New £10 note: Experts urge to check for special serial numbers

Josie Cox

A new polymer tenner is due to enter circulation on Thursday but some of the notes – adorned with Jane Austen’s face – could be worth significantly more than £10.

Experts at money specialist website Change Checker said that notes with serial numbers corresponding to the author’s date of birth and date of death -- 16 121775 and 18 071817 – are likely to be in particularly high demand. The note with the serial number 17 751817 – her birth and death year combined – could also fetch a significant sum.

Change Checker said that the note with the serial number 28 011813, the date when Austen’s Pride and Prejudice was first published, would likely also be in high demand, as would notes with particularly low serial numbers.

The Bank of England is due to hold an auction on 6 October, where members of the public and collectors can bid for a selection of special notes.

A similar auction was held last year, which included new polymer £5 notes with low and interesting serial numbers, raising a total of £194,500. More than 230 lots were auctioned and the highest bid for a single note was £8,500.

Proceeds back then were split between three charities -- The Myotubular Trust, The Lily Foundation and Bliss – chosen by the Bank of England. Proceeds from October’s auction will also go to charity.

The Bank of England in July unveiled the design of the new £10 note. At the time it was particularly praised by members of the blind and visually impaired community for its tactile features. Raised dots, similar to braille characters, on the left hand side of the note and fine raised lines on the right, will help those who can’t see to differentiate it from notes of other denominations.

When the note enters circulation, Austen will be the only woman, apart from the Queen, to appear on a current UK banknote. The old £5 note, featuring prison reformer Elizabeth Fry, ceased being legal tender on 5 May.

The new £10 note will be the second to be printed on a plastic polymer, which the Bank says is cleaner, safer and more hard-wearing than the traditional cotton paper it will replace. The plastic fiver, featuring Winston Churchill, entered circulation last September.

Speaking at the launch of the new £10 note at Winchester Cathedral, where Ms Austen was buried, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney in July said the author, “certainly merits a place in the select group of historical figures to appear on our banknotes”.

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