1988 $10 Note Bicentennial 1st Issue
This is one of just 500,000 of this type released in January 1988.
Australia's commemorative $10 note was first issued into circulation on January 27th, 1988.
The First Production Run
There were several production difficulties encountered in the months leading up to the release date: initial indications were that the ink was not fully adhering to the polymer substrate, while the integrity of the Optically Variable Device (OVD) suffered after the notes had been in circulation for a time1. These problems may well have been exacerbated by the RBA's determination not to miss the Australia Day launch deadline.
No sooner had the Bicentennial $10 notes entered circulation than news spread along the grapevine that the OVD could be fairly easily damaged (if not removed completely) by scraping it with a coin. Alarmed by the rather widespread extent of the public's somewhat impudent and daring interference with the OVD, the RBA quickly stopped issuing the commemorative $10. For most of 1988, when members of the general public deposited the commemorative notes with commercial banks, they were not re-issued and were thus presumably returned to the RBA and then destroyed.
The only notes that were released to the general public on Australia Day are those from the production run known to collectors as the “AB First Series” - the serials began with the letters AB and had either 93, 94 or 96 as their 3rd and 4th digits.
The quantity of the Bicentennial commemorative notes issued in January 1988 was estimated by the numismatic trade at the time as being around 500,000 notes. This figure was kept relatively low due to industrial action at Note Printing Australia (NPA), specifically “...a manning dispute involving a coating machine stopped production of the note at Craigieburn. This set the program back slightly...”
This particular note remains in superb, original condition - no flicks, folds or bends are evident anywhere.
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