The Changing Currency Of The UK

Changing currency in the UK

The currency of the United Kingdom has undergone a rapid change over the past year and a half. The new additions of the polymer £5 and £10 notes as well as the inclusion of the 12 sided £1 coin are all attempts to reduce counterfeiting by producing safer currency.

Here on the OPInfo Blog we have written articles about both the introduction of the new 12 sided £1 coin in March 2017 as well as the new polymer fiver which was introduced in September 2016. On Thursday 14 September the new £10 polymer note was introduced into circulation, featuring the esteemed novelist Jane Austen.

An Inclusive Bank Note

This new note holds the distinction of being the very first UK banknote to feature a tactile feature, designed to support blind and partially sighted users. These £10 notes have been printed on polymer, so they are not only safer and stronger but also cleaner.  They are also expected to last longer than traditional paper £10 notes, up to 2.5 times longer (around 5 years).

The old paper £10 notes will be withdrawn from circulation gradually but will retain their legal tender status until they are withdrawn in spring 2018. An exact withdrawal date has not been specified but according to the Bank of England, this will be announced at least three months in advance.

Despite only being released in mid-September, there are £10 notes that are already valuable. Each banknote in the UK has a unique serial number, and for the new notes the lower the serial number then the more valuable the bank note is.

There are also special numbers that are likely to become sought after collector’s items. According to Change Checker, it is expected that some of the more popular numbers will be JA01, JA75 which is the birth year of Jane Austen as well as the death year of Jane Austen, JA17. Unfortunately for anyone looking to collect these, it is expected to take years for these to appear.

Some other numbers that Change Checker thinks may be popular are 16 121775 and 18 071817, the date of birth and date of death. Alternatively, for any lovers of Pride and Prejudice, 28 011813 may prove popular due to this being the date the novel was published.

Spend Your Round Pounds!

The 12 sided £1 coin has been in circulation for a few months now, and on October 15 these coins will officially lose their legal tender status. This means that you will only be able to use the 12 sided coins and retailers will refuse the old ’round pound’, so it is important that you make sure that you use these coins now.

There is a chance however that the deadline may be extended – because retailers keep returning the new pound coins by accident! An article on the BBC News states that only around half of the £1 that have been returned are the new style, which will be put back into circulation.

As such, businesses need to be careful to ensure that they are only returning old ’round pounds’. Any new 12 sided coins can be given back out to customers, but there should be an effort to ensure that employees prioritise giving out the newer coins over the older coins.

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Sarah Jubb
Sarah Jubb

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