Counterfeit Australian Specimen Banknotes

From The Desk
Richard Edward Fahy

1st February 2018.

Subject: Counterfeit Australian Specimen Banknotes.

Through our continuing on-line research, we have found a number of counterfeit Australian Specimen banknotes being offered for sale as the genuine article. These banknotes have been posted on a well-known on-line auction business. EBAY & GUMTREE. In addition, these banknotes were marketed through Facebook. To EBAY credit, when we made them aware of this scam, items were taken down.

The counterfeit banknotes bear no resemblance in any way, to genuine Australian Specimen banknotes. In effect the perpetrator has used Australian banknotes of that era and year EG: King George V 1932. King George V1 1942 & QE11. To reproduce these banknotes, the actual banknote may be genuine, however the notes have been altered, to deceive any potential purchaser into thinking the note on offer for purchase is a genuine Australian Specimen banknote.

TRN offer as an important public service to all collectors of any Australian banknotes on-line – clearly defined genuine banknotes. We offer 2 examples of this fraud with. In addition we offer two scans of genuine Australian Specimen Banknotes. Therefore we offer 4 attached scans of “the real banknotes” and the counterfeit banknotes. In 23 years of commercial trading in Australia & Internationally we have not witnessed such clear intent to defraud potential purchasers*.

This fraud is aimed directly at collectors of banknotes with little working knowledge of design or history of extremely rare banknotes, to which Specimen banknotes fall into this category. The fraudster’s themselves have no working knowledge of this history. I cannot stress too much, the importance of seeking the guidance of a registered numismatic dealer prior to making an on-line purchase.

TRN as Australia’s leading on-line International numismatic dealer @ Members of The Numismatic Association of Australia. The first Australian dealer to uncover this fraud and publish our findings should be your first port of call, before buying on-line, unless through a registered numismatic dealer as a possible alternative.

Let me cover each counterfeit banknote so there can be no confusion in a purchasers mind, firstly the One Pound Riddle/Sheehan circa 1933 the banknote used as of a grade Good-the lowest grade of any banknote, the banknote had burn marks destroying any integrity of the banknote. The fraudulent Specimen banknote has a stamp running diagonally on the banknote on the obverse side.

The fraud is apparent, using serial RADAR numbers for each banknote, such serial numbers do not exist in genuine Specimen banknotes.

These fake banknotes have no value whatsoever, having been defaced. BUYING ON EBAY should not be the marektplace to purchase rare and expensive Banknotes & Coins.

1923 Genuine Specimen
1923 Genuine Specimen
Genuine Specimen Sample
Genuine Specimen Sample

The writer has given genuine photos of Australian Specimen Banknotes these Type Specimens were issued from 1910 to 1960. Described as The Australian Pre Decimal era.

Each banknote is clearly marked as a Specimen in words or diagonal cross line, with the perforation CANCELLED clearly assigned.

Serial numbers of genuine Australian Specimen Banknotes can be cross-referenced on line.

Fraudulent Australian Specimen Banknote
Fraudulent Australian Specimen Banknote

A genuine One Pound Riddle/Sheehan Specimen banknote circa 1933 will feature the word SPECIMEN twice on the obverse side (I do not intend to elaborate any further on this special feature, intending to discourage further fraudulent banknotes). A genuine banknote will only be found in Uncirculated grade, the current recommended retail for this banknote is $175.000.00.

Secondly is a One Pound Armitage/McFarlane circa 1942, this banknote has been advertised on-line as “One Pound Specimen Banknote Radar Note 1942 Armitage/McFarlane”. Advertised on-line @ $1500.00. and marketed through Facebook. The fraudulent banknote has a perforated stamp SPECIMEN on the bottom of the obverse side. This banknote has been defaced which under Commonwealth Law which now could include Australian Federal Police investigation. A matter TRN intends to report to AFP.

Fraudulent Australian Specimen Banknote
Fraudulent Australian Specimen Banknote


Fraudulent Australian Specimen Banknote Back
Fraudulent Australian Specimen Banknote


A genuine One Pound Armitage/McFarlane Specimen banknote circa 1942 will have crossed black diagonal lines on the obverse side of the banknote, with a perforated CANCELLED on the bottom of the banknote. A genuine banknote will only be found in Uncirculated grade, the current recommended retail for this banknote is $175.000.00.

The writer was asked in 2015 By Channel 7 to participate- as an expert in numismatics, on matters of concern on the sale of Australian banknotes through EBAY. This investigation was in association with The Queensland Police-Fraud Division Inspector Brian Hay, the investigator was Mr Paul Makin of C7. I was never privy at to any prosecution or dealing with individuals, this was left to The Queensland Police.

In summary when buying from on-line sites, before your purchase consult a good registered dealer, in my case I have no problem in giving good free advice, irrespective of your purchase point, other Australian dealers would be of a similar mind.

Kind regards.

Richard Fahy.
Managing Director.