1988 Australia Ten Dollars Bicentennial Issue AB23 94


Out of stock

SKU: AB23946318-BB31 Category:


Crisp, clean, unmarked and mint condition. A nice description for an iconic, first series banknote. In fact, first polymer in the world for general circulation.

Given the huge production problems with holograms peeling off, varnish failing and notes slipping during the cutting process it is amazing that this example is in such remarkable condition.

As most of these notes were swiftly recalled and production stopped due to these myriad flaws in the printing process, finding mint UNC examples is not so easy.

Any collection that has a good selection of notes such as this series will have true worth and great returns.

Additional information





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Approx. Grade


The world’s very first polymer banknote. Released in 1988 to celebrate the Bicentennary of Australia.  This note had an extremely special featuresbuilt 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 asmementoes 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 theleft 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 Time.

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


A few notes about terminology:

The word “aborigine” (with a little “a”) means one of the original native inhabitants of any country. The word “Aborigine” (with a capital “A”) is used to describe the indigenous people of Australia. In Australia, many non-Aboriginal people use the terms “Aboriginal” and “Aboriginals” as singular and plural nouns for the people. Aborigines describe themselves using the various words which mean “person” from each of their own different language groups (tribes). A person from the Sydney region might describe themselves as Koorie, from Darwin as Larrakeyah, from northeast Arnhem Land as Yolgnu, and central Australian has Pitjantjatjara, Pintubi etc.

Aborigines have differing views on how their culture should be described. On the one hand, people are proud of their culture and want outsiders to know of it. They have seen the impact of European culture in Australia and the threat this has to their own. Fearing the loss of their knowledge, both secular (non-religious) and sacred, they have imparted much that was once secret, known only to the most senior members of their clans, to explorers, missionaries, pastoralists, interested visitors and anthropologists.

On the other hand, in order to continue their cultural traditions and maintain law and order, they need some of the secrecy of their initiation rites and ceremonies kept. This secrecy makes the process meaningful for future generations.

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