If you’ve been on Twitter this morning, you’ve probably come across people questioning what will happen to Australian money now that Queen Elizabeth II has died. There are even rumours circulating that our cash will cease to be legal tender.
First thing first: that’s not true.
An RBA spokesperson has told the ABC, “all Australian banknotes issued from 1913 retain their legal tender status. So the currently circulating $5 banknotes would still be able to be used should a new banknote be issued as a result of a change in monarch.”
This includes all of our bank coins as well. So, there’s no need to worry about losing your hard-earned cash (that is if you have any on you) because they’ll still be legal tender. You might even want to keep a few since, who knows, they might be worth something one day long into the future.
What happens now to the $5 banknote and coins?
The 1965 Currency Act stipulates that the face of the monarch must be on all coins.
Tradition states that the head of the monarch on coins will now face the other direction, which in our case will now be left. While it’s possible that another competition will be held to decide on the design, it’s highly likely that an effigy, endorsed by Buckingham Palace, will be provided. The Royal Australian Mint will begin minting new coins in 2023.
Regarding the $5 banknote, Assistant Minister for Treasury Andrew Leigh said:
“As I understand the decision to include the Queen’s face on the $5 note was about her personally, rather than about her status as a monarch.
“So that transition isn’t automatic and we’ll have a sensible discussion within parliament and make an announcement in due course.”
In other words, Queen Elizabeth II will remain on the $5 banknote for now and there is no guarantee that the new King will appear on the note. Instead, the Queen could be replaced by an Australian.
Did you know…?
Queen Elizabeth II has appeared on money more than any other person in history with her face appearing on coins in 35 countries.