We quite often give advice on the safest storage methods for coins and banknotes. So I guess this is the ultimate "what not to do!!"
Have a read of this ninemsn news story and chuckle as we did.
Australian paper banknotes can be very valuable but how do you know what your old note is worth? Banknotes used to be made of paper before the currently used polymer or plastic notes came into circulation. Before 1966 Australia printed pre-decimal notes in ten shillings, one pound, 5,10, 20, 50 and 100 pound denominations. In 1966 Australia changed to decimal currency and introduced the one dollar and two dollar notes followed by 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollar notes.
To value a paper note first you must identify the famous Australians portrayed and the signatures the note bears. The signatures belong to the Secretary to the Treasury and the Governor and these appear on the note. These features will help you determine the notes year of issue. Secondly the serial number is important in determining where your note falls in the run or manufacturing sequence of the notes. First and last prefix notes are often more collectable and command a premium to general prefix notes. The prefix is the first 2 or 3 letters in the notes serial number. If the serial number has a star it is very valuable indeed -these are replacement notes and command a large premium.
NAA First prefix
NAB to NCR General Prefix
NCS Last Prefix
Condition of your Australian note is of utmost importance and greatly affects it's value. A folded note or one kept in your wallet for years will never be worth as much as a flat crisp uncirculated banknote. Even a teller flick on a bundle of notes can devalue the note rendering it aUnc. And most certainly a paper note with the corners eaten off by cockroaches will have a lesser value.
To work out if your paper note has any value over the face value of the note then pick up a copy of an Australian coin catalogue, ask someone with some banknote knowledge or take it to your local coin and banknote dealer.
In 1990 the Bank of England produced a new banknote featuring the pioneer of steam technology and father of the British railway, George Stephenson. Five pound paper notes worth 30 million pounds of face value were printed before an embarrassing bungle was realised.
An error inscribing the printing plate had meant that the date on six million notes was wrong. It's most likely the engraver misread the handwriting and inscribed the plates 1971-1845 instead of the correct date of his passing of 1848. The bank acknowledged the slip-up and explained a loss of 180,000 pounds in printing costs. Whoops.
All the error notes were destroyed before new notes were printed. This particular note has been demonetised in England as of 21 November 2003
The interesting misconception that came about through my research for my previous article on Star Notes was (from a coin collectors uneducated about banknotes view) that myself and other numismatists I know always just assumed that a star note was the same numbered note as the faulty note but with a star on the end denoting that it was a replacement (this star replacing the last digit of the serial number) .This is because a star note has one less digit in the serial number.
A question was put to me that if there were two soiled notes in a run of ten then there would be 2 identical star notes wouldn't there -because the star replaced the last digit of the serial number?
This is incorrect, a completely separate run of notes is printed. Then one is just slipped into the bundle when a soiled note is found. Therefore the star note's serial number has no relationship at all to the soiled note that it replaced.