Find Us


What you need to know about the UK’s new £10 note

What you need to know about the UK’s new £10 note
By Selina Sykes
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button

Not everyone is happy with the new tenner – but you’ll never have to worry about leaving notes in the back pocket of your jeans before doing the washing again.


The new £10 note, which is also called a tenner by Brits, goes into circulation in the UK today.

It follows the launch of the new £5 note a year ago.

From which famous face is featured on the banknote to who gets their hands on the prized first new tenner, here’s everything you need to know about the new £10 note.

The #NewTenPoundNote featuring Jane Austen: coming 14 September 2017.

— Bank of England (@bankofengland) 18 juillet 2017

What is it made of?

The new polymer banknote is made of a very thin, flexible, transparent plastic film.

Polymer notes repel dirt and moisture and are expected to last 2.5 years longer than today’s notes.

Unlike old cotton paper banknotes, they’re almost impossible to tear and can survive the washing machine.

It is even possible to pour a glass of red wine over the new banknote and wipe it clean.

The new plastic banknotes, which contain traces of animal fat, have sparked anger among some vegans, vegetarians, Hindus and Sikhs in the UK.

However, the Bank of England has refused to bow down to pressure despite objections from the public over the use of tallow.

The Bank is looking into using palm oil instead of animal fat for future production, which has also proved controversial with rainforest conservation groups.

What does the new £10 look like?

The new £10 note will feature English novelist Jane Austen who is best known for her publications Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility.

The image of the famous Victorian author was taken from a portrait which was commissioned after her death at the age of 41, which is on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Some critics have accused the Bank of England of airbrushing Austen’s image on the banknote to make her noticeably more attractive than she appears in the original portrait.
The banknote also features a quote from Pride and Prejudice: “I declare after all there is no enjoyment but reading!”

Many Austen fans have criticised the choice of quote as it was’t said by the novelist herself, but by one of her most obnoxious characters who doesn’t actually like reading books at all.

The new banknote is the first to be printed with a series of raised dots in the top left-hand corner to help blind and partially sighted users.

The new banknotes have enhanced security measures making them harder to counterfeit, including a quill that changes colour from purple to orange when you tilt it.


The #NewTenPoundNote features a coloured quill that changes from purple to orange when you tilt the note.

— Bank of England (@bankofengland) 8 septembre 2017

Why Jane Austen?

Mark Carny announced the choice of Austen on new banknote shortly after taking up his position at the Bank of England in 2013.

He said: “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.”

Austen joins other British greats such as Sir Winston Churchill, Charles Darwin, Florence Nightingale, Shakespeare and Charles Dicken, who have all been chosen to feature on banknotes by the Bank of England.


Austen is the only woman – apart from the Queen – to currently feature on an English banknote following the withdrawal of old £5 notes, which featured Elizabeth Fry, in May.

Can I still use old £10 notes?

Don’t worry, you can still spend your old £10 notes for a while to come.

Existing cotton paper notes, featuring Charles Darwin, will stop being legal tender from spring next year.

The Bank of England is yet to have confirmed an official date for their withdrawal.


Old notes will retain their value and can be exchanged at the Bank of England at any time.

£5, £10 and £20 paper banknotes are being slowly replaced by plastic ones.

Who gets the first new tenner?

The Queen will be presented with the first new £10 note – with the serial number AA01 000001 – followed by her husband Prince Philip and British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Other lucky recipients include Mark Carny, UK Chancellor Philip Hammond and the British Museum.


But the general public will have to wait a little longer to get their hands on the new note.

Only a handful of the UK’s 48,000 cash machines are expected to be dispensing them on Thursday.

Will the first batch of new £10 notes be worth a lot?

While the first few £10 notes are reserved, collectors are on the hunt for very low serial numbers (those beginning AA01) in hope that the notes could be worth far more than a tenner.

After the launch of the new plastic £5 last year, the lowest serial number note issued to the public was sold for £4,105 at a charity auction.


Other new £10 serial numbers expected to be popular collectors’ items are Jane Austen’s birthday, 16 121775 and her death, 18 071817.

Share this articleComments

You might also like

Nigel Farage’s populist Reform Party overtakes Conservatives, polls show

UK prime minister unveils Conservative Party manifesto ahead of general election

UK Prime Minister Sunak announces surprise election on 4 July