It is exactly 100 years since the issue of Australia’s first banknote. In conjunction with Australia Post, we’re delighted to mark this momentous event with a superb commemorative set including this stunning rectangular coin.
14 Interesting Banknote Facts
- Up to 1910, notes issued by the private banks and the Queensland Government circulate as Australia’s paper currency.
- The passing of the Australian Notes Act of 1910 assigns responsibility for the issue of banknotes to the Commonwealth Treasury.
- Treasury invites the public to submit designs for a unique Australian currency, but entries are judged to be unsuitable.
- In 1912, Englishman Thomas Samuel Harrison, who has extensive experience in the field of security printing, is appointed Australia’s first banknote printer.
- A new printing works is established in Kings Warehouse at the western end of Flinders Street in Melbourne.
- The first banknote of the Commonwealth of Australia is worth 10 shillings.
- Included on the note are depictions of the Australian Coat of Arms and the Goulburn Weir in Victoria.
- A ceremony to number the first batch takes place on 1 May 1913.
- Judith Denman, the five year-old daughter of Governor-General Lord Thomas Denman, prints the serial number M000001 on the initial note.
- Prime Minister, Andrew Fisher officially presents her with the note.
- It is discovered in the UK in Judith Denman’s belongings in 1999, 12 years after she passes away.
- The note returns to Australia when a collector purchases it for around $1 million.
- The note sells for a second time in 2008 for $1.9 million.
- The note is offered for sale in May 2013 (via Coinworks), 100 years after it was issued.
Can I see Australia’s first banknote?
If you are in Melbourne between 10 and 15 May, the historic note is on display at the World Stamp Expo 2013, Royal Exhibition Building.