The new plastic £10 note has been officially unveiled – but you'll have to wait till September to get your hands on one.

The note, featuring Jane Austen, was today unveiled by Bank of England governor Mark Carney at Winchester Cathedral where the author is buried.

Austen will replace scientist Charles Darwin, who currently graces the paper £10 notes. The Queen will keep her usual spot on the other side of the note.

The new notes will be made from the same polymer plastic as the fivers launched last autumn. They're expected to last about five years (or at least two-and-a-half times) longer than paper tenners.

Like the 'new' fivers, the tenners also have security features that make them harder to counterfeit than paper.

A new feature on the Jane Austen note will be a series of raised dots in the top left hand corner to help those with a visual impairment. The plastic £20 note, due in 2020, will have a similar feature.

As part of the launch which marked 200 years since the author's death, the Royal Mint has also released a limited number of £2 Jane Austen coins in Winchester and Basingstoke.

New £10 note unveiled this week – here's a sneak peek
The new notes feature Jane Austen, author of novels including Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility

When will I be able to get my hands on the new note?

The plastic tenners won't actually go into circulation until 14 September, and the Bank of England has said you'll be able to pop one in your pocket in the days and weeks after that.

MoneySavers in Scotland will also see new polymer tenners spitting out of cash machines from the autumn.

The paper tenners we have at the moment can continue to be used for a while yet, as they won't be withdrawn until Spring 2018.

The Bank of England has said that it will announce the date that paper £10 notes stop being 'legal tender' (i.e. when shopkeepers and business stop having to accept them) at least three months before it happens.

What about the other notes?

  • £5 – The old paper £5 notes were withdrawn from circulation on 5 May this year. If you still have any, it's possible your bank will swap them for you. If not they can be exchanged with the Bank of England in London by post or in person.
  • £20 – A new plastic £20 note, featuring the painter JMW Turner, will be introduced in 2020.
  • £50 – There are no plans for a new plastic £50 note, as the ones we use at the moment were only brought into circulation in 2011.

What about the £1 coin?

The new 12-sided £1 coin entered circulation in March this year, and the old one will be withdrawn on 15 October this year.

A few banks have said they will continue to accept the old ones after this date, but it's worth checking your piggybank or coin jar now to avoid a faff.

See our If you've a piggybank or coin jar, watch out – your £1 coins will soon be unspendable blog for more information.