It is pieces of the calibre of this banknote that has cemented Coinworks reputation for handling the most significant Australian currency rarities.
Australia’s Commonwealth of Australia banknotes were introduced in 1913 with the high denomination notes of the £20, £50 and £100 issued in 1914. An interesting point on our first banknotes that the designs did not include the monarch.
In the 1920s the Commonwealth of Australia’s banknotes underwent major design changes, the most significant of which was the inclusion of the monarch on the front of the note. The size of the notes also was significantly reduced.
The newly designed Ten Shillings and Pound notes were first issued in 1923. The five pounds in 1924, followed by the Ten Pounds in 1925.
The high denomination notes of £20, £50 and £100 were never re-issued, the one design remained during their lifetime.
We do however know that there were plans to revise the designs of the high denomination notes as evidenced by this specimen.
This note is unique. It was discovered in London via a deceased estate, contained in an envelope dated February 1924.
The front features the Coat of Arms and at the right a profile of King George V, akin to that used on Australia’s sovereign coinage. A prominent ‘20’ lies at each corner. The under-print contains a large TWENTY in the centre of the design.
The back of the note re-produces the Bruny Island timber-cutting scene used on the first and only £20 Commonwealth note issue.
The note has been securely housed in an envelope for more than ninety years which has ensured that no discoloration has occurred. It is as printed. For the record, one slight (and very minor) margin tear is noted.
This is an opportunity to acquire a piece of Australia’s banknote history that is as rare as it is significant.