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Complete Set of Standard Australian Paper Decimal Banknotes 1966 - 1996 in Uncirculated quality (ex R402) Caldwell Collection

Complete Set of Standard Australian Paper Decimal Banknotes 1966 - 1996 in Uncirculated quality (ex R402) Caldwell Collection

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Product ID:
P-33096

An intact set from one of the most important collections of Australian notes ever formed.

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$13,500
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Description:

Complete Set of Standard Australian Paper Decimal Banknotes 1966 - 1996

(Excluding the Coombs Randall $20 Note, and all star replacement notes)

Formerly part of the famed Caldwell collection, this intact set of circulating paper decimal notes was an important part of one of the most important collections of Australian notes ever formed.


The quality of each and every note in this set has been checked, each is in impeccable quality.

Between 1966 and 1996, Australia's circulating currency notes were decimal, and they were paper.

Welcomed by the Australian Public

Issued to take over from the Imperial currency note system that had been in place since the early 1800's, Australia's first paper decimal notes were welcomed by the Australian public.

Progressively replaced by polymer notes between 1992 and 1996, they are fondly regarded to this day as symbols of Australia's growing maturity and independence.

The introduction of decimal currency to Australia in 1966 is regarded as being one of the biggest challenges faced by any Australian treasurer.

Not only was the Commonwealth Treasury and the RAM faced with the unprecedented logistical challenge of ensuring that sufficient decimal notes were in circulation right throughout the nation following the changeover from the Imperial system on “C-Day” (February 14th 1966), they also had to ensure that the new decimal notes had the confidence of the Australian public.

There were some grumblings within sections of the community about aspects of the change to decimal currency - some members of the numismatic fraternity felt more could have been done with the designs, while sections of the wider community were incensed by government's initial decision to name the new currency the "Royal".

Despite these misgivings, as predicted by Treasurer Holt, the transition went smoothly. Given the sheer magnitude of the task, this was remarkable.

Minor Changes Made Over the Years

Once settled in circulation throughout the Australian economy, minor changes to the notes were made over the years to increase their longevity; the speed at which they could be counted, and following changes to senior staff at both the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Commonwealth Treasury.

Discerning collectors of Australian paper decimal banknotes have used the following characteristics to have identify many different varieties of note over the years: signatures; serial numbers; font used in the serial numbers; and the position of the metallic thread.

Although it does not (yet) include the Coombs / Randall $20 note (the rarest standard paper decimal note issued into circulation), and although it does not (yet) include any star replacement notes (also incredibly rare and valuable in "mint" condition), this set is a superb representation of Australia's circulating currency between 1966 and 1996.

The video below shows images of each and every note that is included in the collection.

The Renown Caldwell Collection of Australian Banknotes

The Caldwell Collection of Australian banknotes was formed by a Sydney collector over the space of around 40 years, and was auctioned by Noble Numismatics in August 2018. The collection was described by the auctioneer as "the finest single owner collection of Australian banknotes in private hands."

The auctioneer explained that experienced collector was mostly guided in his acquisitions by the Sydney-based dealer in rare banknotes John Pettit - a dealer with a reputation for focusing on the rarest, most historic notes in superior quality.

By the time the auction of the Caldwell Collection was complete, 226 of the 269 lots had sold, for a total of $1,754,943. The collection contained a number of superlative rarities that each fetched many tens of thousands of dollars - the paper decimal notes in this set were considered by their owner to be just as representative of Australia's monetary history as the pre-federation; superscribed and pre-decimal notes that they were stored with.

After reviewing the quality of the notes in the Caldwell Collection, we determined that the R406b $20 note (with the Knight Wheeler signature combination, with Gothic serials and the metallic thread to the side) had a light centre bend, and replaced it with a crisp and original example.

The Caldwell Collection did not contain 3 notes required for a complete set, so Uncirculated examples of each of the following notes have been added to those that were held in the Caldwell Collection:

  1. R76bi $1 note (also with the Knight Wheeler signature combination, with the DBP serial prefix and a serial number lower than 500,000);
  2. R415 $50 note (with the Fraser Higgins signature combination);
  3. R515 $50 note (with the Fraser Higgins signature combination).

When reviewing the Caldwell Collection, we could see that several interesting prefixes were included, either intentionally or unintentionally.

The following first and last prefixes are included in the set:

  1. 1984 $1 Johnston / Stone R78L DPS last prefix;
  2. 1988 $2 Johnston / Fraser R89L LQG last prefix;
  3. 1992 $5 Fraser / Cole QPG last prefix;
  4. 1988 Bicentennial Polymer First Series Last Prefix R310bL AB33; and
  5. 1984 $100 Johnston / Stone R608F ZAA first prefix.

That is several thousand dollars of extra value that most comparable collections simply don't have.

Unequivocally in Impeccable Quality

It almost goes without saying that this particular set of Australian paper decimal banknotes is unequivocally in impeccable quality. Each and every single note has been personally inspected both by the auctioneer and ourselves, all notes have been determined to be in Uncirculated quality.

It is complete in and of itself, however could be added to by the next owner for enhanced value and appeal. Although they are incredibly rare, the Coombs Randall $20 note and the star replacement notes are available in Uncirculated quality, even if not all at once. If those notes were added to this set, it truly would be a remarkable and incredibly rare collection.

The market for these notes remains very active, even though it is more than two decades since the last paper decimal notes were withdrawn from circulation. Collectors in recent years have been paying ever-increasing premiums for paper decimal notes with first and last prefixes, which demonstrates the increasing sophistication that this market is enjoying.

The introduction of the remaining Next Generation polymer banknotes into circulation that will take place over the next few years will ensure that collecting Australian notes will remain topical for some years to come yet.

This is a great set for the collector looking to set aside a superior representation of Australia's currency notes and our economy from the 1960's through to the 1990's.

This is a list of each and every note that is included in the set:


One Dollar




Our Sell

1966

R71

Coombs / Wilson


$65

1968

R72

Coombs / Randall

Key note

$750

1969

R73

Phillips / Randall


$50

1972

R74

Phillips / Wheeler

Commonwealth

$50

1974

R75

Phillips / Wheeler

Australia

$50

1976

R76a

Knight / Wheeler

Centre Thread

$30

1976

R76bi

Knight / Wheeler

DBP Test Note - Single fold paper

$150

1976

R76bii

Knight / Wheeler

DBP Test Note - Double fold paper

$150

1976

R76c

Knight / Wheeler

Side Thread

$20

1979

R77

Knight / Stone


$9

1983

R78

Johnston / Stone


$4

1983

R78L

Johnston / Stone

DPS Last Prefix

$55





$1,383






Two Dollars




Our Sell

1966

R81

Coombs / Wilson


$55

1968

R82

Coombs / Randall


$125

1969

R83

Phillips / Randall


$50

1972

R84

Phillips / Wheeler

Commonwealth

$50

1974

R85

Phillips / Wheeler

Australia

$50

1976

R86a

Knight / Wheeler

Gothic Centre

$125

1976

R86b

Knight / Wheeler

OCR-B Centre

$75

1976

R86c

Knight / Wheeler

OCR-B Side

$30

1979

R87

Knight / Stone


$15

1983

R88

Johnston / Stone


$15

1985

R89

Johnston / Fraser


$8

1985

R89L

Johnston / Fraser

LQG Last Prefix

$55





$653






Five Dollars




Our Sell

1968

R202

Coombs /Randall 


$195

1969

R203

Phillips / Randall


$175

1972

R204

Phillips / Wheeler

Commonwealth

$175

1974

R205

Phillips / Wheeler

Australia

$175

1976

R206a

Knight / Wheeler

Gothic Centre

$60

1976

R206b

Knight / Wheeler

Gothic Side

$60

1976

R206c

Knight / Wheeler

OCR-B Side

$45

1979

R207

Knight / Stone


$30

1983

R208

Johnston / Stone


$30

1985

R209a

Johnston / Fraser

OCR-B

$25

1988

R209b

Johnston / Fraser

Gothic

$40

1989

R212

Fraser / Higgins


$25

1990

R213

Fraser/ Cole


$15

1990

R13L

Fraser/ Cole

QPG Last Prefix

$65





$1,115






Ten Dollars




Our Sell

1966

R301

Coombs / Wilson


$75

1968

R302

Coombs / Randall


$595

1969

R303

Phillips / Randall


$80

1972

R304

Phillips / Wheeler

Commonwealth

$70

1974

R305

Phillips / Wheeler

Australia

$195

1976

R306a

Knight / Wheeler

Gothic Centre

$185

1976

R306b

Knight / Wheeler

Gothic Side

$70

1979

R307a

Knight / Stone

Gothic

$100

1979

R307b

Knight / Stone

OCR-B

$95

1983

R308

Johnston / Stone


$70

1985

R309

Johnston / Fraser


$35

1988

R310aL

Johnston / Fraser

Bicentennial - 1st Release, AB33 Last Prefix

$1,250

1988

R310b

Johnston / Fraser

Bicentennial - 2nd Release

$30

1988

R310c

Johnston / Fraser

Bicentennial - Commemorative Release

$30

1989

R312

Fraser / Higgins


$35

1990

R313

Fraser / Cole


$30





$2,945






Twenty Dollars




Our Sell

1966

R401

Coombs / Wilson


$75

1968

R402

Coombs / Randall



1969

R403

Phillips / Randall


$275

1972

R404

Phillips / Wheeler

Commonwealth

$295

1974

R405

Phillips / Wheeler

Australia

$295

1976

R406a

Knight / Wheeler

Gothic Centre

$250

1976

R406b

Knight / Wheeler

Gothic Side

$425

1979

R407a

Knight / Stone

Gothic

$135

1979

R407b

Knight / Stone

OCR-B

$295

1983

R408

Johnston / Stone


$140

1985

R409a

Johnston / Fraser

OCR-B

$75

1985

R409b

Johnston / Fraser

Gothic

$675

1989

R411

Phillips / Fraser


$85

1989

R412

Fraser / Higgins


$90

1990

R413

Fraser / Cole


$75

1993

R415

Fraser / Evans


$70





$3,255






Fifty Dollars




Our Sell

1974

R505

Phillips / Wheeler


$295

1976

R506a

Knight / Wheeler

Centre Thread

$275

1976

R506b

Knight / Wheeler

Side Thread

$275

1979

R507

Knight / Stone


$225

1983

R508

Johnston / Stone


$240

1985

R509a

Johnston / Fraser

Gothic

$215

1988

R509b

Johnston / Fraser

OCR-B

$495

1989

R511

Phillips / Fraser


$165

1989

R512

Fraser / Higgins


$250

1990

R513

Fraser / Cole


$145

1993

R515

Fraser / Evans


$125





$2,705






One Hundred Dollars




Our Sell

1984

R608

Johnston / Stone


$240

1984

R608F

Johnston / Stone

ZAA First Prefix

$575

1985

R609

Johnston / Fraser


$240

1989

R612

Fraser / Higgins


$240

1990

R613

Fraser / Cole


$235





$1,530


Special Offer:

We're so committed to this quality set finding a new home that values it as much as the collector that built it we've placed the collection into an archival-quality binder; album and pages, and have added a set of interleaves that explain the background to each and every note.

If you compare our retail prices (listed above) with current catalogue values (either Renniks or McDonald's) or even against other dealer prices, we're confident you'll acknowledge this set is excellent value for money.

We have not added any premium at all for the Caldwell provenance - "the finest single owner collection of Australian banknotes in private hands" - that added appeal brings no additional cost at all.

We believe this is a truly premium set that is perfect to put away for the future.