The Old £10 Note: What You Need To Know

The Old £10 note will soon cease to be legal tender and the only place you will be able to exchange them will be your local bank. Below is everything you need to know about the end of the old £10 note.

In the past few years paper bank notes have gone through some very controversial and innovative change to improve not only the look but also security of bank notes. And with only a short time left to use your ‘Darwin £10 Notes’ we thought we would take a look back at the journey of the £10 note.

History of the Old £10 Note

London Mint Office Blog Note 1
Image Credit: The Bank of England

First issued back in 1759 by The Bank of England, the note was a result of gold shortages because of the Seven Years’ War. The earlier notes were actually handwritten and issued by individuals who required them. During 1931 Britain’s could no longer exchange bank notes for gold, as Britain ceased using gold standard and so the £10 note was no longer produced.

London Mint Office Blog Note 2
Series C: Image Credit: The Bank of England

In 1964 the £10 note was reintroduced, designed by Reynolds Stone and was the first note to feature a monarch on – Queen Elizabeth II. The note was brown and also had a reverse unlike the previous white notes, and the reverse had a lion on. This note was last issued in 1975 as the new D Series note was released.

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Series D: Image Credit: The Bank of England

Designed by Harry Eccleston the new D series note was issued featuring a new portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the front and Florence Nightingale on the reverse. Notes after 1987 were issued containing a new security feature which was a windowed security thread as part of the Bank of England’s efforts to stop counterfeiting.

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Series E: Image Credit: The Bank of England

Designed by Roger Withington and issued in 1992 featuring a newer portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the front and well known author Charles Dickens on the reverse.

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Series E (Variant): Image Credit: The Bank of England

The well-known E series got a slight update in 2000, by the same designer, Roger Withington. The newer E series note still featured Queen Elizabeth II on the front, but the reverse featured Charles Darwin. This well-known note that has been in circulation for nearly 18 years and will cease to be legal tender on March 1st 2018.


Introduction of New £10 Note

Issued on September 14th, the new polymer £10 note is a modern reinvention of the paper note, with a wide range of security features. Click on the below video to learn more.


So what does this mean for your old £10 notes?

From midnight on March 1st you will no longer be able to use your old £10 notes in the shops. The Bank of England has issued the following poster to make sure everyone is aware of what to do with their old £10 note:


So do not forget to look down the back of the sofa and in your cookie jar for any of those old notes before it is too late. – But don’t worry, you can still take them to your bank who will happily exchange them for you.


By Scott Wilson

The London Mint Office Social Media Manager

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