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Posted on: Dec, 12/15/2017

Australia's NGB $10 banknote was released into general circulation on 20 September 2017, with nowhere near the same vacuous fury that we saw on social media 12 months earlier when the NGB $5 note was released.

It is interesting to speculate whether the paler appearance of the wattle either side of the clear vertical window on the NGB $10 relative to the NGB $5 was intentionally adjusted after the hue and cry of September 2016, however the official version from the RBA is that "The wattle flowers on the new $10 banknote are paler than those on the new $5 banknote – just like the two wattles in real life."

The...

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Category [ Tags: Decimal Coins & Banknotes ]
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Posted on: Nov, 11/10/2017

Whenever Australia’s first coins are discussed, most of the focus is placed on the Holey Dollar rather than the Dump. This is hardly surprising, as the larger coin had four times the purchasing power of the smaller coin.

What is often overlooked in that assessment is the fact that the way the Dump was cut and struck determined whether both coins remained in circulation.

If Macquarie’s counter-stamping plan was to prevent coins from being taken outside NSW, the weight of both the Holey Dollar and the Dump needed to fall within a tightly defined range. If either coin weighed outside their intended range, its silver value could vary widely from its face value, which could be an incentive to take the coin away from NSW and pass it off at its intrinsic value, defeating the purpose of the whole...

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Category [ Tags: Proclamation and Colonial Coins ]
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Posted on: Oct, 10/28/2017

To the uninitiated, polymer “Charity Sheet" notes appear to be a new type of specimen note - as with the polymer specimen notes issued between 1988 and 1996, each charity sheet note features “000000” after the serial prefix, so the initial confusion is understandable.

Charity Sheet notes are not specimen notes however - they served a different purpose, were distributed in a different manner, and are rated differently by collectors.

Even though Charity Sheet notes are not specimens, they are quite scarce and are very collectable in their own right....

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Category [ Tags: Decimal Coins & Banknotes ]
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Posted on: Oct, 10/25/2017

It is difficult to hold a banknote from the Western Australian Bank and not be taken back to the era it was issued in.

These large notes, with their intricate designs, calligraphed signatures and firm but undoubtedly fragile paper quality are objects of wealth unique to this part of the world, and evoke a long-distant era of formality and discipline. The Western Australian Bank merged with the Bank of New South Wales in 1927, and at it’s peak it was widely regarded as the most important commercial enterprise in Western Australia, one that “…had done more to assist in the development of mining in this state than nearly the whole of the other financial institutions combined.[1]

The quality of a very small number...

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Category [ Tags: Pre-Federation Notes ]
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Posted on: Aug, 08/26/2017

The first coins for the Commonwealth of Australia in 1910 were struck at the Royal Mint in London.Australia 1912 Heaton Halfpenny

Although significant quantities of silver had been discovered in Broken Hill in the 1880’s, and although the colonial governments of New South Wales and Victoria had been agitating for the Australian branch mints to strike an Australian national coinage for some years, it was an established practice that the coinage for all British colonies (outside India) was struck by the Royal Mint in London. Maintaining this practice was not without challenges...

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Category [ Tags: Commonwealth Coins ]
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Posted on: Aug, 08/25/2017

Printing banknotes is just like any other mass manufacturing process, and even though the end product of the banknote production process is rather more celebrated than the average bolt or screw, just like the average bolt-producing machine, banknote printing presses work perfectly 99.99% of the time, but mistakes can and will happen.

Misprinted banknotes are always destroyed immediately (or at least they are as soon as they are spotted), which leave a standard bundle of 100 notes one or two notes short. Checking the serial numbers at the start and end of each bundle is one quick and initial way of telling how many notes are included, so rather than just take a few notes from the next batch to make up the bundle, up until 1948, not only did staff at the Commonwealth Note Printers need to manually...

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Category [ Tags: Decimal Coins & Banknotes ]
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Posted on: Aug, 08/07/2017

“The constant aim of producing a "good" coin was usually brought closer by varying a process in an experimental way. Experimentation was a long tradition of The Royal Mint, London and its branches.[1]

The 1931 Dropped 1 Indian penny is widely agreed to be one of Australia’s rarest pennies, however it is a coin that the average collector and the general public know little about - a reasonable level of numismatic knowledge is required to identify and appreciate it. 

This compelling coin shares a great deal of history with the glamour rarity that preceded it in 1930 - research unequivocally shows that both coins are the result of practical efforts by Melbourne Mint staff during downtime in the Great Depression aimed at improving productivity...

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Category [ Tags: Commonwealth Coins ]
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Posted on: Jun, 06/13/2017

Ian Rank-Broadley (IRB) is a renown British sculptor - perhaps his best-known work is the obverse coinage design that he designed of Queen Elizabeth II - it was used on Great Britain's coins between 1998 and 2014, and has been seen on Australia's coins since 1997.Ian Rank-Broadley

IRB's works are in the permanent collections of the British Museum, London's National Portrait Gallery, the Ashmolean Museum, Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge, St Paul's Cathedral, the Rijksmuseum, and several others. His work at the British National Armed Forces Memorial saw him receive the Marsh Award for Public Sculpture. As well as public sculptures, IRB has also...

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Category [ Tags: Decimal Coins & Banknotes ]
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Posted on: Jun, 06/12/2017

Although a mint was not established in Victoria until 1872, as early as the 1850s the Victorian Government and business community lobbied the various decision makers in London for the first overseas branch of the Royal Mint to be located in Melbourne. Although historians have recorded rivalry between New South Wales and Victoria before this issue arose, the location of Australia’s first official mint was a further cause for competition between the two colonies for several decades.

In some respects, the Victorians were perhaps justified in believing that Melbourne would have been a far more appropriate location than Sydney – the volume of gold exported from the Victorian goldfields between 1851 and 1865 was close to five times that exported from New South Wales.[i]...

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Category [ Tags: Australian Gold Coinage ]
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Posted on: Dec, 12/22/2016

In the middle of 2015, a 1966 silver Australian uniface obverse pattern dollar coin was offered for sale via public auction. This coin had not been seen on the open market since March 1988, so it was an exciting offering. Excitement was building in the collector market as the 50th anniversary of decimal currency approached, however despite the topicality that the coin has, it was passed in without being sold.

Although coins are passed in at auction all the time, I was a little surprised by the result...

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Category [ Tags: Decimal Coins & Banknotes ]
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