New plas­tic Jane Austen 10-pound note launched in U.K.

Medicine Hat News - - LIFESTYLES - PAN PY­LAS

LON­DON A new plas­tic 10-pound note fea­tur­ing Jane Austen, one of Bri­tain’s most renowned au­thors, has gone into cir­cu­la­tion.

Apart from the Queen, whose por­trait is on all U.K. cur­rency, Austen is only the third woman to fea­ture on a mod­ern-day Bri­tish ban­knote, af­ter medical in­no­va­tor Florence Nightin­gale and so­cial re­former El­iz­a­beth Fry. She was cho­sen af­ter a cam­paign for more fe­male rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

The new ‘ten­ner,’ as it’s com­monly known, is the first Bri­tish ban­knote with a tac­tile fea­ture, a se­ries of raised dots in the top left-hand cor­ner to help blind and par­tially sighted users.

The note is made of poly­mer and is the cen­tral bank’s lat­est ef­fort to make cash harder to coun­ter­feit, fol­low­ing last year’s launch of a sim­i­lar five-pound note that show­cases Win­ston Churchill. A new 20-pound note fea­tur­ing artist JMW Turner will fol­low in 2020.

“Our ban­knotes serve as repos­i­to­ries of the coun­try’s col­lec­tive mem­ory, pro­mot­ing aware­ness of the United King­dom’s glo­ri­ous his­tory and high­light­ing the con­tri­bu­tions of its great­est cit­i­zens,” said Bank of Eng­land gover­nor Mark Car­ney. “Austen’s nov­els have a uni­ver­sal ap­peal and speak as pow­er­fully to­day as they did when they were first pub­lished.”

Austen, whose nov­els in­clude “Pride and Prej­u­dice,” ”Emma,” and “Sense and Sen­si­bil­ity,” is con­sid­ered one of the great chron­i­clers of English coun­try life in the Ge­or­gian era at the turn of the 19th cen­tury. Com­bin­ing wit, ro­mance and so­cial com­men­tary, her books have been adapted nu­mer­ous times for tele­vi­sion and film.

As well as a por­trait of Austen, the note fea­tures a quote from “Pride and Prej­u­dice”: “I de­clare af­ter all there is no en­joy­ment like read­ing!”

New se­cu­rity fea­tures on the ten­ners — which at a value of about $13 each can buy a cou­ple pints of beer or, at a stretch, a pair of Austen nov­els — will make them more dif­fi­cult to coun­ter­feit, the bank said.

The tran­si­tion to poly­mer has sparked con­tro­versy af­ter the cen­tral bank con­firmed that a small amount of tal­low, or an­i­mal fat, was used in the pro­duc­tion process. But in Au­gust, fol­low­ing a pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion, the bank said it would stick to the com­po­si­tion of the ban­knotes as the only vi­able al­ter­na­tive was us­ing palm oil, which raised ques­tions re­lated to en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity and value for money.

AP PHOTO/MATT DUN­HAM

One of the new Bri­tish 10 pound notes is posed for pho­to­graphs out­side the Bank of Eng­land in the City of Lon­don, Thurs­day. The new poly­mer note, re­leased for cir­cu­la­tion on Thurs­day, fea­tures the renowned nov­el­ist Jane Austen and is the first UK ban­knote with a tac­tile fea­ture to sup­port blind and par­tially sighted users.

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