Australia's first official banknote now worth $224,000 at auction


2015-06-26 13:39:33


Australia's first official banknote now worth $224,000 at auction

The only specimen of Australia's first official banknote was found in Scotland

The only known example of Australia's first official banknote has been consigned to a Sydney auction, to be held on March 25-27 by Noble Numismatics.

Australia's first oldest bank note ten shillingsNot even Westpac, the current Bank of New South Wales, has an example of the note in its collection

The 10 shillings note, issued the day the Bank of New South Wales opened in 1817, is expected to sell for around $226,000.

The note was created after Lieutenant-Colonel Lachlan Macquarie was appointed governor of New South Wales in 1809. When he landed, the British army officer was met with a crisis, as those that had arrived with the First Fleet in 1788 had nearly starved and failed to establish a stable monetary system.

As a result, Macquarie had 10,000 of Spanish coins imported from India and used them to manufacture Australia's first coin, the "Holey Dollar".

Noble Numismatics set the world record for a Holey Dollar in 2013 at $508,000.

As proper banknote paper had not arrived from London, the bank was forced to take extra security measures, printing a legend on the back of the note using a printer exclusive to the colony

However, Macquarie's plan was to establish an official bank and, despite his request being rejected at first, it was eventuallyaccepted in 1816. On April 8, 1817, the Bank of New South Wales opened its doors, with 100 10 shilling notes issued on the first day.

Yet this is the only survivor and not even Westpac - the current name of the Bank of New South Wales - has an example in its collection. It was originally thought that none had survived, but remarkably this example remainsin superb condition.

The note was originally discovered in a Scottish private collection in 2005, thought to have been placed there by Macquarie himself. It was later sold to a private collector.

In April, Stack's Bowers will sell a rare banknote dating to the first emperor of China's Ming dynasty (1368-1398).

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