1995 $5 Note Bundle of 100 Narrow Orientation Bands Fraser/Evans R217ai Uncirculated
Front: New Parliament House
Back: Elizabeth II
Mintage: Approximately 13,000,000
This is an intact bundle of a truly underrated polymer banknote variety.
A keen-eyed banknote collector wrote into the Australian Coin Review magazine in July 1996 to advise they'd seen a new variety on the re-coloured $5 notes that had been issued into circulation from April 1995. G.P. of Morwell in Victoria advised: " I have enclosed an enlarged photocopy to illustrate what 1believe is anew and so far unacknowledged minor variation. The change to the background plates involves the “orientation bars" at the top and bottom left of the current note. These bars on the front of the $5 notes consist of 26 vertical coloured columns containing a number of alternating diagonal white lines.... I have seen several notes in the I to J range which quite clearly have around twice the number of white diagonal lines..."
Mick Vort-Ronald then wrote an article on the 5 dollar note in the Australian Coin Review magazine in July 1997, and explained the following about the narrow orientation bands:
"A variation of the bands was first reported in the July 1996 issue of the Australian Coin Review. Notes within the I to J serial number range in circulation were found with around twice the number of white diagonal lines within the bands to give a much finer appearance to the lines.
As a result of the discovery of about 12 white diagonal lines in the orientation bands, I included the variety in the Renniks catalogue as R.193 and in my new polymer note interleaves.
It was not a permanent change.
Other notes with those signatures and the new signature combination of I Macfarlane and EA Evans reverted to the original orientation bands.
Inquiries with the Reserve Bank of Australia revealed that approximately 13 million $5 notes (from a total production in 1995 of 97 million notes) were produced with this small difference in the orientation bands.
The notes with the variation were numbered in the range HC 95 233001 to KC 95 650000. However, as a result of the way batches are passed through the numbering press, not all notes in that range will have finer lines.
The variation occurred when additional printing plates were made during the production run to replace damaged plates. Artwork from an earlier proof of the note was inadvertently used to create the replacement plates.
The finer lines will not be used in future issues and the variation (confined to Fraser/Evans signatures) is now proving difficult to locate in uncirculated condition."
This is an excellent opportunity to put away an intact bundle of an underrated polymer banknote variety.
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