The old £10 note is soon to go the way of the old pound coin

If you still have any old £10 notes, make sure you spend them before 1 March next year.

The Bank of England has announced that the old paper notes, featuring naturalist Charles Darwin, will no longer be legal tender after that date.

Its days have been numbered since the new polymer tenner, depicting author Jane Austen, entered circulation in September.

But the old note can still be exchanged by the Bank after the cut-off date.

Threadneedle Street says polymer, also now used for the £5 note featuring Winston Churchill, is more durable and cleaner than paper notes.

Security features of Jane Austen £10 note:

    It has persevered with the material despite complaints from religious and vegan groups that the animal fat tallow is used in the production process.

    Following consultation, the Bank said in August that it would continue with the use of tallow in future banknotes – saying it “has not taken this decision lightly”.

    The Bank assessed whether palm oil or coconut oil should be used instead, but concluded that this might not be able to be sourced sustainably. Changing production would also involve considerable extra costs to taxpayers.

    The old £10 notes have been in circulation since November 2000, but lost out to the new ones on grounds of security as well as durability.

    The Jane Austen notes have a number of features built in that make them particularly hard to forge.

    They also have an inscription in raised dots that helps blind and partially-sighted users to identify them.

    The end of the old paper tenner follows the official withdrawal last month of the old round £1 coin, which has now been wholly replaced by the new 12-sided version.

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