But it now seems our ATMs are filled to the brim with embarrassment.
Radio stations MMM and 6PR broke the news this morning.
Some of its listeners had put the note under a microscope.
And what they found could generate a serious set of red faces at the Reserve Bank of Australia.
And a new collector’s item.
A tiny phrase is printed repeatedly into the footpath extending from the King Edward Memorial Hospital above the shoulder of Edith Cowan (Australia’s first female MP who helped establish the women’s maternity hospital).
It is missing a single letter.
And the word it is missing from is “RESPONSIBILTY”.
Which is supposed to be “RESPONSIBILITY”.
Anyone who’s ever touched a keyboard knows how easy such typos can be.
But, on the nation’s flagship $50 note?
All 46 million of them?
The end result is a massive embarrassment, and — because of its huge print run — something that is likely to be little more than a historical footnote. The $50’s value will likely change very little beyond a little added novelty.
Such printing errors are not uncommon.
But it is rare for them to enter wide circulation.
Australian Decimal Banknotes by Michael Vort-Ronald details the known errors out there, and how they may have happened.
Some are cut weirdly. Others are missing particular layers of their printing — or went through the machine twice, producing extra emphasis. Some came out as particular toner colours expired, or had their watermarks and serial-numbers printed upside down.
Those few that survived have become sought-after specimens among collectors.
The Reserve Bank of Australia has confirmed today it was aware of the mistake on the $50 note.
“The spelling will be corrected at the next print run,” a bank spokesperson said.
(PS: If there are any typos in this story, blame the sub-editors. Everybody else does...)