Guide to the Specimen Australian banknotes

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MS 4820

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: May 2016

Collection Summary

Title
Specimen Australian banknotes
Date Range
1914 - 1996
Collection Number
MS 4820
Extent
0.07 metres (one security binder)
Language of Materials
English
Repository
NLA
Sponsor
The digitisation of the Library’s Currency Collection was made possible by the generous financial support of donors to the Banknotes and Currency Preservation Appeal (2015). The Library gratefully acknowledges this support.

Introduction

Scope and Contents

Specimen Australian banknotes issued by the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury or the Reserve Bank of Australia. They comprised 25 pre-decimal notes and 19 decimal notes and associated covers.

Conditions Governing Access

Please refer to the collection's catalogue record for the access conditions (http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/2864385).

Conditions Governing Use

Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions. For such material, written permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s). Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.

Four notes originally held in MS 4820 have been removed and re-accessioned as MS 10145 - Early Commonwealth currency, 1910-1913.

References

References used in the creation of this finding aid include:

Pocketbook guide to Australian coins and banknotes by Greg McDonald, twenty-second edition, 2015 and Renniks Australian coin and banknote values, edited by Michael T. Pitt, twenty-sixth edition, 2015.

Item Descriptions

One hundred pound note, 1914 (Item 1)

Issue details

Category: cancelled specimen

Denomination: one hundred pounds sterling

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Australian Note Printer

Serial number: Z 091313, medium black serifs

Signature/s: Jas R Collins, Assistant Secretary/Geo. T Allen, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: diagonal black cross to corners on both sides and inverted large pin perforated 'CANCELLED'

Illustrative content: front - coat of arms at left, small crown at right; back - oval vignette Upper Yarra River, Vic, on left and oval vignette Lower Leura Falls, NSW, on right

Condition: uncirculated

Physical description: dimensions - 168x102 mm; blue and yellow

Industry catalogue/number: McDonald #95; Renniks #R68b

Additional information

The ‘Collins/Allen’ signature combination is arguably the most important in Australian bank note history.

One thousand pound note, 1914 (Item 2)

Issue details

Category: cancelled specimen

Denomination: one thousand pounds sterling

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Australian Note Printer

Serial number: 2A 048010 (2A in blue)

Signature/s: Jas R Collins, Assistant Secretary/Geo. T Allen, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: diagonal black cross to corners on both sides and inverted large pin perforated 'CANCELLED'

Illustrative content: front - coat of arms at centre base; back - flock of merino sheep, Bungaree, SA, 1906

Condition: uncirculated

Physical description: dimensions - 215x143 mm; light blue

Industry catalogue/number: McDonald #98; Renniks #R70a

Ten shilling (half sovereign) note, 1918 (Item 3)

Issue details

Category: cancelled specimen

Denomination: ten shillings

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: T S Harrison, Australian Note Printer

Serial number: N 415108 Z

Signature/s: Charles J Cerutty, Assistant Secretary/Jas R Collins, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: diagonal black cross to corners on both sides and inverted large pin perforated 'CANCELLED'

Illustrative content: front - coat of arms in left oval HALF SOVEREIGN in red around borders; back - Goulburn Weir, Nagambie, Vic, built 1887-1891

Condition: uncirculated

Physical description: dimensions - 197x88 mm; blue

Industry catalogue/number: McDonald #10b; Renniks #R03b

Additional information

The words 'half sovereign' were included on the note to make it clear that the value equated to the familiar half sovereign coin it replaced.

Five pound note, 1918 (Item 4)

Issue details

Category: cancelled specimen

Denomination: five pounds sterling

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: T S Harrison, Australian Note Printer

Serial number: U 124208 H

Signature/s: Charles J Cerutty, Assistant Secretary/Jas R Collins, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: diagonal black cross to corners on both sides and inverted large pin perforated 'CANCELLED'

Illustrative content: front - coat of arms at left, '5' in corners; back - oval vignette of Hawkesbury River, Brooklyn, NSW , '5' in corners

Condition: uncirculated

Physical description: dimensions - 167x105 mm; dark blue

Industry catalogue/number: McDonald #57; Renniks #R37b

Ten pound note, 1918 (Item 5)

Issue details

Category: cancelled specimen

Denomination: ten pounds sterling

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: T S Harrison, Australian Note Printer

Serial number: 592509 W

Signatures: Charles J Cerutty, Assistant Secretary/ Jas R Collins, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: diagonal black cross to corners on both sides and inverted large pin perforated 'CANCELLED'

Illustrative content: front - Coat of arms at lower centre, '10' in corners; back - carting wheat, Narwonah, NSW (engraving based on a 1909 photo)

Physical description: dimensions - 165x102 mm; blue

Industry catalogue/number: McDonald #76 Renniks #R52c

Twenty pound note, 1918 (Item 6)

Issue details

Category: cancelled specimen

Denomination: twenty pounds sterling

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: T S Harrison, Australian Note Printer

Serial number: X 121409 (small seriffed) Signature/s: Charles J Cerutty, Assistant Secretary/Jas R Collins, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: diagonal black cross to corners on both sides and inverted large pin perforated 'CANCELLED'

Illustrative content: front - coat of arms at left, '20' in corners, 'twenty' in red shadow centre; back - timber cutting, Bruny Island, TAS (engraving from photo by JW Beattie)

Condition: uncirculated

Physical description: dimensions - 165x98 mm; dark blue

Industry catalogue/number: McDonald #88; Renniks #R65a

Fifty pound note, 1918 (Item 7)

Issue details

Category: cancelled specimen

Denomination: fifty pounds sterling

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: T S Harrison, Australian Note Printer

Serial number: Y 146510 (small seriffed)

Signature/s: Charles J Cerutty, Assistant Secretary/Jas R Collins, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: diagonal black cross to corners on both sides and inverted large pin perforated 'CANCELLED'

Illustrative content: front - coat of arms in oval, top centre, '50' in corners; back - flock of merino sheep, Bungaree, SA, 1906

Condition: uncirculated

Physical description: dimensions - 166x102 mm; blue and pink

Industry catalogue/number: McDonald #91; Renniks #R67a

Additional information

Wool represented 40 percent of exports at the turn of 20th century.

Half sovereign (ten shilling) note, 1923 (Item 8)

Issue details

Category: cancelled specimen

Denomination: ten shillings (half sovereign) sterling

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Note Issue Department

Serial number: A/15 614415

Signature/s: Denison Miller, Chairman of Directors/Jas R Collins, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: overprinted with diagonal black cross to corners on both sides, pin perforated 'CANCELLED', two large puncture holes on left

Illustrative content: front - coat of arms in oval left, portrait of King George V in oval right, '1/2' in corners denoting half pound, 'HALF SOVEREIGN' in red, top and side borders; back - Goulburn Weir, Nagambie, Vic, built 1887-1891

Condition: uncirculated

Physical description: dimensions - 180x78 mm; brown

Industry catalogue/number: McDonald #11; Renniks #R04

Additional information

The plates for the 10 shilling and £1 notes were engraved before the sudden death of Sir Denison Miller in June 1923, so that only those notes bore his signature. Known as the 'Harrison issue' because it was designed by Australian Note Printer, TS Harrison.

Watermarks were introduced for the first time.

One pound note, 1923-1925 (Item 9)

Issue details

Category: cancelled specimen

Denomination: one pound sterling

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Australian Note Printer

Serial number: H/36 823014

Signature/s: Denison Miller, Chairman of Directors/Jas R Collins, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: diagonal black cross to corners on both sides, pin perforated 'CANCELLED', two large puncture holes on left

Illustrative content: front - coat of arms in oval left, portrait of King George V in oval right, '1' in corners; back - landing of Captain Cook at Botany Bay

Condition: uncirculated

Physical description: dimensions - 180x78 mm; light green

Industry catalogue/number: McDonald #38; Renniks #R23b

Additional information

Treasury altered the design by removing the ‘TS Harrison’ imprint but did not inform the public, causing alarm and panic, with many people refusing to accept the notes, believing they weren't 'kosher'.

Five pound note, 1924 (Item 10)

Issue details

Category: cancelled specimen

Denomination: five pounds sterling

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Note Issue Department

Serial number: Q/2 783815

Signature/s: James Kell, Chairman of Directors, Note Issue Department/Jas R Collins, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: diagonal black cross to corners and inverted large pin perforated 'CANCELLED'

Illustrative content: front - coat of arms in oval left, portrait of King George V in oval right, '5' in corners, basket weave watermark around border and word' five' in centre; back - oval vignette of Hawkesbury River, Brooklyn, NSW

Condition: uncirculated

Physical description: dimensions - 180x78 mm; blue

Industry catalogue/number: McDonald #58; Renniks #R38a

Additional information

Designed by TS Harrison and made smaller and narrower to fit six to a sheet instead of four.

Ten pound note, 1925-1927 (Item 11)

Issue details

Category: cancelled specimen

Denomination: ten pounds sterling

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Note Issue Department

Serial number: U/1 000215

Signature/s: James Kell, Governor*, Commonwealth Bank of Australia/Jas R Collins, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: diagonal black cross to corners on both sides, pin perforated 'CANCELLED', two large puncture holes on left

Illustrative content: front - coat of arms in oval left, portrait of King George V in oval right, '10' in corners, basket weave watermark around border and word' ten' twice in centre; back - carting wheat, Narwonah, NSW (engraving based on a 1909 photo)

Condition: uncirculated

Physical description: dimensions - 180x78 mm; red and buff-yellow

Industry catalogue/number: McDonald #77b; Renniks #R54

Additional information

*Title changed from ‘Chairman of Directors’ to ‘Governor’.

Ten shilling note, 1933 (Item 12)

Issue details

Category: cancelled specimen

Denomination: ten shillings

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Note Issue Department

Serial number: C/0 000012 (‘C’ over ‘0’ being the first prefix of this issue)

Signature/s: Ernest C Riddle, Governor, Commonwealth Bank of Australia/Harold J Sheehan, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: diagonal black cross to corners on both sides, pin perforated 'CANCELLED'

Illustrative content: - blank medallion on left, with watermark of Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII), portrait of King George V in oval right; back - allegorical engraving of manufacturing industries based on a panel by Paul Montford

Condition: uncirculated

Physical description: dimensions - 155x81 mm; brown

Industry catalogue/number: McDonald #17a: Renniks #R09F

Additional information

The 1933 series was known as the 'Ash' series after John Ash who succeeded TS Harrison as the Australian Note printer in 1927. Australia left the gold standard in early 1930s so notes no longer carried the Government promise to pay the bearer in gold on demand. Now specified to be legal tender in Commonwealth and its Territories. 'Legal tender' notes.

One pound note, 1933 (Item 13)

Issue details

Category: cancelled specimen

Type: legal tender issue

Denomination: one pound sterling

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Note Issue Department

Serial number: L/0 000001 (‘L ‘over ‘0’ being the first prefix of this issue)

Signature/s: Ernest C Riddle, Governor, Commonwealth Bank of Australia/Harold J Sheehan, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: not overprinted or crossed

Illustrative content: front - blank medallion on left, with watermark of Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII), portrait of King George V in oval right, impressed oval 'Commonwealth Bank' albino seal; back - allegorical engraving of pastoral industries based on a panel by Paul Montford, stamped '75' and ‘1.Jun.1936' in black ink

Condition: uncirculated

Physical description: dimensions - 155x79 mm; dark green

Industry catalogue/number: McDonald #44a; Renniks #R28F

Additional information

The 1933 series was known as the 'Ash' series after John Ash who succeeded TS Harrison as the Australian Note printer in 1927. Australia left the gold standard in early 1930s so notes no longer carried the Government promise to pay the bearer in gold on demand. Now specified to be legal tender in Commonwealth and its Territories. 'Legal tender' notes.

Five pound note, 1933-1938 (Item 14)

Issue details

Category: cancelled specimen

Type: legal tender issue

Denomination: five pounds sterling

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Note Issue Department

Serial number: R/0 000019 (‘L’ over ‘0’ being the first prefix of this issue)

Signature/s: Ernest C Riddle, Governor, Commonwealth Bank of Australia/Harold J Sheehan, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: diagonal black cross to corners on both sides, pin perforated 'CANCELLED' twice

Illustrative content: front - portrait of King George V in oval right, coat of arms in oval at right, watermark in blank circle in bottom centre of Edward, Prince of Wales plus watermark '5' behind each signature; back - allegorical engraving of 'Commerce' based on a bas-relief panel by Paul Montford.

Condition: uncirculated

Physical description: dimensions - 181x79 mm; blue

Industry catalogue/number: McDonald #44a; Renniks #R28F

Additional information

The two types of this note were known as 'Pink Face King' and 'White face King' (this one) due to printing a cross-hatched background on half of the notes making the King's face pink.

Ten shilling note, 1934 (Item 15)

Issue details

Category: cancelled specimen

Type: legal tender issue

Denomination: ten shillings sterling

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Note Issue Department

Serial number: C/26 282017

Signature/s: Ernest C Riddle, Governor, Commonwealth Bank of Australia/Harold J Sheehan, Secretary to the Treasury Overprinting: diagonal black cross to corners on both sides, pin perforated 'CANCELLED'

Illustrative content: front - blank medallion on left, with watermark of Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII), portrait of King George V in oval right, '1/2' in corners denoting half sovereign, imprinted 'TEN SHILLINGS' in scarlet at top and side borders (to emphasise note is 10/- not half a sovereign (in gold) as previous issues; back - allegorical engraving of manufacturing industries based on a panel by Paul Montford.

Condition: uncirculated

Physical description: dimensions – 155x82 mm; brown

Industry catalogue/number: McDonald #41a; Renniks #R09F

Ten pound note, 1934-1940 (Item 16)

Issue details

Category: cancelled specimen

Type: legal tender issue

Denomination: ten shillings sterling

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Note Issue Department

Serial number: V/0 000017 ('V' over '0' being the first prefix of this issue)

Signature/s: Ernest C Riddle, Governor, Commonwealth Bank of Australia/Harold J Sheehan, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: diagonal black cross to corners on both sides, pin perforated 'CANCELLED' twice

Illustrative content: front - coat of arms to left (changed design), portrait of George V to centre, blank medallion to right with watermark of Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII), '£10' in corners; back - allegorical engraving of manufacturing industries based on a panel by Paul Montford.

Condition: uncirculated

Physical description: dimensions - 181x79 mm; red

Industry catalogue/number: McDonald #80a; Renniks #R57F

Ten shilling note, 1936 (Item 17)

Issue details

Category: cancelled specimen

Type: legal tender issue

Denomination: ten shillings sterling

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Note Issue Department

Serial number: D/0 000001 (‘D’ over ‘0’ being first prefix of this issue)

Signature/s: Ernest C Riddle, Governor, Commonwealth Bank of Australia/Harold J Sheehan, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: diagonal black cross to corners on both sides, pin perforated 'CANCELLED'. Back also stamped in black '27' and '24.MAR.1936'.

Illustrative content: front - blank medallion with watermark of Capt. Cook on left, portrait of King George V in oval right, '1/2' in corners (for half a pound), albino seal at lower left; back - allegorical engraving of manufacturing industries based on panel by Paul Montford.

Condition: uncirculated

Physical description: dimensions - 137x78 mm; orange red

Industry catalogue/number: McDonald #19a; Renniks #R11F

Additional information

This is the very first note of the first issue. The colour was changed from brown due to the public's difficulty in distinguishing former notes from other denominations. The size was also reduced to match that of Bank of England notes.

One pound note, 1938-1942 (Item 18)

Issue details

Category: cancelled specimen

Type: legal tender issue

Denomination: one pound sterling

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Note Issue Department

Serial number: N/71 372001

Signature/s: Harold J Sheehan, Governor, Commonwealth Bank of Australia/Stuart G McFarlane, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: diagonal black cross to corners, pin perforated 'CANCELLED'

Illustrative content: front - blank medallion with watermark of Capt. Cook on left, portrait of King George V in oval right; back -allegorical engraving of pastoral industries based on panel by Paul Montford, manuscript M1002 in black ink.

Condition: uncirculated

Physical description: dimensions - 155x79 mm; dark green

Industry catalogue/number: McDonald #45a; Renniks #R29F

Ten shilling note, 1939 (Item 19)

Issue details

Category: cancelled specimen

Type: legal tender issue

Denomination: ten shillings sterling

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Note Issue Department

Serial number: D/98 120001 ('D' over '98' being the first prefix of this issue)

Signature/s: Harold J Sheehan, Governor, Commonwealth Bank of Australia/Stuart G McFarlane, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: diagonal black cross to corners, pin perforated 'CANCELLED'

Illustrative content: front - blank orange medallion with watermark of Capt. Cook on left, portrait of King George VI in oval right, coat of arms bottom centre, '1/2' in corners (for half a pound), albino seal at lower left; back - allegorical engraving of manufacturing industries based on a panel by Paul Montford, manuscript M1004 in black ink.

Condition: uncirculated

Physical description: dimensions - 137x76 mm; orange red

Industry catalogue/number: McDonald #20a; Renniks #R12F

Additional information

After the death of George V, the design was the same except for the portrait of the King.

Five pound note, 1939-1941 (Item 20)

Issue details

Category: cancelled specimen

Type: legal tender issue

Denomination: five pounds sterling

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Note Issue Department

Serial number: R/20 338001 ('R' over '00' being first prefix of this issue)

Signature/s: Harold J Sheehan, Governor, Commonwealth Bank of Australia/Stuart G McFarlane, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: diagonal black cross to corners on both sides, pin perforated 'CANCELLED' twice

Illustrative content: front - portrait of King George VI in oval left, blank medallion with watermark of Capt. Cook bottom centre, '5' in corners; back - allegorical engraving of 'Commerce' based on a bas-relief panel by Paul Montford, faint blue ink stamp 'M1003', '£5' in centre and large 'five’ at right.

Condition: uncirculated

Physical description: dimensions - 181x79 mm; blue

Industry catalogue/number: McDonald #67a; Renniks #R45F

Additional information

First note of this series.

Ten pound note, 1940-1943 (Item 21)

Issue details

Category: cancelled specimen

Type: Legal tender issue

Denomination: ten pounds sterling

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Note Issue Department

Serial number: V/3 076001 ('V' over '3' being first prefix of this issue)

Signature/s: Harold J Sheehan, Governor, Commonwealth Bank of Australia/Stuart G McFarlane, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: diagonal black cross to corners on both sides, pin perforated 'CANCELLED' twice

Illustrative content: front - portrait of King George VI centre, blank central medallion with watermark of Capt. Cook bottom centre, '£10' in corners; back - allegorical engraving of 'Commerce' based on a bas-relief panel by Paul Montford, manuscript M1002 in [XXXX] ink

Condition: uncirculated

Physical description: dimensions - 181x79 mm; red

Industry catalogue/number: McDonald #81a; Renniks #R58F

Additional information

First note of this series.

Ten shilling note, 1954-1961 (Item 22)

Issue details

Category: cancelled specimen

Type: legal tender issue

Denomination: ten shillings sterling

Issuer: : Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Note Issue Department

Serial number: AC/00 000001 ('AC' over '00' being the first prefix of this issue)

Signature/s: Herbert C Coombs, Governor, Commonwealth Bank of Australia/Roland Wilson, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: diagonally overprinted with 'SPECIMEN' in red on both sides

Illustrative content: front - portrait of Matthew Flinders in oval right, blank medallion with watermark of Capt. Cook at left, '1/2' in corners; back - first Parliament House, Canberra.

Condition: uncirculated

Physical description: dimensions - 137x76 mm; brown

Industry catalogue/number: McDonald #24a; Renniks #R16F

Additional information

First note of this series.

After the death of George VI, new designs focused on Australian historical figures instead of economic progress.

One pound note, 1953-1961 (Item 23)

Issue details

Category: cancelled specimen

Type: legal tender issue

Denomination: one pound sterling

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Note Issue Department

Serial number: HA/00 000002 ('HA' over '00' being the first prefix of this issue)

Signature/s: Herbert C Coombs, Governor, Commonwealth Bank of Australia/Roland Wilson, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: diagonal black cross to corners on both sides, pin perforated 'CANCELLED'

Illustrative content: front - portrait of Queen Elizabeth II in oval right, blank medallion with watermark of Capt. Cook at left, '£1' in corners; back – four medallions - £1, Charles Sturt, Hamilton Hume, James Cook watermark.

Condition: uncirculated

Physical description: dimensions - 156x81 mm; green

Industry catalogue/number: McDonald #50a; Renniks #R33F

Additional information

First note of this series.

After the death of George VI, new designs focused on Australian historical figures instead of economic progress.

The only pound note in this series which has the monarch's portrait.

Five pound note, 1953-1966 (Item 24)

Issue details

Category: cancelled specimen

Type: legal tender issue

Denomination: five pounds sterling

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Note Issue Department

Serial number: TA/00 000001 ('TA' over '00' being first prefix of this issue)

Signature/s: Herbert C Coombs, Governor, Commonwealth Bank of Australia/Roland Wilson, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: diagonally overprinted with 'SPECIMEN' in red on both sides

Illustrative content: front - portrait of Sir John Franklin in oval right, blank medallion with watermark of Capt. Cook lower centre, '£5' in corners; back - Aboriginal artefacts and primary produce.

Condition: uncirculated

Physical description: dimensions - 167x79 mm; blue

Industry catalogue/number: McDonald #71a; Renniks #R49F

Additional information

First note of this series.

After the death of George VI, new designs focused on Australian historical figures instead of economic progress.

The only pound note in this series which has the monarch's portrait.

Aboriginal culture is represented for the first time.

Ten pound note, 1953-1966 (Item 25)

Issue details

Category: cancelled specimen

Type: legal tender issue

Denomination: ten pounds sterling

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Note Issue Department

Serial number: WA/00 000001 ('WA' over '00' being the first prefix of this issue)

Signature/s: Herbert C Coombs, Governor, Commonwealth Bank of Australia/Roland Wilson, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: diagonally overprinted with 'SPECIMEN' in red on both sides

Illustrative content: front - portrait of Governor Phillip in oval left, blank medallion with watermark of Capt. Cook at right, '£10' in corners; back - Science and industry.

Condition: uncirculated

Physical description: dimensions - 181x79 mm; red

Industry catalogue/number: McDonald #85a; Renniks #R62F

Additional information

First note of this series.

Specimen one dollar banknote, 1966-1974 (Item 26)

Issue details

Category: specimen one dollar paper banknote

Type: specimen Type 2

Denomination: one dollar

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Reserve Bank of Australia

Serial number: AAA 000000

Signature/s: Herbert C Coombs, Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia/Roland Wilson, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: 'SPECIMEN' eight times in red on both sides

Circulation status: specimen

Illustrative content: front - HM Queen Elizabeth II from a photo by Douglas Glass; back - line interpretation of Aboriginal art and original bark painting by David Malangi.

Condition: uncirculated

Watermark: profile of Captain James Cook

Physical description: dimensions - 140x70 mm; orange and brown on paper

Industry catalogue/number: Renniks #SP06

Additional information

Introduction of decimal currency with this first note of the series.

All new designs and new numbering and notes were made smaller.

Specimen two dollar paper banknote, 1966-1974 (Item 27)

Issue details

Category: specimen two dollar paper banknote

Type: specimen Type 2

Denomination: two dollars

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Reserve Bank of Australia

Serial number: FAA 000000

Signature/s: Herbert C Coombs, Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia/Roland Wilson, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: 'SPECIMEN' eight times in red on both sides

Circulation status: specimen

Illustrative content: front - portrait of John Macarthur, pioneer sheep breeder; back - portrait of William Farrer, pioneer wheat breeder.

Condition: uncirculated

Watermark: profile of Captain James Cook

Physical description: dimensions - 145x71 mm; green and yellow on paper

Industry catalogue/number: Renniks #SP07

Additional information

First decimal note of this series.

Specimen five dollar paper banknote, 1967-1972 (Item 28)

Issue details

Category: specimen five dollar paper banknote

Type: specimen Type 2

Denomination: five dollars

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Reserve Bank of Australia

Serial number: NAA 000000

Signature/s: Herbert C Coombs, Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia/R J Randall, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: 'SPECIMEN' 8 times in red on both sides

Circulation status: specimen

Illustrative content: front - portrait Sir Joseph Banks; back -portrait of Caroline Chisholm and clipper brig 'Waverley'

Condition: uncirculated

Watermark: profile of Captain James Cook

Physical description: dimensions - 152x76 mm; mauve on paper

Industry catalogue/number Renniks #SP08

Additional information

First decimal note of this series but not issued on changeover to decimal currency in order to facilitate smooth transition.

Two 1967-1972 specimen five dollar paper banknotes mounted in explanatory pamphlet (Item 29)

Issue details

Category: specimen five dollar paper banknote

Type: specimen Type 1

Denomination: five dollars

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Reserve Bank of Australia

Serial number: NAA 000000

Signature/s: Herbert C Coombs, Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia/R J Randall, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: 'SPECIMEN' in red within outline oval on both sides

Circulation status: specimen

Illustrative content: front – portrait of Sir Joseph Banks; back -portrait of Caroline Chisholm and clipper brig 'Waverley'

Condition: uncirculated

Watermark: profile of Captain James Cook

Physical description: dimensions - 152x76 mm; mauve on paper

Industry catalogue/number: Renniks #SP03

Specimen ten dollar paper banknote, 1966-1974 (Item 30)

Issue details

Category: specimen ten dollar paper banknote

Type: specimen Type 2

Denomination: ten dollars

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Reserve Bank of Australia

Serial number: SAA 000000

Signature/s: Herbert C Coombs, Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia/Roland Wilson, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: 'SPECIMEN' 8 times in red on both sides

Circulation status: specimen

Illustrative content: front - portrait of Francis Howard Greenway; back - portrait of Henry Lawson

Condition: uncirculated

Watermark: profile of Captain James Cook

Physical description: dimensions - 155x76 mm; blue/orange on paper

Industry catalogue/number: Renniks #SP09

Additional information

A large number of these notes were forged.

Specimen twenty dollar paper banknote, 1966-1974 (Item 31)

Issue details

Category: specimen twenty dollar paper banknote

Type: specimen Type 2

Denomination: twenty dollars

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Reserve Bank of Australia

Serial number: XAA 000000

Signature/s: Herbert C Coombs, Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia/Roland Wilson, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: 'SPECIMEN' 8 times in red on both sides

Circulation status: specimen

Illustrative content: front - portrait of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith; back - portrait of Lawrence Hargrave

Condition: uncirculated

Watermark: profile of Captain James Cook

Physical description: dimensions - 160x81 mm; red and yellow on paper

Industry catalogue/number: Renniks #SP10

Specimen fifty dollar paper banknote, 1973-1995 (Item 32)

Issue details

Category: specimen fifty dollar paper banknote

Type: specimen Type 3

Denomination: fifty dollars

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Reserve Bank of Australia

Serial number: YAA 000000

Signature/s: M J Phillips, Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia/F H Wheeler, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: diagonally overprinted with 'Specimen' and 'NO VALUE' both sides and 'Specimen No. 0192' on front

Circulation status: specimen

Illustrative content: front - portrait of Howard Florey; back - portrait of Sir Ian Clunies Ross

Condition: uncirculated

Watermark: profile of Captain James Cook

Physical description: dimensions - 165x82 mm; gold, blue, brown, green

Industry catalogue/number: Mc DS21

Specimen one dollar paper banknote, 1974-1984 (Item 33)

Issue details

Category: specimen one dollar paper banknote

Type: specimen Type 3

Denomination: one dollar

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Reserve Bank of Australia

Serial number: BLG 000000 and 'Specimen No. 0061'

Signature/s: M J Phillips, Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia/F H Wheeler, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: diagonally overprinted with 'Specimen' and 'NO VALUE' both sides

Circulation status: specimen

Illustrative content: front - HM Queen Elizabeth II from a photo by Douglas Glass; back - line interpretation of Aboriginal art and original bark painting by David Malangi

Condition: uncirculated

Watermark: profile of Captain James Cook

Physical description: dimensions - 140x70 mm; orange, brown

Industry catalogue/number: Mc DS16

Additional information

First note with change of wording from 'Commonwealth of Australia' to 'Australia' and the legal tender clause to "This Australian note is legal tender throughout Aust

This was the first banknote to feature Aboriginal art.

This note was replaced by a gold coin in 1984.

Specimen two dollar paper banknote, 1974-1988 (Item 34)

Issue details

Category: specimen two dollar paper banknote

Type: specimen Type 3

Denomination: two dollars

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Reserve Bank of Australia

Serial number: HBQ 000000 and 'Specimen No. 0061'

Signature/s: M J Phillips, Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia/F H Wheeler, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: diagonally overprinted with 'Specimen' and 'NO VALUE' both sides

Circulation status: specimen

Illustrative content: front - portrait of John Macarthur, pioneer sheep breeder; back - portrait of William Farrer, pioneer wheat breeder

Condition: uncirculated

Watermark: profile of Captain James Cook

Physical description: dimensions - 145x71 mm; green and yellow

Industry catalogue/number: Renniks #R85F

Additional information

A vertical metallic thread was moved from near the natural fold area to a position further left.

Replaced by a gold coin in 1988.

Specimen five dollar paper banknote, 1974-1992 (Item 35)

Issue details

Category: specimen five dollar paper banknote

Type: legal tender issue

Denomination: five dollars

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Reserve Bank of Australia

Serial number: NKG 000000 and 'Specimen No. 0061'

Signature/s: M J Phillips, Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia, F H Wheeler/Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: diagonally overprinted with 'Specimen' and 'NO VALUE' both sides

Circulation status: specimen

Illustrative content: front – portrait of Sir Joseph Banks; back - portrait of Caroline Chisholm and clipper brig 'Waverley'

Condition: uncirculated

Watermark: profile of Captain James Cook

Physical description: dimensions - 152x76 mm; mauve

Industry catalogue/number Renniks #R205F

Specimen ten dollar paper banknote, 1974-1993 (Item 36)

Issue details

Category: specimen ten dollar paper banknote

Type: legal tender issue

Denomination: ten dollars

Issuer: Commonwealth of Australia Treasury

Printer: Reserve Bank of Australia

Serial number: TBC 000000 and 'Specimen No. 0061'

Signature/s: M J Phillips, Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia/F H Wheeler, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: diagonally overprinted with 'Specimen' and 'NO VALUE' both sides

Circulation status: specimen

Illustrative content: front - portrait of Francis Howard Greenway; back - portrait of Henry Lawson

Condition: uncirculated

Watermark: profile of Captain James Cook

Physical description: dimensions - 160x81 mm; red and yellow

Industry catalogue/number: Renniks #R305F

Additional information

A vertical metallic thread was moved from near the natural fold area to a position further left.

Specimen twenty dollar paper banknote, 1974-1989 (Item 37)

Issue details

Category: specimen twenty dollar paper banknote

Type: legal tender issue

Denomination: twenty dollars

Issuer: Reserve Bank of Australia

Printer: Note Printing Australia

Serial number: XGY 000000 and 'Specimen No. 0061'

Signature/s: M J Phillips, Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia/F H Wheeler, Secretary to the Treasury

Overprinting: diagonally overprinted with 'Specimen' and 'NO VALUE' both sides

Circulation status: specimen

Illustrative content: front: portrait of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith; back - portrait of Lawrence Hargrave

Condition: uncirculated

Watermark: profile of Captain James Cook

Physical description: dimensions - 155x76 mm; blue/orange

Industry catalogue/number: Renniks #R405F

Specimen one hundred dollar banknote in presentation envelope, 1984 (Item 38)

Issue details

Category: specimen hundred dollar paper banknote

Type: specimen Type 4

Denomination: one hundred dollars

Issuer: Reserve Bank of Australia

Printer: Note Printing Australia

Serial number: ZAA 000000 and 'SPECIMEN No. 0337 on back

Signature/s: J Stone, Secretary to the Treasury/RA Johnston, Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia

Overprinting: 'SPECIMEN' twice in red on front and 'Specimen No. 0337' on back

Circulation status: specimen

Illustrative content: front - portrait of Sir Douglas Mawson, geologist and Antartic explorer; back - portrait of John Tebbutt, astronomer

Condition: uncirculated

Watermark: multiple portraits of James Cook towards left edge

Physical description: dimensions - 172x82.5 mm; blue/grey

Industry catalogue/number: Renniks #SP28

Additional information

First note with multiple watermarks.

Specimen five dollar polymer banknote in presentation envelope, 1993 (Item 39)

Issue details

Category: Australian polymer $5 specimen banknote

Type: collector issue

Denomination: five dollars

Issuer: Reserve Bank of Australia

Printer: Note Printing Australia

Serial number: AA 00 000 000 (on back) and 'Specimen No. 0619'

Signature/s: A S Cole, Secretary to the Treasury/B W Fraser, Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia

Overprinting: 'SPECIMEN' in red on front and 'Specimen No. 0619' on back

Circulation status: specimen

Illustrative content: front - HM Queen Elizabeth II; back - old and new Parliament Houses, Canberra

Condition: uncirculated

Watermark: transparent panel with gum flower in centre

Physical description: dimensions - 129x65 mm; purple

Industry catalogue/number: Renniks #R214F

Additional information

First plastic (polymer) notes partly introduced to defeat counterfeiting.

First use of unique, clear window.

Specimen ten dollar polymer banknote in presentation envelope, 1993 (Item 40)

Issue details

Category: Australian polymer $10 specimen banknote

Type: collector issue

Denomination: ten dollars

Issuer: Reserve Bank of Australia

Printer: Note Printing Australia

Serial number: AA 93000000

Signature/s: E A Evans, Secretary to the Treasury, B W Fraser, Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia

Overprinting: 'SPECIMEN' in red on front and 'Specimen No. 0607' on back

Circulation status: specimen

Illustrative content: front - portrait of Dame Mary Gilmore by William Dobell; back - portrait of Banjo Paterson

Condition: uncirculated

Watermark: transparent panel with windmill in centre

Physical description: dimensions - 135x65 mm; blue

Industry catalogue/number: Renniks #R316aF

Additional information

Plastic (polymer) notes were introduced partly to defeat counterfeiting.

First use of unique, clear window.

Specimen ten dollar polymer banknote, Bicentenary issue, in presentation envelope, 1988 (Item 41)

Issue details

Category: Australian polymer $10 specimen banknote, Bicentenary issue

Type: collector issue

Denomination: ten dollars

Issuer: Reserve Bank of Australia

Printer: Note Printing Australia

Serial number: AA 0000 0000

Signature/s: B W Fraser, Secretary to the Treasury/RA Johnston, Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia

Overprinting: 'SPECIMEN' in red and first date of issue on front and 'Specimen No. 0635' on back

Circulation status: specimen

Illustrative content: front - ship 'Supply' in Sydney Cove based on a sketch by John Hunter; back - Aboriginal youth in body paint with Morning Star Pole

Condition: uncirculated

Watermark: transparent panel optical variable device (OVD) of Captain Cook in centre

Physical description: dimensions - 155x77.5 mm; green, blue, orange

Industry catalogue/number: Renniks #RAO1(a)1

Additional information

First use of OVD to deter counterfeiting - replaced watermark in paper notes.

Specimen one hundred dollar polymer banknote in presentation envelope, 1996 (Item 42)

Issue details

Category: Australian polymer $100 specimen banknote

Type: collector issue

Denomination: one hundred dollars

Issuer: Reserve Bank of Australia

Printer: Note Printing Australia

Serial number: AA 96 000 000

Signature/s: E A Evans, Secretary to the Treasury, B W Fraser, Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia

Overprinting: 'SPECIMEN' in red on both sides and 'Specimen No. 0723' on back

Circulation status: specimen

Illustrative content: front - portrait of Dame Nellie Melba; back - portrait of Sir John Monash

Condition: uncirculated

Watermark: Australian coat of arms plus transparent panel with lyre bird and '100' in centre

Physical description: dimensions - 158x65 mm; green

Industry catalogue/number: Renniks #616F

Additional information

First plastic (polymer) notes partly introduced to defeat counterfeiting.

First use of unique, clear window.

Specimen twenty dollar polymer banknote in presentation envelope, 1994 (Item 43)

Issue details

Category: Australian polymer $20 specimen banknote

Type: collector issue

Denomination: twenty dollars

Issuer: Reserve Bank of Australia

Printer: Note Printing Australia

Serial number: AA 94000000

Signature/s: E A Evans, Secretary to the Treasury/B W Fraser, Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia

Overprinting: 'SPECIMEN' in red on both sides and 'Specimen No. 0723' on back

Circulation status: specimen

Illustrative content: front - portrait of Mary Reibey, a convict settler; back - portrait of Rev. John Flynn, founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service

Condition: uncirculated

Watermark: Australian coat of arms plus transparent panel with compass in centre

Physical description: dimensions - 144x65 mm; red

Industry catalogue/number: Renniks #R416aF

Additional information

First plastic (polymer) notes partly introduced to defeat counterfeiting.

First use of unique, clear window.

Specimen fifty dollar polymer banknote in presentation envelope, 1995 (Item 44)

Issue details

Category: Australian polymer $50 specimen banknote

Type: collector issue

Denomination: fifty dollars

Issuer: Reserve Bank of Australia

Printer: Note Printing Australia

Serial number: AA 95000000

Signature/s: E A Evans, Secretary to the Treasury/B W Fraser, Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia

Overprinting: 'SPECIMEN' in red on both sides and 'Specimen No. 0723' on back

Circulation status: specimen

Illustrative content: front - portrait of David Unaipon, Aboriginal writer and inventor; back: portrait of Edith Cowan, first female member of an Australian Parliament

Condition: uncirculated

Watermark: Australian coat of arms plus transparent panel with Southern cross in centre

Physical description: dimensions - 152.5x65 mm; gold

Industry catalogue/number: Renniks #R516aF

Additional information

First plastic (polymer) notes partly introduced to defeat counterfeiting.

First use of unique, clear window.


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