The Dardanelles Overprints are a series of British banknotes (ten shillings and one pound) over-printed in Arabic and issued for use by Allied soldiers serving at Gallipoli between May and June 1915. As there were no Allied military canteens on the Dardanelles, these notes were issued to the troops so they were able to buy items from the locals.
The "host" notes are the standard "Bradbury" one pound and ten shilling notes that were in circulation in the United Kingdom at that time. These bank notes were only the second series of notes issued by the...read more
The “Rainbow Pound” is a truly historic Australian note - it’s history is intimately tied to our nation’s involvement in World War I. This important note received its name due to the pattern of colours that are seen in the designs either side.
As has been the case in times of crisis since the dawn of time, the Australian public chose to hoard gold, silver and copper coins during World War I, and spent only the paper currency they received.
This was a significant reason why there was a strong for paper notes from 1914. Newspapers dating to WWI feature numerous articles discussing...read more
The appearance of several blank one pound notes in a series of auctions between 1980 and 2013 raised a number of questions - first among them for me was, just what are they?
Unexplained oddities such as these are one of the truly rewarding areas of Australian numismatics, a bit of legwork can go a long way in turning an oddball item into one that’s highly prized. These unissued one pound note forms draw in a number of different sections of Australian numismatics - specimen notes, error / variety notes, the switch from the reasonably large Harrison series notes down to the smaller Legal Tender notes, as well as the numismatic pandemonium that surrounded the abdication of King Edward VIII in 1936.
The Unissued Type Two One Thousand Pound Specimen note is one of Australia’s most important currency notes - it is by far the highest denomination in the Australian monetary system, it is unique in private hands, it may well have a provenance linking it to Australia’s transition to central reserve banking, and easily ranks among Australia’s most valuable numismatic items.
Britain was under a great deal of strain in the opening stages of World War II - not only was success against Germany on the battlefields of Europe not guaranteed, but there was genuine concern that Hitler’s forces may one day arrive on British shores.
The Home Secretary took steps to ensure that a “fifth column” of German spies was not able to spring into action should Germany succeed in invading Britain, prime among them was the deportation of many thousands of refugees and “aliens” from Germany, Austria and elsewhere.
One load of deportees was sent via the “Dunera” to be interned at “Camp Seven”, near the Southern NSW town of Hay. Although early Australian newspaper reports portrayed the internees as being “dangerous”, historical records show that far from being cold blooded spies, many...read more
The Provincial and Surban Bank (P&S Bank) opened for business on November 26th, 1872 at 165 Smith Street in Collingwood (Melbourne, Victoria). Three years of poor results right from the outset meant that a portion of the P&S Bank's capital had to be written off not long after it was established.
Management then changed to Mr Richard Willis, a gentleman who until that stage in his career had apparently been a cordial manufacturer. With a background such as that, it is perhaps unsurprising that it was proven later that Willis was "ignorant of...read more
The Western Australian Bank (WAB) was established under a deed of settlement in Perth on June 23rd, 1841 by a small number of influential pastoralists and merchants in the Swan River Colony that were shareholders in the Bank of Western Australia (BWA). The first directors of the WAB included George Shenton Senior and Edward Hamersley Senior.... read more
To many collectors, 2013 marks a hundred years since Australia’s first notes were issued. The “Treasury” series of Commonwealth notes have long been regarded by the vast majority of Australian note collectors as the first notes issued by Australia’s Commonwealth government.
Knowledgable collectors are aware that the Treasury notes are not the first - the Type I superscribed notes that were issued from 1910 is the first series of Australian notes issued under the authority of the Commonwealth government.
Our superscribed series notes are misunderstood and under-appreciated by the majority of Australian note collectors for a number of reasons:
- Their appearance is very...
The general public today is quite used to seeing our notes printed with uniform serial numbers - nearly all Australian notes issued since 1988 feature a four-digit prefix and a six-digit serial number. Australians in the early 1900's had no such luxury, as there were 10 different varieties of the ten-shilling note alone in Australia's first decade of a national paper currency.
The Commonwealth Treasury initially underestimated the economic demand for Australia's currency notes, and the level of their underestimation can be seen in the numerous changes to the serial numbering format of Australia's first notes. Mick Vort-Ronald is undoubtedly Australia's pre-eminent author on banknotes, and on page 46 in his definitive work “Australian Banknotes”, he observes that Australia's ten-shilling...read more
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) notes from the 1960’s to 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...read more