Today (18 July) marks the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death and on this day ,the new £10 note, which features Austen will be unveiled.
The event will take place at Winchester Cathedral, where Austen was buried in 1817, and this will be the first time members of the public are able to see the note before it enters circulation in September.
Paper pound notes in numbers:
21,835 notes were replaced in 2015 due to damage
10,760 were torn/part notes
5,364 were chewed or eaten
1,801 were washed
2,912 were contaminated
997 were damaged in some other way
The new polymer notes last up to two and a half times longer than paper
Paper bank notes are slowly being replaced by plastic due to their durability and security, and this began with the £5 note last September.
What note will follow?
The new £20 note will be issued by 2020.
Why are the old notes being replaced?
The Bank of England periodically replaces notes to introduce the latest security features and stay ahead of counterfeiters.
The decision to print the £5, £10 and £20 notes on polymer, a thin flexible plastic, was taken because polymer notes last longer, stay cleaner and are harder to counterfeit than paper notes.
What the Governor said
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney 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.
“As Austen joins Adam Smith, Boulton and Watt, and Churchill, our notes will celebrate a diverse range of individuals who have contributed in a wide range of fields.”
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney announced last year (April) that English Romanticist landscape painter William Turner will appear on the next £20 note.
The selection of Turner was the first time the Bank of England used the character selection process announced in December 2013.
This process involved a two month period between May and June 2015 when the public nominated characters from within the field of visual arts.
In total, 29,701 nominations were received, covering 590 eligible characters.
From this, the Bank of England’s Banknote Character Advisory Committee considered all eligible nominations, and together with input from public focus groups, shortlisted characters from which the Governor made the final decision.
There are currently no plans to replace the £50 note and the Bank of England has stayed tight-lipped about it, saying it will announce the material for future £50 notes in due course.