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Talk of Counterfeit Banknotes and Phasing out $50-$100 denominations

Peter Martin has published a couple interesting articles on The Sydney Morning Herald. Although the primary focus of the articles is about large quantities of Australian $100 notes in circulation there are some side notes that should be of interest to Australian banknote collectors and investors.


The first article on the 24th of September 2012 hypothesises the notes are in circulation because of the cash economy. The part we found interesting was the almost throwaway line at the end of the article:

“The $50 note is by far the most counterfeited, with almost 7000 fake notes detected in the year to June compared with only 600 fake $100 notes.”

Peter doesn’t elaborate or justify this claim but it is in line with our own views that despite the high security of Australian Polymer notes it does not rule out the possibility of counterfeit. – Read More

The second article by Peter Martin, titled “The grey economy: how retirees rort the pension” carries on to suggest pensioners are stockpiling $100 notes to avoid losing pension benefits. It is a pity they don’t more wisely invest in rare Australian banknotes but again the main focus of the article is not what we find most interesting.

The article goes on to mention:

“In a letter to the Reserve Bank governor, Glenn Stevens, dated July 4, Mr Mair laid the blame squarely on elderly people wanting to get the pension and hiding their income in cash to ensure they qualified for the means-tested benefit.”

And the interesting bit:

“His letter to the governor proposes phasing out the $100 and $50 denominations.”

It’s just talk for now but a phasing out of two denominations would create great opportunities for banknote investors and collectors alike.

Australian wallets stuffed with cash
September 24, 2012

The grey economy: how retirees rort the pension
September 25, 2012