Rare Australian 5-shilling Specimen Note Sold for a Handsome Amount

05 Dec 2017  Tue

A rare 1916 5-shilling specimen note from Australia was sold for $77,513 Australian by Noble Numismatics on 22nd November in Sydney. It is one of the only four surviving unissued notes of its type.

The note features a signature of C.J. Cerutty. The bill originally belonged to the estate where he was the assistant secretary. The word SPECIMEN is overprinted in faint blue colour on the obverse. It is described as nearly Uncirculated with a light fold in the centre.

Experts believe that these notes were first printed without a signature. They were produced when the price of silver increased during World War I. The government thought that silver coins would be hoarded and these new notes were printed to counter a possible coin-shortage at that time.

More than a million notes were printed. However, by 1922 the price of silver became normal, after which all the notes were burnt. The four surviving notes were not numbered but were signed by Cerutty who owned them legally and showed them to politicians, VIPs, or the royal family. It is also the only Australian note that was ready for distribution, but then destroyed.

Knowledge Base