$10 Plastic Note

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1988 Polymer Bicentenary $10 Banknote

Plastic Issue
r310a 1988 Johnston/Fraser Ten Ten Dollar Banknotesr310a 1988 Johnston/Fraser Ten Dollar Banknotes
ObverseThe ship “Supply” in Sydney Cove
ReverseAboriginal youth with the Morning Star Pole
SignatoriesR. A. Johnston, Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia
B. W. Fraser, Secretary to the Treasury
Size155mm [width], 77.50mm [height]
CompositionPolymer
WatermarkPolymer banknotes saw the end of the watermark, which was replaced with a Variable Optical Security Device (hologram) of Captain Cook
Serial NumbersIntroduction of the Two letter & Two number Prefix
AB10 – AB33

Notes : This note was the first circulation issue Australian polymer banknote. The first printing had a thin, smooth varnish over the hologram which rapidly rubbed off when used. Printing was stopped when the problem was identified.

All first printing [general circulation] notes have a serial number prefix between AB10 and AB 33 with the first two digits of the number being 93, 94 or 96 [AB 33 965070].

An Elaborate Field Test
Much was riding on the $10 note circulating in a satisfactory manner – over $20 million had been sunk into research and production costs in this technology over two decades, with the intention that Australia would eventually convert it’s entire circulating currency to the new “plastic fantastic” notes, after which the technology would then be exported the world over.

No less than 11 distinct varieties have been identified, the rarest of them has a catalogue value of $38,000. Refer to table at the end of this excellent article for a complete list.

Plastic Issue – Second release
r310b 1988 Johnston/Fraser Ten Ten Dollar Banknotesr310b 1988 Johnston/Fraser Ten Dollar Banknotes
ObverseThe ship “Supply” in Sydney Cove
ReverseAboriginal youth with the Morning Star Pole
SignatoriesR. A. Johnston, Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia
B. W. Fraser, Secretary to the Treasury
Size155mm [width], 77.50mm [height]
CompositionPolymer
WatermarkPolymer banknotes saw the end of the watermark, which was replaced with a Variable Optical Security Device (hologram) of Captain Cook
Serial NumbersIntroduction of the Two letter & Two number Prefix
AB10 – AB57

Notes : This note was the second circulation issue Australian polymer banknote. The first printing had a thin, smooth varnish over the hologram which rapidly rubbed off when used. Printing was stopped when the problem was identified and a second printing was commenced using a thicker, darker varnish. Second printing notes used the same numbers as in the first printing.