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Posted on: May, 05/10/2018

In 1964, coin collectors in Australia and the United States were informed that Australian proof coins were being sold by the Bombay Mint.

The most alarming aspect of this report was that the Australian proof coins available were dated 1942 and 1943 - under normal conventions, production of them had stopped more than two decades earlier.

There was a credible explanation for this incredible revelation however, and the coins are regarded as prized rarities to this day.

SANJ Article - Proof Coins from Bombay

Coins from India for Soldiers from America to Spend in Australia...

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Category [ Tags: Commonwealth Coins ]
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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: Mar, 03/28/2018

Herbert Cole “Nugget” Coombs is best known to numismatists as the first Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, and by extension as a signatory on Australia’s banknotes for several decades. In the broader community however, Coombs is highly regarded for a much wider range of significant civic contributions across several diverse areas. 

Many numismatists will be surprised to learn that Coombs’ working life both before and after he was a signatory on our banknotes spanned no less than five different decades. Coombs had been in full-time employment for 22 years before becoming Governor of the Commonwealth Bank, and remained active for 27 years after he retired from the Reserve Bank of Australia....

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Category [ Tags: Commonwealth Banknotes ]
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Posted on: Feb, 02/06/2018

The 2017 Annual Year Book for the Australasian Coin & Banknote Magazine contained a great deal of interesting information for Australian numismatists, however the one article that really caught my eye was that written by Fred Lever on the 1930 penny.

It contained a range of fresh research, built on the shoulders of the work done by Bill Mullett several decades earlier.

Bill Mullett was a former employee of the Melbourne and Royal Australian Mints, after he retired he spent some years researching and writing about the history of the Melbourne Mint, as well as a number of the coins it produced. His three publications are titled:

...

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Category [ Tags: Commonwealth Coins ]
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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: Nov, 11/10/2017

Whenever Australia’s first coins are discussed, most of the focus is placed on the Holey Dollar rather than the Dump. This is hardly surprising, as the larger coin had four times the purchasing power of the smaller coin.

What is often overlooked in that assessment is the fact that the way the Dump was cut and struck determined whether both coins remained in circulation.

If Macquarie’s counter-stamping plan was to prevent coins from being taken outside NSW, the weight of both the Holey Dollar and the Dump needed to fall within a tightly defined range. If either coin weighed outside their intended range, its silver value could vary widely from its face value, which could be an incentive to take the coin away from NSW and pass it off at its intrinsic value, defeating the purpose of the whole...

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Category [ Tags: Proclamation and Colonial Coins ]
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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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Category [ Tags: Decimal Coins & Banknotes ]
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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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Category [ Tags: Pre-Federation Notes ]
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Posted on: Aug, 08/26/2017

The first coins for the Commonwealth of Australia in 1910 were struck at the Royal Mint in London.Australia 1912 Heaton Halfpenny

Although significant quantities of silver had been discovered in Broken Hill in the 1880’s, and although the colonial governments of New South Wales and Victoria had been agitating for the Australian branch mints to strike an Australian national coinage for some years, it was an established practice that the coinage for all British colonies (outside India) was struck by the Royal Mint in London. Maintaining this practice was not without challenges...

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Category [ Tags: Commonwealth Coins ]
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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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