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U.K. unveils new polymer £10 to mixed reactions

Alicea Walley / Red Dirt Report
The new £5 and £10 notes.
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MIDWEST CITY, Okla.- As the U.K. releases the new £10 note this week there is an undeniable excitement as Britons search for the notes with low serial numbers potentially worth thousands; however, the lowest serial numbers have already been given to members of the royal family and parliament. The new polymer notes are cleaner both for the public, as they are dirt and water resistant, and for the environment. They are also stronger and expected to last more than twice as long as the old notes. 

The new attractive design comes with a plethora of security feature aiming to tackle counterfeiting including holograms, foil patches that change design as they are tilted, material which changes color, see-through windows, micro-lettering, ultraviolet technology and detailed images.The note also features raised dots to aid those who are blind to identify the note.The new tenner, as it is commonly called in the U.K., features Jane Austen who “is recognized as one of the greatest writers in English literature” said Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney.

The new polymer £5 note, commonly known as the fiver, was released in 2016, and the old fiver was taken out of circulation in May 2017. Although the Bank of England will continue to exchange the notes, they will be refused in the majority of stores. The note commemorates the former Prime Minister and Nobel Prize winner Winston Churchill. The Bank of England plans to release a polymer 20-pound note in 2020 which will feature JMW Turner, who will be the first person nominated by the public to be featured on a bill. There are currently no plans to release a polymer version of the 50-pound bill, leading many to speculate that this rarely used bill will fade out of circulation in the near future.

The buzz around the new bills has not been without controversy. Many vegetarians, vegans and religious institutions were appalled to find out the polymer notes contained traces of animal fat which led to boycotting the use of the fiver. A survey conducted by the Bank of England found that 88 percent were against the use of animal fat in the bill. The Bank of England sought an alternative prior to the release of the tenner and temporarily considered using palm oil. However, palm oil was widely panned due to the monetary and environmental costs of using palm oil.

Unable to find a suitable alternative, the Bank of England reverted back to the use of animal fat for the £10 note and have been working on a vegetarian/vegan-friendly alternative for the 20-pound note. In the meantime, the protest against the fiver and tenner continues with some shops refusing to accept either note and customers demanding to be given change in coins.

Misquotation and grammatical errors have also been noted by eagle-eyed recipients.The £5 note has a quote from Winston Churchill which is missing quotation marks causing critics to argue the flub is evidence of the "dumbing down" of the English language. Additionally, the quote on the tenner, ‘I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!’, taken from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice was questioned because the quote is attributed to one of Austen's most deceitful and unliked characters, Caroline Bingley.  

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Alicea Walley

Alicea Walley is a work-at-home mom of one with a degree of English Law and Spanish...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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