On the 19th July 1817, Jane Austen died at an unfortunate age of 41. 200 years later, the new £10 note commemorates her by featuring her portrait along with Queen Elizabeth II on the other side.
Some interesting facts about the new £10 note are that it is 15% smaller than current paper £10 notes whilst also being the first British banknote to feature raised dots for the partially sighted and blind people. The public also will take into account that it is cleaner, safer and stronger being un-rippable and waterproof, which means it’s harder to lose money!
But how are they printed?
As the new UK £10 note enters circulation, we thought we should take a look at how these notes are made.
This new banknote, much like the new £5 note that was released into circulation previously, is made from polymer. Polymer is a type of transparent plastic film, and it has many benefits over the old kind of bank notes. For a start, these notes are much harder to rip or tear. They’re more durable all round, and they are also a lot harder to counterfeit. This is one of the main reasons why they’re so appealing. On top of all that, they’re able to stay cleaner for longer.
The type of polymer used to create the new £10 notes is known as BOPP, which is a non-porous polymer. The process begins when the BOPP is opacified. White opaque ink is applied to each side of the note. During this part of the process, the ink is added twice to each side of the note. There will be an area that is left clear, and this helps to maintain security and make counterfeiting more difficult. That, of course, is a big priority for the Bank of England.
Flatsheet printing presses are used to print the notes themselves. But before that can happen, we have to go through the sheeting process. What’s known as polymer substrate roll has to be cut into shape to make it possible to use the printing presses in the next stage of this process. The sheets have to be a certain size to fit the requirements of these printing presses correctly. Specific cutting machines are used to make the sheets the right size.
When the sheets are of the correct size, the physical printing of these new notes can begin. There are three types of printing processes used to print these new notes. The first of them is called offset litho. This is when ink is transferred to the notes via an offset roller, which puts the basic pattern of the notes in place. Intaglio printing is then used to put the portrait of Her Majesty the Queen on one side of each note. Finally, letters and digits, including each note’s serial number, are printed using the letterpress process.
The final stage of the process is the overcoating stage. This is when a varnish is used to cover both sides of the notes. This keeps them stronger for longer and protects them as they enter circulation. It’s a fast and simple process, but it’s one of the utmost importance to the lifespan of the banknote. Considering the move to these new notes is about added durability among other things, it’s important for them to remain usable for as long as possible.
As a result of all the steps outlined above, this new £10 will be stronger, more resilient and more secure than £10 notes of the best.
Whilst we don’t print money at Far’n’Beyond we can help save through selecting the most appropriate method of production for your order.