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20th Anniversary of Polymer Plastic Bank Notes!
January 29, 2008

While reading the E-Sylum, the electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society, I was reminded that this week is the 20th Anniversary of the introduction of the first polymer plastic bank note. Actually January 26, 1998 was the date.

The honor went to Australia, and it was a circulating commemorative to honor the 200th anniversary of British settlement.

The note features Captian Cook in a hologram set in a clear area at the top left, the ship, Supply, and a group of colonists. The Back of the note features an aboriginal youth, rock painting and a ceremonial Morning Star pole. The dominate colors are brown and green on a multicolor underprint.

It is listed as #49 in the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, Modern Issues.

With the success this commemorative note, the Reserve Bank replaced all circulating paper money (denominations from $5 thru $100) between 1992 and 1996.


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About the Author
George Cuhaj has been with the Krause Publications numismatic team since 1994. He is editor of the various editions of the Standard Catalog of World Coins and the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money. Prior to joining KP, Cuhaj was employed by the American Numismatic Society and Stack's Rare Coins, both of New York City. He is a Fellow in both the Royal Numismatic Society and the American Numismatic Society. He also is a life member and past board member of the International Bank Note Society. Cuhaj was elected an Allied Professional Member of the National Sculpture Society and has had his medallic work exhibited internationally.

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