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Commonwealth Banknotes

Posted on: Apr, 04/25/2015

The Dardanelles Overprints

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...

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Posted on: Apr, 04/25/2015

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.

Australia's "Rainbow" Pound - Currency Directly Linked to WWI

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...

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Posted on: Feb, 02/28/2014

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.

 

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Posted on: Jan, 01/14/2014

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.

Australia Type Two One Thousand Pound Specimen Note

 In...

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Posted on: Nov, 11/11/2013

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...

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Posted on: Jan, 01/21/2013

The Provincial and Suburban 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 bank's capital had to be written off not long after it was established.

Provincial & Suburban Bank £10 Specimen Note

Management then changed to a 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 "...

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Posted on: Nov, 11/29/2012

The Western Australian Bank was a proud local business institution that was formed in 1841, and became part of the Bank of New South Wales in 1927. It was one of the very few Australian banks to survive the banking crisis of 1893, and for 86 years it was a trusted member of the West Australian business community.1844 Western Australian Bank Unissued One Pound

The banknotes issued by the Western Australian Bank were readily accepted right up until the Commonwealth Government took over the note issue in 1910.

Established in 1841 on the Corner of St Georges Terrace...

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Posted on: Aug, 08/08/2012

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.

Superscribed Bank Notes 1 Pound

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...

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Posted on: Sep, 09/21/2010

Serial Numbering

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.

1918 Ten Shilling Cerutty/Collins

The Commonwealth Treasury initially underestimated the economic demand for Australia'...

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Posted on: Sep, 09/09/2010

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.

Australia 1927 £10 Note Riddle Heathershaw

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...

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