The Bank of England has unveiled a new £10 plastic note featuring a portrait of British novelist Jane Austen at the Winchester Cathedral, the place where she was buried.
The note will go into circulation on 14 September, on the occasion of the author’s 200th death anniversary. It follows the previously released polymer £5 note.
• The note is the first Bank of England note to include a tactile feature to help visually-impaired people.
• Its design includes the quote "I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!" from one of Austen's all-time classics- 'Pride and Prejudice'.
• The portrait of the novelist on the currency is based on an original sketch drawn by her sister Cassandra.
• The note celebrates Jane Austen's work, which has been recognised as truly unique and powerful all across the world.
• The note will be the only one in circulation to feature a woman, aside from the Queen, following the replacement of the old £5 note that featured prison reformer Elizabeth Fry with the polymer version featuring Sir Winston Churchill.
• It, however, contains the same animal fat base that had triggered protests from Hindu groups in the UK last year on the release of the new polymer £5 note.
Though the Hindu Council UK held a number of meetings with UK's central bank to explain how the use of tallow made from beef fat in the notes went against the belief of Hindus who see the cow as a symbol of worship, the Bank of England announced that it would not be withdrawing the polymer notes and that the new £10 notes made of the same material would also go ahead for their launch.
However, the bank did state that it would launch a consultation before issuing similar new £20 notes.
Security features of the new note
• The note comprises hologram of a book on one side and a crown on the other, which appears multicoloured when the note is tilted.
• The words ‘Bank of England’ have been printed in raised ink along the top.
• It contains micro-lettering beneath the Queen’s portrait on the front side with tiny digits that would be visible only under a microscope.
• It also has a smaller oval-shaped see-through security window with the Queen’s portrait.
• It displays a structure of Winchester Cathedral in gold foil.
• It also displays a quill on the cathedral’s side that changes tone from purple to orange.
• At the bottom, the note displays a hologram with ten written on it that changes to pounds upon being tilted.
Besides this, a limited supply of new two-pound coins honouring Jane Austen has also been put into circulation by the Royal Mint. The new coin will initially only be made available at key locations in the Winchester and Basingstoke areas that have connections with Austen, including Winchester Cathedral and the Jane Austen House Museum. It will be circulated more widely across the UK in late 2017.
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