Australia 1966 Type I Ten Dollar Specimen Note Coombs / Wilson R#301 Uncirculated
Only two comparable examples have been sighted at auction in 2020.
To mark the introduction of Australia's new decimal currency notes in 1966, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) prepared a special album that included two examples of each of the new denominations, as well as information on their design and production.
It is known that 17 albums were personally named for the recipient and signed by the Governor of the Reserve Bank, and were presented to:
The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Governor General (Lord Casey), The Governor General's Wife,(Mrs Casey), The Prime Minister (Sir Robert Menzies), The Federal Treasurer (William McMahon), The Secretary to the Treasury (Sir Roland Wilson), President of the Senate (Sir Alister McMullin), Speaker in the House of Representatives (Sir John McLeay), Leader of the Opposition (Arthur Calwell), The Governor of the Bank of England (Retired, Lord Cromer), The Governor of the Bank of England (Lord Cobbold), The Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (Gilbert Wilson), the artist Alister Morrison, the artist Gordon Andrews and the artist Russell Drysdale.
An additional 235 albums were printed in exactly the same style, although they were not signed by the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia. Only 191 of these albums were actually distributed, to the following people and organizations:
The Governor of the Reserve Bank (Sir Herbert “Nugget” Coombs), The Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank, Reserve Bank Board Members, Members of the Design Panel, Major Trading, State, Savings & Foreign Banks, Commonwealth Central Banks, Other Central Banks, Libraries & other institutions in Australia & overseas, High Commissioner in London, People and Organizations on the General Manager's list (mostly printers and overseas banks), Reserve Bank Archivist, Retired Treasury officials as well as Mr E. Kingsford Smith.
A total of 208 “Type I” specimen banknote albums were thus distributed.
If we presume that albums distributed to public collections will never be available to the collector market, it seems that at most, only 86 Type I Specimen note sets will ever be available to collectors.
Specimen banknotes are of great interest to collectors for the following reasons:
● They are excessively rare;
● They are printed before the commercial print run for the general public; and
● They were generally presented to a “very restricted list of prominent persons”.
At the peak of the banknote boom, individual Type I decimal specimen notes were quite regularly bringing between $14,000 and $17,000 each. The market has now eased of course, however it certainly seems to be finding a bottom.
Some doomsayers will say that the supply of these notes has escalated dramatically since mid-2012, however the reality doesn't quite match up to that perception.
If we take the Type I specimen $10 note, only 2 examples have been seen at auction in 2020. There were none seen in 2019, 7 in 2018 and just 4 in 2017.
Given how important these notes are to any collector of Australian paper decimal notes, I hardly see that as being a flood.
We haven't seen individual Type I decimal specimen notes trade in their current price range since the early 1990's, very few sets had been split up by that time, so individual notes were far and few between back then.
This note remains in pristine condition - it is devoid of any creases, flicks or folds, and has attractive sheen. The standard light amounts of glue residue can be seen in the tip of several corners on the back, evidence that it was originally housed in one of the albums mentioned above.
This note remains as exclusive, rare and historic as it did when comparable notes were selling for more than $14,000 each, and is excellent value for money at the moment.
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