Paper Money

Couple sells Australian bank note collection

A group of 158 Australian currency notes, called the finest graded group ever brought to auction, went on the block at the Heritage Auctions Sept. 6 world currency sale in Long Beach, California.

They were consigned by Drs. Joanne and Edward Dauer, noted Florida collectors, who started the collection after their 1982 honeymoon to Australia. That trip sparked such a love for the country that they have gone back 30 times.

Dr. Edward Dauer said: “It’s very hard to part with these banknotes, or any collectibles, but we took the philosophy that we are only custodians. All we can do is hold them, and then pass them on to the next group of collectors.”

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Dustin Johnston, Heritage Auctions currency director, said: “The quality of this collection is unmatched. The Dauers have been able to compile a nearly complete set of Australian notes since 1901, including many elusive World War I emergency notes.”

One of approximately nine known undated £100 notes issued in 1924, and graded by Paper Money Guaranty as Very Fine 30, was called one of the nicest of them all. It brought $43,200 including the buyer’s fee. A second similar example, once belonging to Amon G. Carter, but the variety with a “Z” before the serial number instead of after, realized $38,400 in the same condition.

A Commonwealth of Australia £20 No Date (1918) note was offered in PMG Extremely Fine 40 Exceptional Paper Quality. The back depicts timber cutting on Tasmania’s Bruny Island. Out of a total of 421,500 printed, only 506 notes were outstanding on the bank’s books as of 1945. It sold for $42,000.

Among the other rarely seen notes from the collection were the Australian version of a “rainbow note,” a Commonwealth of Australia £1 No Date (1914–1915) note that went for $15,600. 

A piece issued for German New Guinea, a Very Fine 20 Net uncanceled 5-mark note of Oct. 4, 1914, sold for $21,600. This interesting note was issued after Australia captured the German territory in September and there was a need for a provisional circulating currency. These only circulated for two months before they were recalled and replaced by the Australian pound. 

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