The Japanese government-issued Oceanian Pound was one of several issues of Japanese invasion money used during World War II. Consisting of only four denominations, the Oceanian Pound was the shortest set (i.e., total number of denominations) issued.
Common among all Japanese invasion money, the Oceania notes have two identifying letters printed on the obverse. The first letter “O” indicates the note was printed and issued for Oceania. The second letter is the block (or printing batch) of the note. The two lower denomination notes (half-shilling and one shilling) were printed in three blocks (OA, OB, and OC). The two higher denomination notes (10 shillings and one pound) were only printed in a single block (OA).
1942 issue of Japanese invasion money (Oceania Pound)
Early in 1944 crude copies were being made and sold out of Sydney, with the word “replica” printed in small letter on the reverse. Authorities determined that since the notes were not legal tender in Australia (with or without the word “replica”), the practice was not illegal. However the responsible party, a print shop in Brisbane, was cited for violating wartime regulations governing the rationing of paper, and shut down. These replica notes trade hands among numismatic collectors and their value is roughly ten-times higher than the issued, circulated notes.