The last date for using the old £10 note featuring Charles Darwin will be 1 March 2018, the Bank of England has announced.
After that date only the new £10 notes, featuring Jane Austen, will be legal tender. The plastic notes featuring Austen – the first female writer to feature on a banknote – were first issued in in September and by early October accounted for 55% of £10 notes in circulation.
The Bank of England will continue to exchange the paper Darwin £10 notes, first issued in 2000, after 1 March.
The paper £10 is going the way of the old £5 notes, which ceased to be legal tender in May. Both new notes have encountered controversy because they contain tallow, an animal byproduct.
The Austen £10 note also contains a quote from one of her books Pride and Prejudice – “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!” – from a character who has no interest in books.
The Bank argues that polymer banknotes are much harder to counterfeit and last longer than paper notes. Mark Carney, the Bank’s governor, dipped one of the new plastic £5 notes in chicken curry at Borough Market in London last year to prove their durability.
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