In 1913 the first national banknotes were introduced in denominations of 10s, £1, £5, and £10. 1914 saw the introduction of £20, £50, £100, and £1000 notes. The £1000 note only saw limited circulation and was later confined to inter-bank use. Stocks were destroyed in 1969 and there are no uncancelled examples of this note known to exist in private hands. There were two types of the never-issued 5s note, one around 1916 and the other 1946, both had the reigning monarch and were later destroyed in 1936 and 1953, respectively.
In the mid-1920s a modified 10s (worded as “Half Sovereign”), and reduced-size £1, £5 and £10 notes were issued with the side profile of King George V on the face. These notes still referred to the currency’s convertibility to gold on demand. A newer £1000 note with the profile of George V was also prepared but never issued. An unissued printer’s trial of this note was discovered in London in 1996 and subsequently sold for a sum in excess of $200,000. Nonetheless, this note is not recognised as a legitimate Australian banknote issue.
Just after the start of the Great Depression in 1933, Australian currency ceased to be redeemable for gold at the previously maintained rate of one gold sovereign for one pound currency. Subsequently a new series of Legal Tender notes were designed, once again bearing the portrait of King George V, in denominations of 10s, £1, £5 and £10. These denominations and designs were maintained and modified to accommodate the portrait of King George VI in 1938. For both issues £50 and £100 specimens were prepared, but were not issued.
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