In March, the Bank of England introduced the new 12-sided £1.00 coin. One of the reasons for this decision is the fact that according to the Royal Mint one coin in 30 in circulation is counterfeit. A worrying statistic perhaps but, nevertheless, a sign of the sophistication means available to counterfeiters.
The new note features Jane Austen, one of the most revered British authors. Austen is also, apart form the Queen, the first female to be featured on an English bank note in current circulation.
As Austen joins the gallery of illustrious figures such as Adam Smith and Winston Churchill, these notes celebrate a diverse range of individuals who have made valuable contributions in a wide range of fields. By choosing Jane Austen to feature on a bank note, the Bank of England acknowledges the contribution of women to British society and culture.
For women entrepreneurs, this translates as a clear sign of not only recognition and gender equality but also empowerment, thus creating a more level playing field.
Three things you need to know about the new tenner
1 – It contains traces of animal fat. This feature sparked controversy when the new polymer £5 note was issued. Vegetarians and some religious groups voiced their concern. An online petition that gathered more than 35,000 signatures and called for the BoE to stop using animal fats followed this.
However, after careful consideration, the Bank of England said that doing so would compromise anti-counterfeit measures and would prove expensive.
So, the new tenner will also contain small amounts of tallow, an animal fat made from rendered beef and mutton fat.
2 – The first note goes to the Queen – the serial number is AA01 000001; next comes Prince Philip and thirdly, the Prime Minister, Theresa May. The Bank of England also holds back some other early-printed notes to give to museums and other institutions.
3 – The new £10 note for the first time includes clusters of raised dots in the left hand corner. This is designed to help blind and partially sighted people better identify the value of the note. Aside from that, it is also slightly smaller than the current paper tenner, and is expected to last two and a half times longer.
After this, a new polymer £20 note will be released in 2020. At the moment there are no plans to issue a plastic £50. To conclude, it is useful to remind that the old £1 coin, replaced by the 12-sided coin issued six months ago, ceases to be legal tender from 15 October. After that date shops are no longer required to accept the coin.