Australian paper banknotes can be very valuable but how do you know what your old note is worth? Banknotes used to be made of paper before the currently used polymer or plastic notes came into circulation. Before 1966 Australia printed pre-decimal notes in ten shillings, one pound, 5,10, 20, 50 and 100 pound denominations. In 1966 Australia changed to decimal currency and introduced the one dollar and two dollar notes followed by 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollar notes.
To value an Australian paper note first you must identify the famous Australians portrayed and the signatures the note bears. The signatures belong to the Secretary to the Treasury and the Governor and these appear on the note. These features will help you determine the notes year of issue. Secondly the serial number is important in determining where your note falls in the run or manufacturing sequence of the notes. First and last prefix notes are often more collectable and command a premium to general prefix notes. The prefix is the first 2 or 3 letters in the notes serial number. If the serial number has a star it is very valuable indeed -these are replacement notes and command a large premium.
NAA First prefix
NAB to NCR General Prefix
NCS Last Prefix
Condition of your Australian note is of utmost importance and greatly affects it’s value. A folded note or one kept in your wallet for years will never be worth as much as a flat crisp uncirculated banknote. Even a teller flick on a bundle of notes can devalue the note rendering it aUnc. And most certainly a paper note with the corners eaten off by cockroaches will have a lesser value.
To work out if your paper note has any value over the face value of the note then pick up a copy of an Australian coin catalogue, ask someone with some banknote knowledge or take it to your local coin and banknote dealer. If you’re using a catalogue to value your paper notes, whether they be decimal or pre-decimal you should exercise caution. The Aussie banknote market saw a correction in 2012 and 2013 due to the failure of two major banknote dealers, John Petit Rare Banknotes from New South Wales and The Rare Coin Company from West Australia. The failure of these two dealers caused a collapse in the support of banknotes and a glut of available pre-decimal notes and decimal notes. Actual realised prices for these types of banknotes are now (late 2014) a mere fraction of the values shown in catalogues. In fact it’s not unusual for a paper banknote to only be worth a half or even a quarter of the values found in McDonalds or Renniks catalogues. We are sure the catalogues will amend their values in up-coming issues.