Banknotes of the Australian dollar

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The banknotes of the Australian dollar were first issued by the Reserve Bank of Australia on 14 February 1966, when Australia adopted decimal currency.[1] The $5 note was not issued until May 1967.[2]

Original series (papernote)[edit]

The $1 (10/-), $2 (£1), $10 (£5), and $20 (£10) had exact exchange rates with pounds and were a similar colour to the notes they replaced, but the $5 (£2/10) did not, and so was introduced after the public had become familiar with decimal currency. Notes issued between 1966 and 1973 bore the title "Commonwealth of Australia". Starting from 1974, the title on the new notes only read "Australia" and the legal tender phrase was also changed from "Legal Tender throughout the Commonwealth of Australia and the territories of the Commonwealth" to "This Australian Note is legal tender throughout Australia and its territories". The $50 note was introduced in 1973 and the $100 note in 1984, in response to inflation requiring larger denominations for transactions.[3] The one dollar note was replaced by a coin in 1984, while the two dollar note was replaced by a smaller coin in 1988.[3] These original bank notes were designed by Gordon Andrews, who rejected tradional Australian cliques for in favour for interesting and familiar subjects such as Aboriginal culture, women, the environment, architecture and aeronautics.[4] Although no longer printed, all previous issues of Australian dollar banknotes are considered legal tender.[5]

Paper Series[6]
Image Value Dimensions colours Description Date of circulation
Front Back Front Back
Australian $1 note paper front.jpg Australian $1 note paper back.jpg $1 140 × 70 mm Brown and orange Queen Elizabeth II David Malangi (artwork) 1966-1984
1966 Australian $2 note front.jpg 1966 Australian $2 note back.jpg $2 145 × 72.5 mm Green and yellow John Macarthur William Farrer 1966-1988
Australian $5 note paper front.jpg Australian $5 note paper back.jpg $5 150 × 75 mm Mauve Sir Joseph Banks Caroline Chisholm 1967-1992
Australian $10 note paper front.jpg Australian $10 note paper back.jpg $10 155 × 77.5 mm Blue and orange Francis Greenway Henry Lawson 1966-1993
Australian $20 note paper front.jpg Australian $20 note paper back.jpg $20 160 × 80 mm Red and yellow (orange backset) Sir Charles Kingsford Smith Lawrence Hargrave 1966-1994
Australian $50 note paper front.jpg Australian $50 note paper back.jpg $50 165 × 82.5 mm Gold, blue, brown and green Howard Florey, Baron Florey Sir Ian Clunies Ross 1973-1995
100 dollar note front.jpg Discovery 100 dollar note back bigJohn Tebbutt.jpg $100 172 × 82.5 mm Light blue and grey Sir Douglas Mawson John Tebbutt 1984-1996
These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimetre. For table standards, see the banknote specification table.

Current series (polymer)[edit]

In 1988, the Reserve Bank of Australia issued plastic, specifically polypropylene polymer banknotes (which were produced by Note Printing Australia), to commemorate the bicentenary of European settlement in Australia.[7] These notes contained a transparent "window" with a diffractive optically variable device (DOVD) image of Captain James Cook as a security feature. Australian banknotes were the first in the world to use such features.[7] All current Australian banknotes also contain Microprinting for further security.[8]

The currency now used in Australia consists of Dollars and Coins. 100 cents is in a dollar and there is no limit for dollars although the highest note is $100.

First series (1988)[7]
1988 commemorative polymer note - obverse 1988 commemorative polymer note - reverse

There were initial difficulties with the first banknote issued; the $10 note (pictured above) had problems with the holographic security feature detaching from the note. However, the Reserve Bank saw potential in the issue of plastic banknotes and commenced preparations for an entirely new series made from polymer, commencing with the $5 note in 1992.[9] In April 1995, the design of the $5 note was updated[9] to match the rest of the New Note Series, with additional slight changes in 1996. In 2001, a special commemorative 'Federation' $5 note was produced,[10] but in 2002, the previous version's production commenced again.

From 2002, the design of all notes (except for the $5 note picturing the Queen) was slightly changed to include the names of the people pictured on them under the portraits, and swapping the order of the signatures of officials on the notes.

Today all Australian notes are made of polymer.

Second series (1992–present)[9]
Note Obverse design Reverse design Dimensions4 (mm) Weight4 (g) Main colour Window image Embossing5 Printed Issued
$5 original1 Australian original $5 polymer front.JPG
Queen Elizabeth II
 
Australian original $5 polymer back.JPG
Parliament House,
Old Parliament House
130 × 65 × 0.1130 0.764 Pale mauve[11] Gum flower N/A 1992–1993 7 Jul 1992
$5 recoloured Australian $5 polymer front.jpg
Queen Elizabeth II
 
Australian $5 polymer back.jpg
Parliament House,
Old Parliament House
130 × 65 × 0.1256 0.783 Violet, pink 1995-2016 24 April 1995
$5 Federation2 Australian 5note front (new).jpg
Sir Henry Parkes
Australian 5note back (new).jpg
Catherine Helen Spence
130 × 65 × 0.1259 0.815 Leaf shaped window "5" 2001 1 Jan 2001
$5 Next Generation Banknote 6 2016 Australian five dollar note obverse.jpg
Queen Elizabeth II
2016 Australian five dollar note reverse.jpg
Parliament House
130 × 65 × unknown unknown Violet, pink Top to Bottom window 7 "5" Currently printing September 1, 2016
$103 Australian $10 polymer front.jpg
Banjo Paterson
Australian $10 polymer back.jpg
Dame Mary Gilmore
137 × 65 × 0.1294 0.841 Blue Windmill Wavy lines Currently printing 1 Nov 1993
$20 Australian $20 polymer front.jpg
Mary Reibey
Australian $20 polymer back.jpg
Reverend John Flynn
144 × 65 × 0.1332 0.900 Red Compass "20" Currently printing 31 Oct 1994
$50 Australian $50 polymer front.jpg
David Unaipon
Australian $50 note polymer back.jpg
Edith Cowan
151 × 65 × 0.1400 0.955 Yellow Southern Cross "50" Currently printing 4 Oct 1995
$100 Australian $100 polymer front.jpg
Dame Nellie Melba
Australian $100 polymer back.jpg
Sir John Monash
158 × 65 × 0.1408 1.006 Green Lyrebird "100" Currently printing 15 May 1996
These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimetre. For table standards, see the banknote specification table.
Remarks
  1. Some members of the public had difficulties in differentiating between the $5.00 and $10.00 notes especially in poor light conditions.
  2. Commemorating the Centenary of Federation. It also features the text of the speech Henry Parkes gave to parliament in favour of federation in microprint, on the side featuring his face.
  3. This note features excerpts of text from Banjo Paterson's most famous poem The Man From Snowy River intertwined with the text "TEN DOLLARS" in microprint on the front, and the text of Mary Gilmore's patriotic poem No Foe Shall Gather Our Harvest on the reverse.
  4. Thickness and weight of notes is +/-5 percent per 1000 notes
  5. Embossing is inside the shiny, transparent window.
  6. The Next Generation security banknote from the Reserve Bank Australia
  7. a new clear polymer window that goes from the top to the bottom of the banknote that is all clear

Tactile feature[edit]

On 13 February 2015 the Reserve Bank of Australia announced that the next series of Australia notes would have a tactile feature to help the visually impaired community to tell the value of the note after a successful campaign led by 15-year-old Connor McLeod, who is blind, to introduce the new feature.[12][13] The $5 banknote will include the tactile feature and is issued on 1 September 2016, to coincide with Australia's National Wattle Day.[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Reserve Bank and Reform of the Currency: 1960–1988: Australia's First Decimal Banknotes". Reserve Bank of Australia Museum. Reserve Bank of Australia. Retrieved 31 December 2015. 
  2. ^ Linzmayer, Owen (2013). "Australia". The Banknote Book. San Francisco, CA: www.BanknoteNews.com. 
  3. ^ a b "The Reserve Bank and Reform of the Currency: 1960–1988, Inflation and the Note Issue". Reserve Bank of Australia Museum. Reserve Bank of Australia. Retrieved 31 December 2015. 
  4. ^ Australia, Reserve Bank of. "The Designer: Gordon Andrews | The Decimal Revolution | Reserve Bank of Australia - Museum". Retrieved 2016-09-13. 
  5. ^ Renniks Australian Coin and Banknote Values[full citation needed]
  6. ^ a b c "Introducing Polymer Banknotes: A New Era". Reserve Bank of Australia Museum. Reserve Bank of Australia. Retrieved 31 December 2015. 
  7. ^ "List of Security Features". Counterfeit Detection. Reserve Bank of Australia. Retrieved 9 February 2015. The security features that can be used to check a banknote are: Polymer Substrate ... Clear Window ... See-through Registration Device ... Shadow Image ... Intaglio Print ... Background Print (Offset) ... Micro-printing ... Fluorescent Ink 
  8. ^ a b c "A Complete Series of Polymer Banknotes: 1992-1996". Reserve Bank of Australia Museum. Reserve Bank of Australia. Retrieved 31 December 2015. 
  9. ^ "Banknotes in Circulation-$5 BANKNOTE". banknotes.rba.gov.au. Reserve Bank of Australia. Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  10. ^ Ian W. Pitt, ed. (2000). Renniks Australian Coin and Banknote Values (19th ed.). Chippendale, NSW: Renniks Publications. p. 168. ISBN 0-9585574-4-6. 
  11. ^ "Next Generation Banknotes: Additional Feature for the Vision Impaired". www.rba.gov.au (Press release). Media Office-Reserve Bank of Australia. 13 February 2015. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  12. ^ Haxton, Nance (18 February 2015). "RBA to introduce tactile banknotes after 15yo blind boy Connor McLeod campaigns for change". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  13. ^ Next Generation of Banknotes: Issuance Date for the New $5 Banknote Reserve Bank of Australia (www.rba.gov.au). Retrieved on 2016-02-16.

External links[edit]

  1. Australian Decimal Banknotes australianstamp.com
  2. The Money Tracker site allows users to track Australian banknotes as they circulate around Australia.
  3. The Reserve Bank of Australia has a full timeline of Australian banknotes.