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1988 Australia Ten Dollars Bicentennial AB23 50


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SKU: AB23505959-MM5 Category:

One small flaw but otherwise a perfect 1988 Bicentennial Ten Dollar banknote from Australia.

The one dog ear is its only downfall but it remains a highly collectible example.

The second series of these notes were printed after original manufacturing flaws had been addressed.

The banknote is in all other respects Uncirculated so a great purchase here.

The hologram is unscathed and the overall appeal is strong.

Please see the pictures.





Serial No.

Renniks No.

Approx. Grade


The world’s very first polymer banknote. Released in 1988 to celebrate the Bicentennary of Australia.  This note had an extremely special features built into it as security against forgery being a hologram of Captain James Cook..  It was a world first and makes these notes highly desirable as collectors’ items. Collectors value numerous variations of this note due to initial production problems.

 There were 3 releases of this note due to initial technical difficulties with the production techniques.

The first release AB10 – AB33 (with the first 2 digits of the serial number being either 93, 94 or 96) The note had a thin varnish over the hologram which proved to wear out very quickly. When the problem was identified the printing ceased.

The second release AB10-AB57 (followed by regular serial numbers) used the same prefixes as the first release but did not employ the 93,94,96 sequence after it.  When printing resumed on this second run they applied a darker heavier varnish to the note which proved to work a great deal better.

The third release AA00-AA23 were released to the general public in blue colored Bicentennial Commemorative $10 Note Folder. These are the most common on the market given that more people kept them as momentoes and they did not suffer from the initial printing process errors of the previous two issues.


This design included the sailing ship HMS Supply anchored at Sydney Cove with a depiction of the early colonials in the background. These people symbolize all those who have contributed to Australia. From the left we see the early settlers and to right the modern working man.


Reverse includes portraits of the native population, the main picture is a young native youth with ceremonial paint, and in the background is a traditional Aboriginal Morning Star Pole also appearing are other Aboriginal artworks also commissioned by the RBA and a human-like figure from the Dream Tme.


1988 Commemorative note was the first to employ the optically variable device of Captain James Cook who first mapped Botany Bay.


Polymer substrate as used in this banknote manufacturing process:

Guardian is the trademark name of a polymer manufactured by Innovia Films Ltd. Its production involves gravity feeding a molten polymer, composed of extruded polypropylene and other polyolefins, through a four-storey chamber. This creates sheets of the substrate used as the base material by many central banks in the printing of polymer banknotes.

Polypropylene is processed to create pellets. These pellets are extruded from a core extruder in conjunction with polyolefin pellets from two “skin layer” extruders, and are combined into a molten polymer. This consists of a 37.5µm thick polypropylene sheet sandwiched between two 0.1 µm polyolefin sheets, creating a thin film 37.7 µm thick.

The molten polymer undergoes snap cooling as it passes by gravity feeding through a brass mandrel, which imparts on the thin film many properties, including its transparency. The cast tube material is then reheated and blown into a large bubble using air pressure and temperature. At the base of the four-storey chamber convergence rollers collapse the tube into a flat sheet consisting of two layers of the thin film. This creates the base biaxially-oriented polypropylene substrate of 75.4 µm thickness, called ClarityC by Innovia Films.

The base substrate is slit as it exits the convergence rollers. Four 3 µm thick layers of (usually white) opacifier are applied to the substrate, two on the upper surface and two on the lower surface. A mask prevents the deposition of the opacifier on parts of the substrate that are intended to remain transparent. These overcoat layers protect the substrate from soiling and impart on it its characteristic texture, and increase the overall thickness to 87.5 µm. The resulting product is the Guardian substrate.

The opacifier conversion phase involves the use of resin and solvents, creating volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as by-products that are combusted in a thermal oxidizer. The resulting polymer substrate then passes through a rotary printing press using chrome-plated copper cylinders. After printing, the holographic security foil is incorporated into the base substrate. This is then cut into sheets and transported to the banknote printing companies in wooden boxes as a secure shipment.

*All biographical details are taken from Wikipedia for education purposes only.

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