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1988 Ten Dollars Bicentennial Issue x 2 – AB20 93

$150.00 AUD

Availability: 1 in stock

SKU: AB20937256x2-38C Categories: ,

The world’s very first polymer banknote. Released in 1988 to celebrate the Bicentennary of Australia.

This note from the very first series of the 1998 $10 banknotes.

The bottom of the two notes has been miscut which was an early problem encountered in processing the very slippery polymer note sheets.

You can see the thin line of selvidge along the underside making this pair even more highly collectible.

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.





Serial No.

Renniks No.

Approx. Grade


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 coloured 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 symbolise 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 optically variable device of Captain James Cook who first mapped Botany Bay.

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


In an important and beautiful “Morning Star Ceremony”, the earthly Yolngu people communicate with their ancient ancestors living on Baralku, or island of the dead, with the help of Banumbirr together with a “Morning Star Pole”.

This ceremony takes place at dusk and then continues throughout the night, finally reaching a climax when Banumbirr rises a few hours before dawn. Banumbirr is said to trail a faint rope behind her along which the Yolngu messages are sent, and this rope prevents her from ever moving away from the Sun. The faint line in the sky is probably caused by zodiacal light, which is caused by clouds of extraterrestrial dust trapped in the plane of the solar system.

Often it is difficult to see for the majority us due to polluted skies however it is easily visible in the clear dark skies and low latitude of Arnhem Land.

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