Australia has revealed earlier this month a new $50 banknote and it comes with advanced and improved security features.
This is the widest-circulated banknote in Australia, so the design of the newly-issued note is not much different from the existing one. However, at closer inspection, some important differences can be spotted.
The decision to issue a new $50 note was made, among other things, because the old note was the most prone to counterfeit. That’s why the new banknote has added security features in a bid to make it impossible to forge.
These updated features implemented by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) include a top-to-bottom clear panel and three images along said panel, including a black swan that appears to fly when the note is tilted and a hologram of the Raukkan Church with the number 50 on it which reverses with movement.
Besides the above-mentioned security features, the new $50 note also comes with tactile features – four bumps/dots – to make it easier for visually impaired people to identify it. The raised dots are placed at the top along the edge and help people determine the value of the note by touch. And considering that there are over 300,000 blind and visually-impaired people in Australia, this change is certainly welcome.
Moreover, while the faces on the note remain the same – Australian inventor and author David Unaipon and the first female member of an Australian parliament, Edith Cowan – its size has also changed.
Other features embossed on the new series of notes include a patch that changes color when moved and a microprint with excerpts from Unaipon’s book Tales of the Australian Aborigines and Cowan’s first speech to the parliament of Western Australia.
The message on the new note is handwritten and reads, “As a full-blooded member of my race I think I may claim to be the first – but I hope, not the last – to produce an enduring record of our customs, beliefs and imaginings.”
A native Australian wattle and bird will also appear on the new $50 bill.
“The application of the tactile features to the $50 note is particularly important given that it’s the most widely circulated banknote, with 46 per cent of all banknotes in circulation being the $50 note,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has stated.
“I believe, the implementation of the tactile features would have made David Unaipon and Edith Cowan proud,” he has added.
The new and modified currency is expected to go into circulation on October 18th.
This is not the first tactile note issued in Australia, as in 2016 the $5 bill was issued with similar features, followed by the $10 banknote in 2017. Additionally, updated $20 and $100 notes are also expected to be revealed by RBA in 2019 and 2020, respectively.