1966 Type I Specimen Banknote Album (Empty)
An intact slice of Australian numismatic history.
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.
This means that a total of 208 “Type I” specimen banknote albums were distributed.
Over the years and particularly during the last bull market, many of the privately-held Type I Specimen albums were cut up by collectors and dealers - they were simply too expensive to sell intact! It's such a shame to see such history pulled apart into invidiual commercial values, however the albums themselves are clearly still collectible.
I know several collectors that have bought empty albums just like this one, and are slowly filling them back up again with notes, one by one.
This strategy makes sense, because complete sets are obviously far rarer and more valuable than single specimen notes.
This is only the 3rd such empty album I've seen over the past decade or so.
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