Stay One Step Ahead


Posted on: Nov, 11/16/2012

Printing banknotes is just like any other mass manufacturing process – the machines work perfectly 99.99% of the time, but mistakes sometimes happen.

Misprinted banknotes were always destroyed immediately (or at least they should have been), which would leave a standard bundle of 100 notes one or two short.

In Australia between 1948 and 1972, replacement notes were used to ensure complete bundles could be issued.

These replacement notes all have one feature in common – the last digit in the serial number was always replaced with an asterisk “*” (referred to by collectors as a star). This is why they are called "star replacement note", “starnote" or just “star".)

Decimal star notes printed between 1966 and 1972 all have serial numbers that start with the letter “Z”....

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Category [ Tags: Decimal Coins & Banknotes ]
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Posted on: Sep, 09/22/2012

There are a number of reasons that the majority of collectors don’t gravitate towards coins that are damaged or notes that are heavily torn.

The first is that items like this just look plain awful!

We all often associate damage with accidents or injury, or even worse, with intentional vandalism.

Damaged 1923 Halfpenny

Collectors really aren’t interested in owning much less admiring a coin or note that might’ve been damaged through rotten luck or outright malevolence, so they pass damaged items by until they see a coin or note that catches their eye.

Often, when collectors do end up owning a...

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Posted on: Sep, 09/21/2012

Collecting Coins

Just why otherwise normal people spend perfectly good money on collectible coins is a very good question.

If you’re able to understand why people collect coins, you’ll be better work in with your fellow collectors, and better positioned take advantage of the many opportunities that are available.

If you’re looking for a quick answer that will tell you how to make a fortune in this market, you’ll probably want to skip this section. Stick with it though – you’ll give yourself a much better chance of being successful if you get a good understanding of what presses the average collector’s buttons.

The instinct to collect runs deep in many of us – collecting is a compulsion that can’t always be explained clearly, let alone be controlled by rational...

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Posted on: Aug, 08/08/2012

To many collectors, 2013 marks a hundred years since Australia’s first notes were issued. The “Treasury” series of Commonwealth notes have long been regarded by the vast majority of Australian note collectors as the first notes issued by Australia’s Commonwealth government.

Superscribed Bank Notes 1 Pound

Knowledgable collectors are aware that the Treasury notes are not the first - the Type I superscribed notes that were issued from 1910 is the first series of Australian notes issued under the authority of the Commonwealth government.

Our superscribed...

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Category [ Tags: Commonwealth Banknotes ]
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Posted on: Jul, 07/13/2012

Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee - the 50th anniversary of her reign, was celebrated in England on June 20th and 21st in 1887, and also in a series of events throughout Australia on the same dates.

1887 Sydney Jubilee Head Sovereign

Special proof sets of coins were struck at the Royal Mint in London to mark the occasion, however it was explicitly stated by telegram from London that:

“The Royal Mint do not intend to forward to the colonies any of the new coins that have been designed in honour of the Queen’s Jubilee.”


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Category [ Tags: Australian Gold Coinage ]
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Posted on: Jun, 06/26/2012


It had been known since 1851 that the gold being mined in Australia was of greater purity than that standard in London, and furthermore that the natural alloy in which it was found included a predominance of silver. This was rather different to the copper alloy that the Royal Mint used to harden the gold it used when producing sovereigns.

This fact was borne out by the Royal Mint’s “Trial of the Pyx” in 1856, which showed that the Sydney sovereigns surveyed included on average 0.02% more gold than the London standard required. Although the percentage of silver in the alloy used for sovereigns at the Sydney Mint was higher than that used in London, the cost of the technology employed in extracting it in 1855 did not make it financially viable to do so.

The fact the amounts of extra...

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Category [ Tags: Australian Gold Coinage ]
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Posted on: Jun, 06/09/2012

When doing some research into a few polymer decimal specimen banknotes, I came across an article online that’s thrown me for a bit of a six in relation to how we categorize Australia’s polymer specimen banknotes.

The information is on a website self-described as being “the world’s leading reference for polymer (and hybrid) bank notes.” The gentleman behind the website, Mr Stane Straus, is “one of the world’s leading authorities on polymer bank note collecting; he also owns one of the world’s finest polymer bank note collections…” and is co-author of “World Polymer Banknotes”, the...

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Category [ Tags: Decimal Coins & Banknotes ]
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Posted on: May, 05/23/2012

The recent discovery of a 1988 Bicentennial $10 note with an AB 57 serial prefix, and a serial number beginning with the digits “94”, has brought fresh scrutiny of the characteristics that have long been used to differentiate between the two production runs of Australia’s circulating bicentennial $10 polymer banknotes.

 Front of R310b $10 Note with AB 57 94 serials


It is not yet clear whether the newly-identified note is simply a serial numbering oddity, or an important exception to the long-held rule used by numismatists to classify Australia’s first commemorative banknote....

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Category [ Tags: Decimal Coins & Banknotes ]
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Posted on: Jan, 01/18/2012

As someone that has been exposed to a reasonable number of coins on a daily basis for well over a decade now, it isn't often at all that a heavily worn penny registers as being of any import or interest at all.

The 1827 penny is a major exception to this rule however - not only is it one of the rarest British pennies issued in the 19th century, but it is unique among the British "token" (i.e. copper and silver) coinage series in that it is widely believed to have been solely struck for circulation in Australia.



I strongly believe that...

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Category [ Tags: Proclamation and Colonial Coins ]
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Posted on: Dec, 12/23/2011

There are certain auctions that capture the zeitgest or mood of a particular period of activity in the Australian numismatic market, the auction of the Pratley collection of Australian half sovereigns, held in Sydney in March of 1989 by Spink Auctions (Australia), certainly captured the mood of the half sovereign market in Australia of the 1980's.

The Australian Half sovereign series is one that is formidable to many collectors - many dates are rare in any condition, and are nigh impossible to obtain in mint state. This presents an insurmountable problem for most collectors of average means, both financially and in terms of patience!

To complete a set of Australian half sovereigns requires dedication, knowledge and diligence (not to mention a good...

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Category [ Tags: Australian Gold Coinage ]
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