First Paper Money Issued In Australia

28 Apr 2020  Tue

The colony of New South Wales printed its first banknotes in 1817 it featured an assurance from the Bank of New South Wales. Yes! This is the story of Australia’s First Official Banknote and First Paper Money Issued in Australia!

Before 1788 there was no Australian currency. The indigenous people had their own trading networks in which sometimes there were set rates of exchange. When the British set up their colony in 1788 it was mainly to absorb excess convicts and as a base to look after trading and naval interests in the Pacific and Asia. There were no thoughts of setting up a mint or giving the colony its own currency.

Things began to change when Lachlan Macquarie took over as governor in 1810 When Lieutenant-Colonel Lachlan Macquarie arrived in Sydney in 1809, he realized that there wasn't a stable monetary system; the banknote system that was in place was weak and bills could easily be forged. In 1817, the Bank of New South Wales opened with 100 ten-shilling notes printed on the first day.

The rarity of these notes means that they’re now worth around Euro186,612.

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