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Museum of Australian Currency Notes

Home > Sydney > Museums | Tours
Published August 18th 2010
Have you ever wondered about the vividly colourful banknotes that we find in our wallets on a day-to-day basis? Have you ever wondered about the first currency notes ever produced in Australia?

Probably not.

But, if you are a curious-minded person, perhaps you'd be interested in knowing that our banknotes are made from a chemical known as polymer biaxially-oriented polypropylene - developed by the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, and the University of Melbourne. An inquisitive local may be interested to learn that the first currency notes printed coincided with Federation and included a 1000 note.

Still not interested? Perhaps it's time to bow out.

But, if you can attest to at least a flicker of interest, then perhaps you'd like to expand upon this little lesson by visiting the Museum of Australian Currency Notes. The Museum is located in the Reserve Bank of Australia in the Central Business District's Martin Place.

Open from Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm, entry to the Museum is free. With exhibitions including the Hidden History of Banking, Reflections of Martin Place, and Planned for Progress. Each of these exhibitions seeks to tell "the story of our currency notes against the background of Australia's economic and social development, through a number of stages from colonial settlement through to the current era of polymer banknotes."

Even if you do not want to make the journey to the Reserve Bank, it is possible to get a sense of the lay of the land through the virtual tour.

Here's one more question to send you on your way: when were Australia's first decimal currency notes issued? If you still do not feel compelled to visit the Museum, you can find the answer here.
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Why? To learn about the history of Australian currency
When: Monday to Friday
Where: Reserve Bank of Australia
Cost: Free
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