Australian Commonwealth banknotes make $21,000 each at Heritage

Heritage Auctions saw a fine set of Australian Commonwealth specimen banknotes star

Heritage Auctions saw its World Paper Money Signature Auction highlighted by a rare set of Australian Commonwealth banknotes, which sold September 5-10.

Australian Commonwealth banknote specimen 1966 There are just two known complete sets of the Type Two specimen

The Reserve Bank of Australia released two distinct types of specimen denomination sets in 1966, with the examples at auction originating from Type Two. The Type One sets were released in a total of 208 specially prepared books, but Type Two were released individually, rather than in booklet form.

Type Two can be distinguished from Type One by the word SPECIMEN overprinted diagonally across the note eight times on each side. Type One features just one stamping of the word, in an oval over the watermark.

According to Sydney dealer John Pettit, there are only two complete sets of the Type Two notes recorded, one of which is already absorbed into a private collection after being sold by Pettit himself in 1989. With those at auction the only set available on the market, each sold for an impressive $21,150.

Leading among the set was a distinctly Australian note, which was engraved with an Aboriginal design. The one dollar banknote boasted well embossed SPECIMEN overprints and was graded PMG Choice Uncirculated 64 Net, with only a small amount of mounting residue marring its fine condition.

Also featuring in the sale was a newly discovered and unique 1880 Bank of Ottawa $5. One of just four other $5 examples known from the 1880 Bank of Ottawa issue, one of which is housed in the Canadian National Currency Collection, this example featured a previously unrecorded addition - blue sheet numbers. With a spectacular logging vignette as the centre design, the attractive note sold for $15,275.

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