The Bank of England says returns of old tenners are running at around £85m worth per week.
Plastic polymer notes, which see author Jane Austen replacing Charles Darwin as the image of the reverse side, entered circulation in September and will become the only £10 note pubs are able to accept or distribute as change from March onwards.
The Charles Darwin £10 note was introduced in November 2000 – when a note could buy you just shy of five pints of lager at the average cost per pint in the UK of £2.02 compared to £3.63 today.
The new notes are more resistant to dirt and moisture, have enhanced security features to make them harder to counterfeit, and can with stand more wear and tear than paper notes.
As reported by The Morning Advertiser, pubs were given a range of “simple steps” to verify the new notes' security features when they entered circulation.
Pubs are advised to check not just one, but a few, of the following features:
• The new note has a 'see-through window' that should display a clearly defined portrait of the Queen and the words ‘£10 Bank of England’ printed twice around the edge.
• A finely detailed metallic image of Winchester Cathedral is printed over the window. The foil is gold on the front of the note and silver on the back. When tilted, a multi-coloured rainbow effect should be seen. The foil £ symbol in the window is silver on the front of the note and copper on the back.
• At the side of the window is a coloured quill that changes from purple to orange when the note is tilted.
• Check the foil patch on the front of the note below the see-through window. When tilted, the word ‘ten’ changes to ‘pounds’ and a multi-coloured rainbow effect can be seen.
• A book-shaped foil patch on the back of the note contains the letters ‘JA’.
• Check the polymer and raised print. By running your finger across the front of the note, you can feel raised print of the words ‘Bank of England’ and in the bottom right corner around the number 10.
• Check the print quality – lines and colours on the note should be clear and free from smudges or blurred edges.
• Micro lettering. Using a magnifying glass, check the lettering beneath the Queen’s portrait. You should be able to see the value of the note written in small letters and numbers.
• Ultra-violet feature. If you look at the front of the note under an ultra-violet light, the number 10 appears in bright red and green while the background remains dull.
To exchange old notes, people can either post their old currency to the Bank of England, visit the Bank in person in the City of London, or try to exchange paper tenners at their local bank or post office – even after the 1 March deadline.
Read The Morning Advertiser’s guide to plastic banknotes here.