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How can you tell if you have a fake or counterfeit polymer banknote? You can do this simple trick to find out. First simply crush the banknote with your palm like squeezing it into a ball and then let it go immediately. The note should springs back immediately. If not, then you may have a fake note in your hand.

Here I have a complete collection of all Australian polymer notes (single note) issued since 1988, including all commemorative / numismatic notes, joint issues and special serial numbered issues. The only set that I do not have, at the moment, is the 1998 $10 Portraits AA98/AB98 (with or without frame). This $10 Portrait set was a failure at that time and the series was later withdrew as it was not popular among collectors. The price was not right then for me too and that was why I didn't buy them. It was NPA intention then to release all portrait sets on a yearly basis starting with the $10 note and collectors were also given the opportunity to get them all with matching serial numbers too. Unfortunately this was not to be the case.

Did you know that the Australia first polymer notes series are designed in such a way that the portraits of female and male are alternated, with serial numbers on the front and signatures on the back, ie $5 Queen Elizabeth the ll / Parliament House, $10 AB Banjo Patterson / Mary Gilmore, $20 John Flynn / Mary Reibey, $50 Edith Cowan / David Unaipon, $100 Nellie Melba / John Monash and $5 Federation Henry Parkes / Catherine Helen Spence. Of course only the normal $5 note has one portrait on the front and none on the back.

Also did you know that, the following were some of the names proposed for the new Australian currency back in the 60s when it was converting from Pound Sterling to Decimal (converted on 14.02.1966) - Boomer, the Digger, the Dinkum, the Emu, the Kanga, the Ming, Oz, the Quid, the Roo and Royal. Fortunately, the Dollar won the battle! Just like New Zealand, they too had proposed few other names for their currency, like the Fern, Kiwi, Zeal before they too accepted dollar on 10.07.1967.

Update 24.02.2020: Australia $100 Next generation polymer note is to be released in the second half of 2020.

18 October 2009

Australia Fifty Dollars

Donomination: $50
Date of first release: 4 November 1995
Designer: Brian Sadgrove
Size: 65 mm x 151 mm

Stories Behind The Faces

David Unaipon was an inventor and Australia first published Aboriginal writer. A Ngarrindjeri man, Unaipon was born at the Point McLeay Mission in South Australian 1872, the fourth of nine children. An avid reader, he displayed a tremendous thirst for knowledge from an early age. He researched many engineering problems leading to a number of his own inventions – the best known being an improved handpiece for shearing, which he patented in 1909. He believed that the aerodynamics of the boomerang could be applied to aircraft and predicted the development of the helicopter. In 1920’s, Unaipon became the first Aboriginal writer to be published, and many of his early articles and other writings were included in “Myths and Legends of the Australian Aboriginals” in 1930. Other articles, poetry and legends by Unaipon were published through the following decades. Unaipon was a prominent spokesperson for Aboriginal people. He influenced government policy, spoke out against racism and for equal rights and “sympathetic co-operation” between whites and blacks. Unaipon was awarded a Coronation Medal in 1953 for his achievements. He died in 1969.

Edith Cowan is best remembered as a social worker and the first female member of an Australian Parliament. She was born in 1861, at Glengarry near Geraldton in Western Australia. After a tragic childhood, Edith Dircksey Brown married James Cowan in 1879. Her husband’s work as a police magistrate gave her insights to the problem of women and children at that time. Throughout her life, she was involved in many voluntary organisations and worked towards important reforms for women, children and migrants. She was a firm believer in the power of education. In 1909 she helped found the Women’s Service Guild, which advocated equal rights of citizenship for men and women. Cowan was also a founding member of the Children’s Protection Society, which was instrumental in establishing day nurseries and the Children’s Court. She was one of the first women appointed to the bench of this Court in 1915. In 1921, Cowan was elected to the Legislative Assembly in Western Australia, becoming Australia first female parliamentarian. In 1923, she introduced the Women’s Legal Status Act, enabling women to enter civil office and practice law. For her various activities, including her role with the Red cross during World War l, she was awarded the OBE in 1920. Cowan died in 1932. In recent time, a federal electorate and university have been named after her.

Other features
* The clear window, which is slighter larger than the $5, $10 and $20, has a stylized image of the Southern Cross printed in it, along with embossing of the number “50”;
* When the back of the note is looked at under ultraviolet light, the two serial numbers – one printed in blue, the other in black – fluoresce, and the number “50” in a patch becomes visible;
* The orientation bands on the top and bottom of the note are intended to assist in note sorting.
* When the note is held up to the light, a seven-pointed star within a circle is formed, by four points on one side of the note, combining perfectly with three points on the other.

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