Typically a banknote that is only a few years old does not draw so much attention such as this 2013 $50 banknote. It is not until people look back another 2 years on and see how much its value has increased that they wish they had acted earlier and bought examples whilst the price was less.
This note has a single centre wallet fold and is rated as Extra Fine Plus.
Here at Noteworthy Collectibles a range of more recent banknotes from Australia at great prices are available and on request we can acquire more examples.
This note has the new signature combination of Glenn Robert Stevens and Martin Parkinson which appeared first in 2012.
Please see the pictures here as they say it all in terms of grade.
A remarkable banknote in every way with abundant security features. This note had some extremely special features built into it as security against forgery. It was a world first and makes these notes highly desirable as collectors items. Collectors value numerous variations of this note.
The 50 dollar note embraces these following security features:
- Within the clear window is printed a stylised image of a compass along with embossing of the number 50. These can be seen seen from either side of the note.
- 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.
- When the note is held up to the light an image of the Australian Coat of Arms can be seen under other printing.
- The words FIFTY DOLLARS are microprinted and can be seen with the aid of a magnifying glass.
- Slightly raised printing (intaglio) that can be felt with the fingers is used for the portraits and other major design elements.
- Highly intricate multi-coloured fine-line patterns and images appear on each side.
- Each notes serial number is printed twice, in black on the reverse of the note. A different font is used for each number. The alpha prefix of two letters is followed by two numerals representing the year of its production followed by a further six numerals. Under ultra-violet light, these serial numbers fluoresce.
- Under ultra-violet light the notes denominational patch showing the number 50 becomes visible on the back of the note.
David Unaipon (28 September 1872, Point Mcleay (Raukkan) Mission – 7 February 1967) was an Australian Aboriginal of the Ngarrindjeri people, a preacher, inventor and writer. Today, he is featured on the Australian $50 note in commemoration. David Unaipon was awarded ten patents, including a shearing machine, but did not have enough money to get his inventions developed. He was also known as the Australian Leonardo da Vinci for his mechanical ideas, which included anticipatory drawings for a helicopter design based on the principle of a boomerang and his research into harnessing the secret of perpetual motion.
Edith Dircksey Cowan (née Brown), MBE (2 August 1861 – 9 June 1932) was an Australian politician, social campaigner and the first woman elected as a representative in an Australian parliament.
Edith Brown was born and raised in Glengarry (HI) Station near Geraldton, Western Australia on 2 August 1861. The second daughter of Kenneth Brown and Mary Eliza Dircksey née Wittenoom, she was born into an influential and respected family that included her grandfathers Thomas Brown and John Burdett Wittenoom, and an uncle, Maitland Brown. When she was seven years old her mother died in childbirth, and her father sent her to a Perth boarding school run by the Cowan sisters, whose brother James she would later marry. Her father remarried, but the marriage was unhappy and he began to drink heavily. When Edith was fifteen, he shot and killed his second wife, and was subsequently hanged for the crime.
With the introduction of the new polymer banknotes we saw the end of the customary Cook watermark. It was replaced with the Variable Optical Security Device in the bottom corner.
This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 12, (MUP), 1990
David Unaipon (1872-1967), preacher, author and inventor, was born on 28 September 1872 at the Point McLeay Mission, South Australia, fourth of nine children of James Ngunaitponi, evangelist, and his wife Nymbulda, both Yaraldi speakers from the lower Murray River region. James was the Congregational mission’s first Aboriginal convert. David attended the mission school from the age of 7. In 1885 he left to become a servant to C. B. Young who encouraged his interest in philosophy, science and music. Back at Point McLeay from 1890, Unaipon read widely, played the organ and learned bootmaking at the mission. A non-smoker and teetotaller, he grew frustrated at the lack of work for educated Aborigines at mission settlements and in the late 1890s took a job as storeman for an Adelaide bootmaker before returning to assist as book-keeper in the Point McLeay store. On 4 January 1902 at Point McLeay he married a Tangani woman from the Coorong, Katherine Carter, née Sumner, a servant.By 1909 Unaipon had developed and patented a modified handpiece for shearing. He was obsessed with discovering the secret of perpetual motion. In 1914 his repetition of predictions by others about the development of polarized light and helicopter flight were publicized, building his reputation as a ‘black genius’ and ‘Australia’s Leonardo’. Between 1909 and 1944 Unaipon made patent applications for nine other inventions, including a centrifugal motor, a multi-radial wheel and a mechanical propulsion device, but the patents lapsed.
His fame, urbanity, fastidious manner of speech and Aboriginal identity confounded current stereotypes: Unaipon embodied the potential—in White terms—for Aboriginal advancement. His lectures for the Anglican Church stressed improvement: ‘Look at me and you will see what the Bible can do’, and his rhetorical skills were shared by other Point McLeay Aborigines.
In 1912 Unaipon led a deputation urging government control of Point McLeay Mission; next year he gave evidence to the royal commission into Aboriginal issues and became a subscription collector for the Aborigines’ Friends’ Association. For fifty years he travelled south-eastern Australia, combining this work with lectures and sermons in churches and cathedrals of different denominations. In addresses to schools and learned societies he spoke on Aboriginal legends and customs, and about his people’s future. He also demonstrated his inventions, but his public requests for financial support provoked the disapproval of the mission authorities. His wife (d.1928) stayed at home; their marriage was not happy.
From the early 1920s Unaipon studied Aboriginal mythology and compiled his versions of legends; he was influenced by the classics and by his researches into Egyptology at the South Australian Museum. The A.F.A. funded publication of Hungarrda (1927), Kinie Ger—The Native Cat (1928) and Native Legends (1929). Unaipon sold these and other booklets while employed by the A.F.A. His articles, beginning on 2 August 1924 in the Sydney Daily Telegraph, were written in a prose that showed the influence of Milton and Bunyan; they pre-dated the work of other Aboriginal writers by over thirty years. Unaipon published poetry in the 1930s and more legends in the 1950s and 1960s. Gathered before 1930, the legends are in his surviving manuscript in the Mitchell Library: they were commissioned and published by William Ramsay Smith, without acknowledgment, as Myths and Legends of the Australian Aboriginals (London, 1930). Unaipon also wrote ‘My Life Story’ and ‘Leaves of Memory’ (A.F.A. Annual Reports, 1951 and 1953).
In the 1920s and 1930s he influenced government Aboriginal policy. Assisted by friends like Rev. John Sexton, Dr Herbert Basedow, Sir George Murray and Dr Charles Duguid, Unaipon remained relatively free from the official restraints usually placed on Aborigines. In 1926 he appeared before another royal commission into the treatment of Aborigines. That year he also advocated a model Aboriginal state in an attempt to provide a separate territory for Aborigines in central and northern Australia; his involvement in the movement may have contributed to his arrest in November on vagrancy charges.
In 1928-29 he assisted the Bleakley inquiry into Aboriginal welfare. By then the best-known Aborigine in Australia, Unaipon was accepted as his people’s spokesman. His skill in manipulating members of the press—who invariably described him as a full-blood Aborigine—lent authenticity to his statements at a time when governments were concerned with the so-called ‘half-caste problem’. In 1934 he urged the Commonwealth to take over Aboriginal affairs and proposed that South Australia’s chief protector of Aborigines be replaced by an independent board. Educated Aboriginal men from Point McLeay and Point Pearce supported him, among them Mark Wilson; their view that the Aborigines’ transition to European society should be facilitated through education was supported by the A.F.A. and was later expressed in the Commonwealth’s assimilation policy. Unaipon’s preference for gradual change was highlighted by his disagreement with the New South Wales branch of the Australian Aborigines’ League over its National Day of Mourning on Australia Day, 1938.
In 1953 Unaipon received a Coronation medal. He continued to travel on foot in Adelaide and country centres, where he was often refused accommodation because of his race, and was still preaching at 87. In his nineties he worked on his inventions at Point McLeay, convinced that he was close to discovering the secret of perpetual motion. Survived by a son, he died at Tailem Bend Hospital on 7 February 1967 and was buried in Point McLeay cemetery.
Portraits of Unaipon by S. Wickes and Leslie Wilkie are in the South Australian Museum. In 1988 the national David Unaipon award for Aboriginal writers was instituted and an annual Unaipon lecture was established in Adelaide.