An immensely rare, extremely fascinating element of Australian currency history, we are delighted to have secured a tiny number of genuine, original examples of some of Australia's earliest trial polymer banknotes!
With the introduction of decimal currency inspiring a host of high-quality forgeries, the RBA turned to the boffins at CSIRO to find a new substance with which to produce Australian banknotes.
The road to Australia's first polymer note - the 1988 Bicentennial Polymer $10 - was long and winding, and involved much trial and error.
One of the key steps forward took place in the mid-1970s, when the first 'serious' Test Notes were created. Imbued with all the key characteristics of an Australian $50, the $50 Test Notes offered here carried signatures, the word 'AUSTRALIA', and the inscription 'This Australian note is legal tender throughout Australia and it's Territories'.
These notes were put through rigorous testing, including distribution to CSIRO employees to be used in the canteen in the mid to late 1970s.
Most were destroyed, but a few were stashed away as souvenirs. Dubbed 'The Grandfather of Polymer Banknotes', and known by a handful of examples, we have a tiny number of 1976-77 $50 Polymer Trial Note Pairs available.
These notes are distinguished by different hologramatic devices, which are set within the clear vertical strip found in each note - much like the strip on the new $5 note! Exceptionally rare in any condition, and a must-have for the serious Australian currency collector, the three pairs we have available are graded Fine.