Crikey! Australia issues $2.1 billion in banknotes with typo

Crikey! Australia issues $2.1 billion in banknotes with typo

While misprints on individual Australian notes have happened in the past, this is the first time a typo has made it through to mass circulation.

They rolled out a new $50 banknote in October previous year that not only contains fancy polymer technology which prevents counterfeiting, but also features Australia's first female member of parliament, Edith Cowan.

However, one powerful line from Cowan's speech falls flat on the notes; in extremely tiny print, "great responsibility" is spelled "great responsibilty" - not just once but three times. Andrew Crelin, a currency expert and owner of Sterling Currency in Western Australia, told 6PR radio that there are 46 million bills containing the typo in circulation.

The post showed that the word "responsibility" was missing the third "i" and was spelt "responsibilty".

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Some 46 million polymer notes with the typo valuing 2.3 billion dollars in total (1.6 billion United States dollars) entered circulation in October.

They feature Indigenous writer and inventor David Unaipon on one side, and Ms Cowan, Australia's first female member of a parliament, on the other. It sports a head-shot of Cowan, who served as the first woman elected to an Australian legislature from 1921 to 1924.

"We have reviewed our processes to remove the likelihood of such an error occurring in the future", an RBA spokeswoman said. If the spelling error had been part of a smaller print run, some Australians could have stumbled on a small fortune in their wallets. The typo misspells the word "responsibility".

When the $50 note first arrived, the RBA said it came with new security features created to prevent counterfeiting and improve accessibility.

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