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Decimal Coins & Banknotes

Posted on: Mar, 03/31/2018

To the uninitiated, Australia’s paper decimal banknotes remained largely the same between 1966 and 1996. Sure, the serial numbers may have changed over time, but the designs remained the same for pretty much 30 years.

The collectors that have studied this series know that a number of improvements were made to the printing process between 1966 and 1996, and further that a number of other changes were made which resulted in distinct varieties of each denomination.

Here are a list of the major eras in our paper currency notes:

1966 - Coombs and WilsonCoombs / Wilson

H.C. “Nugget” Coombs was the Governor of the...

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Category [ Tags: Decimal Coins & Banknotes ]
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Posted on: Dec, 12/15/2017

Australia's NGB $10 banknote was released into general circulation on 20 September 2017, with nowhere near the same vacuous fury that we saw on social media 12 months earlier when the NGB $5 note was released.

It is interesting to speculate whether the paler appearance of the wattle either side of the clear vertical window on the NGB $10 relative to the NGB $5 was intentionally adjusted after the hue and cry of September 2016, however the official version from the RBA is that "The wattle flowers on the new $10 banknote are paler than those on the new $5 banknote – just like the two wattles in real life."

The...

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Category [ Tags: Decimal Coins & Banknotes ]
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Posted on: Oct, 10/28/2017

To the uninitiated, polymer “Charity Sheet" notes appear to be a new type of specimen note - as with the polymer specimen notes issued between 1988 and 1996, each charity sheet note features “000000” after the serial prefix, so the initial confusion is understandable.

Charity Sheet notes are not specimen notes however - they served a different purpose, were distributed in a different manner, and are rated differently by collectors.

Even though Charity Sheet notes are not specimens, they are quite scarce and are very collectable in their own right....

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Posted on: Aug, 08/25/2017

Printing banknotes is just like any other mass manufacturing process, and even though the end product of the banknote production process is rather more celebrated than the average bolt or screw, just like the average bolt-producing machine, banknote printing presses work perfectly 99.99% of the time, but mistakes can and will happen.

Misprinted banknotes are always destroyed immediately (or at least they are as soon as they are spotted), which leave a standard bundle of 100 notes one or two notes short. Checking the serial numbers at the start and end of each bundle is one quick and initial way of telling how many notes are included, so rather than just take a few notes from the next batch to make up the bundle, up until 1948, not only did staff at the Commonwealth Note Printers need to manually...

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Category [ Tags: Decimal Coins & Banknotes ]
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Posted on: Jun, 06/13/2017

Ian Rank-Broadley (IRB) is a renown British sculptor - perhaps his best-known work is the obverse coinage design that he designed of Queen Elizabeth II - it was used on Great Britain's coins between 1998 and 2014, and has been seen on Australia's coins since 1997.Ian Rank-Broadley

IRB's works are in the permanent collections of the British Museum, London's National Portrait Gallery, the Ashmolean Museum, Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge, St Paul's Cathedral, the Rijksmuseum, and several others. His work at the British National Armed Forces Memorial saw him receive the Marsh Award for Public Sculpture....

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Category [ Tags: Decimal Coins & Banknotes ]
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Posted on: Dec, 12/22/2016

In the middle of 2015, a 1966 silver Australian uniface obverse pattern dollar coin was offered for sale via public auction. This coin had not been seen on the open market since March 1988, so it was an exciting offering. Excitement was building in the collector market as the 50th anniversary of decimal currency approached, however despite the topicality that the coin has, it was passed in without being sold.

Although coins are passed in at auction all the time, I was a little surprised by the result...

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Posted on: Sep, 09/03/2016

Australia’s Next Generation Banknote $5

Well, September 1st 2016 has passed, and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has issued Australia’s Next Generation Banknote (NGB) $5 into circulation.

Although keyboard warriors across the nation frothed at the mouth when the designs were first shown just a few short months ago, I heard hardly a peep in the media last Thursday (mainstream or social). Crickets could be heard chirping in the silence, and tumbleweeds rolled down the street!

So it seems that although us...

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Posted on: Apr, 04/28/2016

New $5 Banknote

The release of the designs to be used on a new $5 banknote to be introduced into circulation in Australia in September 2016 took social media by storm - there was no shortage of keyboard warriors foaming at the mouth about whether the Queen should still be on an Australian banknote, and just how (apparently) unattractive the designs were!


...

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Posted on: Dec, 12/10/2015

The deployment of the world’s first polymer banknotes in 1988 was so successful that it appeared to many to be an overnight success. One day we were using paper banknotes, the next we were handling notes made from plastic. The notes were so finished, with complete designs, nation-wide distribution and even a publicity campaign, that there was little thought given to the process that led to that point.

1977 CSIRO Polymer Test Note

Truly innovative technology doesn’t just come into existence overnight of course, the evolution of the technology used to print...

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Posted on: Apr, 04/25/2015

Specimen banknotes are a specific type of banknote produced by issuing authorities around the world whenever there is a significant change to a nation's legal tender.

Well before the first print run of  notes intended for circulation is commenced, a very small batch of notes is printed and marked with a special printed or perforated cancellation of some sort – these notes are then retained and distributed for archival, communication or presentation purposes.

It has been standard practice for the the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to keep a certain number of these specimen notes for Australia's National Currency Museum in Martin Place (Sydney, NSW).

The main focus of this museum is to showcase each major change to Australia's circulating...

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