Most collectors working towards a complete type set of pre decimal notes start at the easiest end and work back – from the more readily available Queen Elizabeth (QEII) issued in the 1960’s back towards those issued before World War I.
The first really tough note these collectors come across is the Gold Bearing Ten Pound of the 1920’s – all of the QEII notes, King George VI notes and smaller denominations in the Gold Bearing series may be sourced with patience, while the total number of ten pound notes from the Treasury and Gold Bearing series is so small that some collectors will take them in any condition they can get.
Reserve Bank of Australia records indicate that by October 23rd 1945, just 5,000 Treasury and Gold Bearing Ten Pound notes were still outstanding.
(More information on this may be gained from p204 of Mick Vort Ronald’s definitive work “Australian Banknotes”.)
No wonder collectors find them so difficult to obtain over half a century later!
The first thing a collector notices when they handle a Gold Bearing Ten Pound note is the light texture of the paper.
They were printed on paper with a 1,500 MDF rating – KGVI notes had a 2,500 MDF rating, while our decimal notes had a 3,150 MDF rating.
These technical figures clearly show that the Gold Bearing notes were half as strong as our decimal notes.
When we consider that most decimal notes lasted for less than 2 years, we understand why there are so few Gold Bearing notes around today in high quality.