The new £10 note featuring the face of Jane Austen has entered circulation today (Thursday).

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More than one billion of the new banknotes featuring the famous author have been printed and will be sent out around the country over the coming weeks to enter general circulation.

It is the second currency in England to be printed on polymer plastic, a material that will last 2.5 times longer than paper, following the launch of a new five pound note last year.

Austen will replace Charles Darwin on the £10, joining Adam Smith, Winston Churchill and Boulton and Watt in a cast of historic figures that the Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, said helps currency “serve as a collective memory for a country”.

The Queen will be presented with the first new tenner – with serial number AA01 000001. Prince Philip will be given the second and Theresa May the third.

While the new note will be in circulation from today, the old £10 won’t disappear until Spring 2018. Until then, it won’t be a problem to continue using the old paper notes while the Bank of England gradually removes them.