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Australia's Shiny New $50 Notes Are On Their Way to Your Wallet

The pineapple has had a makeover.
By Sarah Ward
October 20, 2018
By Sarah Ward
October 20, 2018

Next time that someone hands you a $50 note, you can be forgiven for thinking that it looks a little different — a new range of pineapples have just been released into circulation.

Australia's banknotes have been getting a makeover since September 2016, when a different $5 note started doing the rounds. It was followed by a revamped $10 in 2017 and now a sparkling fresh $50, which hit the streets on Thursday, October 18.

The upgraded design celebrates inventor David Unaipon, who was also the country's first published Aboriginal author, as well as Edith Cowan, Australia's first female member of parliament. They're both recognised in several ways on the new notes, with not only their portraits displayed prominently, but with microprint featuring excerpts of Unaipon's book Legendary Tales of the Australian Aborigines, plus Cowan's maiden speech to the Western Australian Parliament.

Reserve Bank of Australia via Flickr

As well as changed artwork (albeit keeping the same colour scheme as old notes), the new $50 boast the same improved security features as the new $5 and $10 notes, which are largely aimed to stop counterfeiting. A clear window running from top to bottom is the most obvious, and contains a number of features such as a reversing number and flying bird. The note also includes microprint, as well as a patch with rolling colour. And, in great news for the vision-impaired, the new series of legal tender has a tactile feature to help distinguish between different denominations.

According to the Reserve Bank of Australia, the $50 is the most widely circulated Aussie note, so expect to see quite a bit of this shiny pineapple. As happened with the other denominations, the rollout will happen gradually, as will the withdrawal of old $50s — which you can obviously still keep using.

While some issues occurred when the new $5 and $10 note hit, particularly with cash-handling machines like ATMs, the RBA has consulted with banknote equipment manufacturers, retail organisations and financial institutions to minimise problems.

And as for the other two values of Aussie banknotes, the revamped $20 is due in 2019 and then the new $100 in 2020.

Published on October 20, 2018 by Sarah Ward
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