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Viral TikTok explains 'code' on Aussie bank notes

Those numbers: explained. Images: Getty, The History of Money.

Ever wondered what those serial numbers on Australian banknotes mean? 

TikTok account The History of Money spilled the beans over the long weekend, explaining the serial numbers show the year the notes were made. 

The first two letters of the sequence show the sheet it was printed on while the two digits following it show the year it was made. 

That means you can tell which year it was made in, and how early it was made. For example, a sheet with AA20 on it would indicate the note was printed in 2020 on the first sheet of notes. 

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has been using this system since 1993, it confirmed on its website. 

“Not all denominations of Australian banknotes are produced every year. Instead, they are printed based on demand for new banknotes to replace those no longer fit for circulation,” the RBA added. 

The money-printing process 

Australia’s notes are made by Note Printing Australia Limited at Craigieburn, Victoria. The location, around 25km north of Melbourne is a reinforced concrete structure surrounded by high-security perimeter fencing. An armed guard force patrols it at all hours, with the building also protected by electronic security and surveillance devices. 

Inside, the notes are made from plastic pellets which are then melted and blown into a three-storey bubble, the bank explains. 

“The walls of the bubble are pressed together and cooled to form laminated polymer film. Special inks are applied to make the film opaque, except for certain areas which are left free of ink to create the clear windows, before it is cut into sheets,” it said. 

Not the first Australian money theory 

While The History of Money confirmed the use of serial numbers, another theory was circulating in Mary around what Australia’s banknotes meant. 

Image: Facebook

A group of conspiracy theorists said they had found “proof” that coronavirus was a hoax in the Australian $10 note. 

“The new $10 Australian note complete with coronavirus symbols. You can’t make this up! #areyouawakeyet,” the post said. 

They claimed the design on the note depicted coronavirus, and was part of “billionaires’” plan to use coronavirus to control people with a vaccine. 

The theory was soundly debunked with the RBA explaining the design represents wattle.

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