PMG's Featured Note of the Month: Australia 10 Dollars

Posted on 1/23/2024

January 26 is Australia Day, so let's take a look at this 1988 commemorative that marked 200 years since the arrival of the First Fleet.

Australia, Reserve Bank 1988 10 Dollars Commemorative graded PMG 67 Superb Gem Uncirculated EPQ
Click images to enlarge.

Country: Australia

Catalog Number: 49a

Date: 1988

Denomination: 10 Dollars

Varieties: Pick# 49a has a serial number with an AA prefix, while Pick# 49b has an AB prefix. The PMG Population Report also lists uncut sheets of four (49a1), uncut sheets of two (49a2) and uncut sheets of 12 (49a3), as well as Specimens.

What makes it special? The front of the banknote shows the HMS Supply in Sydney Cove, along with the date of January 26, 1988. This is 200 years after the first British landed there to establish a settlement. The anniversary of this date is celebrated as Australia Day, the national day of the country of 26 million people. The back of the note shows an Aboriginal youth and ancient rock paintings.

Did you know? Polymer banknotes were developed in the 1980s, with Haiti, Costa Rica and the Isle of Man experimenting with their use as currency. However, the Australian 1988 10 Dollars is generally regarded as the world's first true polymer note. Within a decade, Australia had switched all its currency to polymer, which is also used today by dozens of other countries.

Total graded by PMG: As of mid-January 2024, the PMG Population Report includes 894 examples of Pick# 49a and 554 examples of Pick# 49b. The Population Report also lists 12 Specimens, five uncut sheets of four, 14 uncut sheets of two and four uncut sheets of 12.

PMG median grade: PMG 66 Gem Uncirculated EPQ

PMG highest graded: The PMG Population Report lists two examples of Pick# 49a and one example of Pick# 49a1 in PMG 69 Superb Gem Uncirculated EPQ.

Sales highlights: A Specimen graded PMG 66 Gem Uncirculated EPQ realized $4,440 at a Heritage Auctions sale in September 2018. An Uncut Sheet of Four graded PMG 67 Superb Gem Uncirculated EPQ realized $384 in the same sale. A Pick# 49a graded PMG 67 Superb Gem Uncirculated EPQ realized $97 in a World Banknote Auctions sale in February 2021.

PMG Registry: This note is part of three categories, including Commonwealth of Australia Reserve Bank, 1973-1984, ND Issues, P42-P49, which is led by Numisnote's Numisnote Australian Decimal 1974-94, which has a Pick# 49a graded PMG 68 Superb Gem Uncirculated EPQ. It is also part of Australia Polymer Issues, 1988-Date, P49-Date, Complete, Including Varieties, which is led by Blitz081283's Australia Reserve Bank Polymer Note Collection, 1988-Date, PMG66, which includes a Pick# 49a and 49b, each in PMG 66 Gem Uncirculated EPQ.

Previous Notes of the Month:

Stay Informed

Want news like this delivered to your inbox once a month? Subscribe to the free PMG eNewsletter today!


You've been subscribed to the PMG eNewsletter.

Unable to subscribe to our eNewsletter. Please try again later.

Articles List