributions of its greatest citizens.”

“The new £10 note celebrates Jane Austen’s work. Austen’s novels have a universal appeal and speak as powerfully today as they did when they were first published.  The new £10 will be printed on polymer, making it safer, stronger and cleaner.  The note will also include a new tactile feature on the £10 to help the visually impaired, ensuring the nation’s money is as inclusive as possible,” added Carney.

Security features on the new £10 note include: 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; and the words ‘Bank of England’ printed in intaglio (raised ink) along the top of the note.

Victoria Cleland, chief cashier, Bank of England, said: “The new £10 note marks the next exciting step in our introduction of cleaner, safer, stronger polymer banknotes, and I am grateful to the cash industry for their work towards a smooth transition. I am delighted that the Jane Austen £10 note incorporates an innovative tactile feature, which I hope will greatly benefit blind and partially sighted users.”

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