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Pre-Federation Notes

Posted on: Jul, 07/20/2018

Australia's pre-Federation banknotes are a rich and complex series that captures the history of Australia’s growing economy throughout the 19th century.

As these privately-issued notes are so starkly different to the single series of currency notes we use across the country today, it is an area that can be foreboding for the novice collector.

A large number of banks issued notes across many cities; states and decades - each one of those banks issued several different series of notes, often with markedly different designs and often in different denominations.

As the cost of a pre-Federation note can run into the hundreds; thousands and even tens of thousands of dollars, rather than risk making a decision that might cost them a significant sum, many collectors choose to steer clear of...

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Posted on: May, 05/30/2018

The 2018 Banking Royal Commission has caused a great deal of debate within Australia's political parties and the general public over just how Australia's banking system should be designed to ensure the safety of the average bank depositor.

Those discussing the issues at hand will be interested to learn of the history of the Federal Bank of Australia in the late 1800's, and the failed attempt by the "Associated Banks of Victoria" to enforce effective separation in the Australian banking system.

The narrative of the Federal Bank of Australia mirrors the incredible wealth that was generated during the land boom seen in Melbourne in the late 1800’s. Unfortunately for the bank’s directors; investors and depositors, their demise also exemplified the crushing cost of the banking crisis of 1893...

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Posted on: Oct, 10/25/2017

It is difficult to hold a banknote from the Western Australian Bank and not be taken back to the era it was issued in.

These large notes, with their intricate designs, calligraphed signatures and firm but undoubtedly fragile paper quality are objects of wealth unique to this part of the world, and evoke a long-distant era of formality and discipline. The Western Australian Bank merged with the Bank of New South Wales in 1927, and at it’s peak it was widely regarded as the most important commercial enterprise in Western Australia, one that “…had done more to assist in the development of mining in this state than nearly the whole of the other financial institutions combined.[1]

The quality of a very small number...

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Posted on: Jan, 01/06/2016

Banks of Western Australia

West Australians are often rightly characterised as generally being a parochial bunch, this provincialism mean that in the days before the Commonwealth Government assumed control over the issue of Australia’s circulating currency notes in 1910, most West Australians preferred to bank with either the Bank of Western Australia or the Western Australian Bank.

Banks that had been founded outside the colony of WA found it difficult to establish a presence here, the Bank of Australasia prime among them.

Strong Local Support

The history of the Bank of Australasia in West Australia has two chapters - the first runs between 1841 and 1846, when a branch was established in Perth. Mick Vort Ronald's research indicated that there...

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Posted on: Aug, 08/07/2014

One-Pound Shinplasters

One-pound shinplasters were printed for the proprietors of a general store in Champion Bay (Geraldton) between 1858 and 1874, recent research has confirmed that while a signed, dated and issued note has not yet 

 

been sighted, they were definitely valued as a store of value and a medium of exchange in West Australia at that time.

A small number of attractive unissued examples of this note still exist - they remain a direct link to one of the Swan River Colony’s most important men.

...

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