New face on latest ten pound note issue

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The Independent Online

A new £10 note with extra anti-forgery measures is due to come into circulation today which sees Charles Dickens' familiar face replaced with that of naturalist Charles Darwin.

A new £10 note with extra anti-forgery measures is due to come into circulation today which sees Charles Dickens' familiar face replaced with that of naturalist Charles Darwin.

Supplies of the new notes have already been issued by the Bank of England to banks and building societies across Britain with more than £4 billion already printed.

In common with the new £20, issued last year, the new £10 note carries special features to deter forgers. As well as traditional features, such as the metallic thread and watermark, it includes three new anti-copy devices which the Bank of England says will help it fight fraud.

The front of the new note, which still carries the face of the Queen, includes a foil hologram displaying a brightly-coloured image of Britannia or the number 10, an invisible figure 10 which only shows up under ultraviolet light and tiny micro lettering which can only be read with a magnifying glass. Also making its debut is a larger £10 denomination header in bright red.

The portrait of Darwin on the reverse side features objects chosen to conjure up his life and work. They include an image of HMS Beagle, a hummingbird, flowers and Darwin's lever compressor lens.

Bank of England officials revealed the "Dickens £10" will remain legal tender for some time after it is no longer actively circulated with many expected to soon disappear from circulation as notes are recycled every 18 months to two years.

Merlyn Lowther, the Bank's chief cashier, whose signature appears on the notes, said: "We have carried on to this new note the enhancements which were introduced with the new £20 last year, and which have been very successful.

"Anti-counterfeiting and cost effectiveness are the two key objectives of our banknote research work.

"Where appropriate we incorporate advances in these areas into our ongoing programme of banknote design."

Mr Lowther said that at the end of February there were about 568 million £10 notes in circulation, 209 million £5 notes, 659 million £20 notes and 84 million £50 notes.

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