The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has revealed the design of the new $5 banknote denomination which is to enter circulation on 1 September 2016.
The new denomination is the first to be revealed of the next generation of banknotes, which will eventually replace the current series of notes that began circulating in 1992.
During the development of the new banknote series, the Reserve Bank held consultations with various organisations representing those with visual impairments. From the information gathered, it was determined that the banknotes needed to be of different lengths, have strong contrasting colours and large bold numerals. Such requirements have been included in the new banknote designs, as has a tactile feature to assist those with visual impairments to determine each banknote’s denomination.
Each banknote of the new series will depict a different species of native Acacia plant, commonly called Wattle. It is a plant which is highly regarded in the country – Australia’s national floral emblem is Acacia pycnantha, the Golden Wattle.
Notes will also feature a native bird, incorporated into several features within each banknote.
The $5 design seen here includes the Prickly Moses wattle and the Eastern Spinebill bird. It also includes a distinctive top-to-bottom window incorporating various artistic designs which will likely be optically variable security features.
To aid with the changeover from old to new banknotes, the Reserve Bank has decided to keep to the colour palette of the current series in circulation, and the size of each denomination will remain the same. This is of particular importance as the new notes will be circulating alongside the old notes.
Security features will be upgrades to those in the existing series, to ensure the banknotes remain secure during their lifetime. It is possible that, between now and their issue in September, further security features may be included within the banknote design.