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1988 R310b $10 Bundle 1988 Bicentennial 2nd issue Johnston/Fraser Uncirculated

1988 R310b $10 Bundle 1988 Bicentennial 2nd issue Johnston/Fraser Uncirculated

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An original bundle of the world's first circulating polymer note.

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1988 R310b $10 Bundle 1988 Bicentennial 2nd issue Johnston/Fraser UNC

This is just the fourth bundle of Bicentennial $10 notes we've seen in the past decade.

No sooner had the Bicentennial $10 notes entered circulation in January 1988 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.

The Bicentennial $10 note was only released into circulation again after the printing process had been completely overhauled, on October 24th, 1988.

The prime difference between notes from the second production run, and those released from January 26th is in the varnish applied to the notes after they had been printed.

Notes from the “AB First Series” have a thin and smooth varnish, whereas notes from the “AB Second Series” have a thick and mottled varnish. Notes with either 93, 94 or 96 as their 3rd and 4th digits in their serial numbers were excluded from the second production run.

As you can see from the images, this bundle of Bicentennial notes is from the second print run, and has the thick varnish, with an unimpaired OVD.

It is an important bundle, affordable and well worth setting aside.