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1993 $10 Note Printing Error - Upside Down Fraser/Evans R316 good VF

1993 $10 Note Printing Error - Upside Down Fraser/Evans R316 good VF

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A truly remarkable printing error, one of just 8 known in polymer.

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1993 $10 Note With Multiple Printing Errors

10mm Simultan Registration Shift and

Upside Down Intaglio and Serial Numbers

Fraser/Evans R316 good VF

A truly remarkable printing error, one of just 8 known in polymer.

Take a look through eBay these days and you’ll see any number of polymer “error” notes. Unfortunately for the punters that pay good money for them, the appearance of the vast majority of those notes isn’t a result of an error at Note Printing Australia, but has been brought about by the people selling them.

These criminal vendors will use acetone or a similar solvent to remove one or more print phases from a section or a side of a note. I’ve noticed they have recently started writing some type of reference number on the blank sides in texta, in an effort to give the notes greater credibility.

So it was with some initial suspicion that I viewed this note when it came into our office. I viewed the back of the note first, and the first thing that caught my eye was the fact that the signatures were out of alignment. Another type of criminal error is where an uncut sheet of notes is cut out of alignment, the result being a series of notes that look to have been printed in error.

Checking the characteristics of this note clearly shows that it is in fact a genuine printing error, the result of an upside-down sheet heading into the second and third print phases.

The main print phases used by NPA in preparing polymer notes for circulation are:

1. Simultan - the background colours are applied to both sides of the blank substrate at the same time;

2. Intaglio - Major design elements are printed into the surface of each note using ink under pressure applied via engraved printing plates.

3. Serial numbers - these are added before a protective coating is applied to the finished notes.

Analysis of the Front of the Note1993 $10 Polymer Note - Front

If this note is held in the same way a normal note is held, that is with the windmill OVD upright on the left hand side, we can see that the simultan phase was correctly applied - there is space for the portrait of Dame Nellie Melba on the right hand side.

Looking at the bottom edge of the front of the note, it’s obvious that the blank section that should be flush against the bottom edge is 10mm higher than it should be, indicating that the sheet slipped during the simultan phase. (Print error #1)

The front of the note instead shows Nellie Melba (and the rest of the intaglio design) upside down. (Print error #2) Although the “0” in “10” has been printed across the OVD window, it remains intact.

The inclusion of the serial numbers upside down on the front of the note confirms that the upside down sheet sailed through the third phase of the printing process undetected.

Analysis of the Back of the Note1993 $10 Polymer Note - Back

Looking at the back of the note, we can see the blank space allocated for the peak of Paterson’s hat remains clear, which confirms that the simultan inks were added to both sides of the note at the same time, and so are affected by the same registration shift.

The vertical alignment of the signatures corresponds with what we’d expect from a registration shift of 9mm - 10mm during the simultan process. An examination of the inks used on them confirms they are not printed as part of the intaglio phase.

The blank spaces left in the simultan phase to allow for accentuation of the drover and the “colt from Old Regret” appear in the correct locations, albeit out of alignment.

The intaglio design of Paterson; the drover and the horses and the denominations are all clearly upside down. This indicates that the error with the sheet being turned upside down occurred after the simultan phase, and before the first intaglio phase.

Upside down errors such as this are incredibly rare in the polymer note series - just one Bicentennial note and eight other First Generation $10 notes (all dated 1993 and with Fraser Evans signatures) have been recorded with this error.

There are no public records yet of upside down errors appearing on any other denominations.

It seems this error happened to two $10 sheets in 1993 - 6 notes are known from one sheet, this is the second of two known from the other sheet.

From a quality perspective, we grade the note good Very Fine.

It has 3 crisp vertical folds, as well as 1 haphazard horizontal fold. Due to the rather enthusiastic manner in which the previous owner folded the note, there is some very minor loss of ink on very small sections of the creases - these are only visible when the note is held up in front of a strong, direct light.

Despite those comments, this note remains a solid example of what is an incredibly rare printing error.