The Fifty Pound Banknote Specimen Banknote


The Fifty Pound unissued specimen banknote is one of two known to exist, this particular example is in the hands of a private investor the other specimen banknote is displayed in The Reserve Bank of Australia’s-History of Australian Banknotes Museum in Martin Place Sydney.

This banknote, featured the portrait of Sir Henry Parkes referred to as the “Father of Federation.

This specimen banknote was one of a proposed new series of Australian banknotes in the 1950’s that did not proceed beyond the stage of printing specimen’s, for possible approval by the Federal Liberal Government of the day who deemed denomination’s above that of ten pound of twenty and fifty pound unnecessary as a general circulation banknote. The secretary to the treasury Mr Roland Wilson(1951-1966) had recommended the printing of these denominations with template specimens being produced for the approval of the government who due to economic conditions of the day declined to introduce these higher denominations to circulation.

Specimens and general issue banknotes in the reign of Queen Elizabeth 11 from the era of the 1950’s and early 1960’s having the signature combination of Coombs/Wilson were the start of major changes to Australian currency that continues to this day.

The banknote was designed by Note Printing Australia in the early 1950’s. on behalf of the Department of Treasury in Canberra.

The banknote was presented in an impressive coloured folder which had Fifty Pounds-Australian, inscribed on the obverse side of the folder. Archival records show further designs were created in addition to the fifty pound specimen Sir Henry Parkes banknote.These included a twenty pound and one hundred pound banknote.

Although never issued the banknote has over 60 years created interest with many articles being written, on the subject of pre decimal specimen banknotes. This specimen banknote would be viewed as a “collectors dream” as from an investors point of view this banknote both on purchase and sale would appeal to a very limited market.

Annual capital growth on such a banknote would be restricted to approximately 5% per annum due to only two records of sale, the potentially high price on sale of the banknote and very limited market appeal.

Copyright Australasian Notes Pty Ltd – 2011