On the 100th anniversary of Australia’s Federation we saw these wonderful $5 banknotes being placed in general circulation for an extremely limited time.
They were unique in their design and as such became highly sought after collectibles.
This example is delightful as the pictures attest to clearly. There is one very, very light fold in the bottom edge that is barely detectable.
The pictures here form part of the description so please take a good look.
Super high resolution pictures in larger format are always available on request.
The Federation 5 dollar note incorporates these very special security features:
1. The clear window contains an embossing of the number ‘5’. Part of this window is mauve coloured in appearance.
2. Very slightly raised printing can be felt by running your finger or fingernail across the main design elements, such as the portraits, the notes denomination numeral and the word Australia.
3. The words of Parkes’ Tenterfield speech (Obverse) and ‘Advance Australia Fair’ (Reverse) are reproduced in microprint and can be read with the aid of a magnifying glass.
4. When the note is held up to the light, a seven pointed star within a circle is formed by four points on one side of the note combining perfectly with three points on the other side.
5. A hidden number ‘5’ below the small printed triangle in the bottom right hand corner of the back of the note is revealed when that area of the note is viewed through the mauve coloured area of the clear window. To see this better fold the note so that the triangle in the window is on top of, and in direct contact with, the printed triangle. To accentuate the effect, move the triangle in the window around the printed triangle.
6. Intricate, multi-coloured, fine-line patterns and images appear on both sides of the note.
7. The serial number of each note is printed vertically on the reverse side of the note. Under ultraviolet light the serial number is fluorescent.
8. Under ultraviolet light on the reverse of the note, the stars of the Southern Cross, the sunburst, the yellow orientation bars at the top and bottom of the note, and the wattle flowers will all fluoresce. There is a spray of wattle leaves and the numeral ‘5’, that are normally not visible, which also become visible under ultraviolet light.
Obverse: Sir Henry Parkes, GCMG (27 May 1815 – 27 April 1896) was an Australian statesman, the “Father of Federation.”
As the earliest advocate of a Federal Council of the then colonies of Australia, a precursor to the Federation of Australia, he is generally considered the most prominent of the Australian Founding Fathers. Parkes was described during his lifetime by The Times as “the most commanding figure in Australian politics”. Alfred Deakin described him as “though not rich or versatile, his personality was massive, durable and imposing, resting upon elementary qualities of human nature elevated by a strong mind. He was cast in the mould of a great man and though he suffered from numerous pettinesses, spites and failings, he was in himself a large-brained self-educated Titan whose natural field was found in Parliament and whose resources of character and intellect enabled him in his later years to overshadow all his contemporaries”.
Reverse: Catherine Helen Spence (31 October 1825 – 3 April 1910) was an Australian author, teacher, journalist, politician and leading suffragette. In 1897 she became Australia’s first female political candidate after standing (unsuccessfully) for the Federal Convention held in Adelaide. Known as the “Greatest Australian Woman” and given the epitaph “Grand Old Woman of Australasia”, Spence is commemorated on the Australian 5 dollar note issued for the Centenary of Federation of Australia. Spence was born in Melrose, Scotland, as the fifth child in a family of eight. In 1839, following sudden financial difficulties, the family emigrated to South Australia, arriving in November 1839 at a time when the colony had experienced several years of drought and the contrast to her native Scotland made her “inclined to go and cut my throat”. Nevertheless, the family endured seven months “encampment” growing wheat on an eighty acre (32 ha) selection before moving to Adelaide.
Watermark: With the introduction of the new polymer banknotes we saw the end of the customary watermark. It was replaced with a Variable Optical Security Devices.
Australia became a nation on 1 January 1901 when six British colonies being New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania united to form the Commonwealth of Australia. The process was called federation.
Australia’s federation came about through a process of deliberation, consultation and debate, unlike many other nations that unified as a result of war or conflict. Federation only went ahead with the approval of the people in a referendum or the vote of the people.
Before 1901 Australia did not exist as a nation. It was a collection of six British colonies which were partly self-governing, but under the law-making power of the British Parliament. The colonies were almost like six separate countries; for example, each had its own government and laws, its own defence force, issued its own stamps and collected tariffs (taxes) on goods that crossed its borders. The colonies had even built railways using different gauges, which complicated the transport of goods across the continent.
By the 1880s the inefficiency of this system, a growing unity among colonists and a belief that a national government was needed to deal with issues such as trade, defence and immigration saw popular support for federation grow. Sir Robert Garran, who was active in the federation movement, later reflected that the colonies were united by a combination of ‘fear, national sentiment and self-interest’.
While tariffs provided the colonial governments with much revenue, they restricted trade and movement between the colonies. Tariffs increased the cost of goods and made it hard for manufacturers based outside a colony to compete with local producers.
Trade restrictions also inconvenienced travellers; the train journey between Melbourne and Sydney was delayed at the border in Albury while customs officials searched passengers’ luggage. Free traders were among the most vocal supporters of federation, arguing that it would strengthen the economy by abolishing tariffs and creating a single market.
Prior to federation, the colonies were ill-equipped to defend themselves. Each colony had its own militia consisting of a small permanent force and volunteers, but they all relied on the British navy to periodically patrol the vast Australian coastline. Increasingly, people feared the Australian colonies could be vulnerable to attack from nations such as Germany, France and Russia who had already colonised parts of the Pacific.
Australia’s position as a sparsely-populated continent close to Asia also gave rise to concerns that countries such as China and Japan, with their larger populations and greater military might, could overrun the colonies. Alfred Deakin, then Chief Secretary of Victoria, warned: ‘The Asiatic wave which has threatened to engulf us is only suspended for a short time, but if the colonies do not federate our comparatively trifling white population will be swept before it like a feather’.
The argument that a united defence force could better protect Australia was strengthened by a report released in 1889 by British Major-General Sir J. Bevan Edwards. It found that the colonies did not have enough soldiers, arms or even ammunition to adequately defend themselves. The report recommended a federal or centralised defence force be established.