Australian ten-dollar note

Ten Dollars (Australia)
Value: 10 Australian dollars
Width: 137 mm
Height: 65 mm
Security Features: Window, Watermark
Paper Type: Polymer
Years of Printing: 1993-94, 1996-98, 2002-03, 2006-2008 [1]
Design: Andrew Barton (Banjo) Paterson
Designer: Max Robinson
Design Date: 1 November 1993
Design: Mary Gilmore
Designer: Max Robinson
Design Date: 1 November 1993

The Australian ten dollar banknote was issued when the currency was changed from the Australian pound to the Australian dollar on 14 February 1966; it replaced the £5 note which had the same blue colouration. There have been three different issues of this denomination, a paper banknote, a commemorative 1988 polymer note to celebrate the bicentennial of Australian settlement (the first polymer banknote of its kind), and from 1993 a polymer banknote.

According to Reserve Bank of Australia statistics, in 2006/2007 there were 89.4 million $10 notes in circulation, with a net value of $894 million. This was 2.2% of the cash value of all notes in circulation, and 9.9% of the number of all notes in circulation.[2]

Since the start of issue of $10 notes, there have been eleven signature combinations, of which the 1967 issue is the most valued. It was issued for one year only, along with the Coombs/Wilson issue of 1966.



From 1966-1974 the main title identifying the country was Commonwealth of Australia; there were 470,000,000 notes issued in this period. This was subsequently changed to Australia until the end of issue of paper currency for this denomination in 1993, with 1,265,959,091 of these notes being printed. In the 1988 polymer issue 17,500,000 banknotes were printed.


Paper note
The people depicted on the paper note issue were Francis Greenway on the obverse along with public building he helped construct, and Henry Lawson on the reverse with his poetry and scenes of the outback gold mining town of Gulgong in the 19th century including the Times Bakery.[3]
Polymer note

The polymer note features Andrew Barton (Banjo) Paterson on the obverse with a horse from the Snowy Mountains region, and a wattle plant, also included is his signature. His poetry is in the background. Dame Mary Gilmore is on the reverse with 19th century heavy transport with horse and cart and verses from her poetry. Her signature is included. A windmill is in the clear window with the raised wavy lines.

1988 Commemorative note
1988 commemorative polymer note - obverse
1988 commemorative polymer note - reverse
Obverse design included the sailing ship HMS Supply anchored at Sydney Cove with the early colony in the background. Above are people who symbolise all who have contributed to Australia, from left the early settlers 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 Morning Star Pole, other Aboriginal artworks commissioned by the Bank and a human like figure from Dream time.[4]

Security features

Microprinting on a $10 note.

The paper design included a watermark in the white field of Captain James Cook, the watermark was also used in the last issue of pound banknotes. A metallic strip, first near the centre of the note, then from 1976 moved to the left side on the obverse of the note. Polymer issue includes a watermark or clear imprint of the coat of arms which is printed over. A raised image in the clear panel of wavy lines. Also for this issue fluorescent colouring was added to the serial numbers. A star with four points on the obverse and three on the reverse which join under light. Raised print and micro printing of the denomination name are included.[5]

1988 Commemorative This issue includes a optically variable device of Captain James Cook, who first mapped Botany Bay.


  • Ian W. Pitt, ed (2000). Renniks Australian Coin and Banknote Values (19th ed. ed.). Chippendale, NSW: Renniks Publications. pp. 170–172. ISBN 0-9585574-4-6. 

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