Almost 50 years ago, the ten bob note was in every wallet, purse and pocket in Britain. The 10 Shilling banknote would have been recognisable to every schoolchild in Britain, a fact that certainly isn’t the case today!
Worth the equivalent of 50p, back then it would have bought you 6 pints of beer, 10 loaves of bread, or 17 pints of milk. It’s hard to imagine a 50p going so far these days!
The 10 Shilling banknote was the smallest denomination note ever issued by the Bank of England. The denomination was first issued as a banknote by the Treasury during the First World War as an emergency currency and was then issued as a generally circulating note by the Bank of England from 1928.
However, in 1966 when the decision was made to convert Britain’s coinage to a decimal currency it sadly meant saying goodbye to the well-loved 10 Shilling Note.
Under this new system, there was no place for the 10 bob note. It was decided that the new decimal replacement should be issued as a coin, the main reason being that notes had an average lifetime of about five months so it was inefficient to keep replacing a note with such a low denomination.
As a result, the first ever 7-sided coins was introduced in 1969 – the now instantly recognisable 50p coin. The two currencies co-existed for around a year, but finally, on 22nd November 1970, the old 10 bob note ceased to be legal tender.
Almost 50 years on, the 50p is now a staple of British culture and one of the most collectable coins internationally. The 10 bob note stands as an important reminder of the pre-decimal coinage our generation grew up with and also of one of the most significant moments in the history of British currency – decimalisation.
If you’re interested…
Today you have the opportunity to own a FINE SILVER reproduction of the 10 Shilling Banknote for JUST £45. But with limited stock available, you will need to act quickly to secure this perfect piece of nostalgia…
Today the UK’s new Polymer £10 Note will enter circulation. Just like the polymer £5 back last year, the new Polymer £10 Note is sure to create excitement across the UK as people get their hands on the new note for the first time, so here’s everything you need to know:
The new polymer banknote, which is 15% smaller than the current £10, features a portrait image of Jane Austen (commissioned by her nephew James Edward Austen Leigh in 1870), alongside the famous quotation from her novel Pride and Prejudice: ‘I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!”
It also incorporates enhanced security features, here are the ones to look out for:
If you’re interested…
Just 5,000 new UK Polymer £10 Notes have been reserved for a Limited Edition DateStamp™ issue.
First issues are always valued by collectors and by owning the Limited Edition DateStamp™ release you will be one of just 5,000 collectors able to forever mark the date the new £10 polymer banknote entered circulation.
On 13 September, the Bank of England will issue a new £5. It will be the first-ever polymer (or “plastic”) banknote that they have issued.
But is it the UK’s first?
Well it is certainly not the first polymer banknote issued in the UK.
Last year Clydesdale Bank issued Scotland’s first polymer banknote to mark the 125th Anniversary of the Forth Roadbridge.
But it was Northern Ireland that beat everyone else to it with a commemorative polymer banknote in 1999 issued to mark the millennium.
So the new Bank of England £5 note is certainly not the first polymer note to be issued IN the UK but perhaps it is still the first UK-wide polymer banknote…
The murky question of legal tender
So this might surprise you. No Scottish or Northern Irish banknotes are legal tender.
Bank of England banknotes are – but only in England and Wales.
But don’t panic – if you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland – your money’s not worthless! Legal tender does not mean quite what you think. It has a very narrow technical definition which relates to your ability to pay a debt into a court.
In fact all Scottish and Northern Irish notes are considered “legal currency” across the whole of the UK. But that does not mean that they have to be accepted and it’s not unusual for English or Welsh shop owners to be reluctant to accept non-Bank of England notes.
So where does this all leave us?
The Northern Irish and Scottish polymer banknotes clearly beat the new fiver. But they were special commemorative issues with limited circulation and little recognition outside of their issuing nation.
The new polymer £5 note is certainly the first “legal tender” note issued in the UK but that’s not as important as it first seems.
It is, however, the first polymer banknote issued for ongoing circulation (rather than as a commemorative issue) which is generally accepted across the whole of the United Kingdom.
Mark the moment the UK £5 banknote changed forever…
Just 5,000 new UK Polymer £5 Notes have been reserved for a Limited Edition DateStamp™ release.
This is the VERY FIRST time that a DateStamp™ banknote has been released.