Detail from the new $50 note. Source: Flikr/Reserve Bank of Australia
If you’re lucky enough to be able to hold on to a $50 note to look at it for more than a minute before the rising cost of living whisks it away, you’ll be seeing something very different from October onwards.
The Reserve Bank of Australia has revealed its new $50 note design and while the portraits on it won’t change – you’ll see have Aboriginal writer and inventor David Unaipon on one side and Edith Cowan, the first female member of an Australian parliament, on the other – the central bank says there are quite a few other new features, including a ‘reversing number’ and and ‘rolling colour’ effect on the transparent strip that runs from top to bottom of the note.
Other new design features including the shields used by Unaipon’s Ngarrindjeri nation, plus the gumnut brooch Cowan made to symbolise her entry into parliament – she meant to imply that getting in had been a “hard nut to crack”! The good old wattle – in this case, the acacia humifusa – and native bird – a black swan, which was Unaipon’s totem as well as being the symbol of Cowan’s home state Western Australia – will also feature on the note.
And unlike most pieces of currency, this one may actually help its owners save money. That’s because it’s unlikely to be accepted by many vending machines, self-serve checkouts and pokies for some time, so is likely to be hard to spend once you have it!
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Although the RBA is working with banknote equipment manufacturers and retailers to help them get ready for the new note’s launch, some won’t upgrade their machinery in time for October, and the old machines will spit out the new note.
The $20 is next in line for a facelift, with the new note due to be revealed in 2019.
How often do you have a $50 note in your clutches? Do you usually hang on to it long? Do you reckon the new notes are an improvement?
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