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Bank of England reveals last day to use old £10 notes

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10 pound polymer note Jane Austen

The old £10 note must be spent by March 2018.

The notes, featuring Charles Darwin, were introduced on the 7th November 2000, but have now been replaced by a polymer version - which gives pride of place to author Jane Austen.

Britons in possession of the old note will need to spend it or deposit it before that date as it ceases to be legal tender from 2 March.

Like the £5 note already in circulation featuring Sir Winston Churchill, the new £10 banknote is made from polymer, which is more durable and expected to last five years in total.

The Jane Austen notes have a number of features built in that make them particularly hard to forge. Around 55 per cent of the £10 notes in current circulation are made from polymer, while the rest - 359 million - are paper.

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The Bank added that the public can continue to use the old notes as normal as most paper £10 notes will be automatically removed from circulation.

The note, which is slightly smaller than its paper predecessor, includes a series of raised dots in the top left-hand corner to help visually-impaired users to identify the denomination of the note.

The foil image over the see-through window is Winchester Cathedral, where Austen was buried in 1817.

Its introduction followed the new £5 note, which went into circulation in September 2016, and caused controversy because of traces of tallow, a product derived from animal fats, contained in the notes (it's also in the tenner).

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