Twenty Pound Banknote

Issued Signatories Serial Numbers
1914 – 1917 Collins/Allen – r64 X 000001 to X 040703
1918 – 1924 Cerutty/Collins – r65a Prefix of X – Small numbers
X 040744 to X 167283
1918 – 1945 Cerutty/Collins – r65b Suffix of X – Bold numbers
167284 X to 421500 X

Lot 606 at the Auction Galleries Auction 74 held on 2nd June, 2011 was a r65b note – graded EF – which realised a price of $267,950

The Right Note sold a r65b note -graded GF – for $100,000 in early 2018

Approximately 421,500 twenty pound notes were printed.
The design on the back of all Commonwealth of Australia twenty pound notes features timber cutting on Bruny Island in Tasmania.

The first signature combination
1913 George V Twenty Pound Type A Specimen Note
Sold in 2012 – $695,000

The second signature combination

The second signature combination was Charles John Cerutty and James Richard Collins.

The third signature combination

£20 Pound Banknote

All high denomination banknotes were recalled after the Second World War. This was gazetted in May 1945 as a national Security Regulation and it stated that after August 31 1945 denominations of £20 and above would cease to be legal tender. While this regulation never became law it had the effect of uncovering nearly £5,700,000 in hoarded currency. At the end of 1945 the following notes remained un-presented :

£20 – 506
£50 – 2,830
£100 – 2,146
£1,000 – 317

The Australian Government gazetted in May 1945 a National Security Regulation which stated that after 31 August 1945, denominations of £20 and upwards would cease to be legal tender. This regulation never became operative. Before the date on which it was to take affect, the regulation was overridden by the amending Commonwealth Bank Act under which all Australian notes were legal tender. The regulation was not re-enacted. Between May 1945 and the passing of the Commonwealth Bank Act (1945), the Treasury’s purposes had been substantially achieved.

At the end of June 1950, only 380 £20 notes were recorded as still being in circulation. After then, notes were “written off the books if not redeemed within 40 years of issue. Thus the official “Monthly Statistics” thereafter showed a continual decline in the numbers outstanding so that now there are, in theory, none outstanding. There could actually be up to 380, but this total would be greatly reduced by lost or destroyed notes.


updated: 29/05/2019