The Australian 5 dollar note was first issued on 29 May 1967, one year after the currency was changed from the Australian pound to the Australian dollar on 14 February 1966. It was a new denomination, as the pound system had no £2½, with a new mauve colouration.
There have been four different issues of this denomination:
- a paper note which had a gradient of mauve, with a distinct black overprint.
- The first polymer issue, which can be recognised for its distinct mauve colouration and numeral font, was first issued in pale mauve (1992). It was soon discovered that ultra-violet light degraded the ink bond and that a note in circulation for any moderate period of time could have elements scratched off with a fingernail, for example.
- In 1995, a second polymer issue was created, distinguishable by its deeper shade and different font for the numeral.
- A federation commemorative was issued in 2001 for that year only. Notes featured Sir Henry Parkes on the obverse and Catherine Helen Spence on the reverse.
The initial paper five dollar note was designed by Gordon Andrews, with Russell Drysdale as the Reserve Bank of Australia’s artistic advisor. This note featured portraits of Sir Joseph Banks and Caroline Chisholm, as well as elevations of Sydney streets from Joseph Fowles’ “Sydney in 1848”, the cover of the Shipping Gazette, a watercolour of the Waverley, and a handbill of a meeting of the Family Colonization Loan Society. All of these images were sourced from the State Library of New South Wales.
On the latest 5 dollar note Queen Elizabeth II is on the front of the 5 dollar note along with eucalyptus leaves. There is a number 5 in the right hand corner of both sides. There is Australia written to the left of the queen. The parliament house is on the back of the 5 dollar note. In 2001, notes featured Sir Henry Parkes on the obverse and Catherine Helen Spence on the reverse.
AUSTRALIAN BANKNOTE SUBLIMINALS
Learn more about the concepts, principles and symbolism behind the subliminals found in these banknotes:
First Published: Aug 6, 2012 – Last Updated: Jan 14, 2013