Last October the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) set in circulation more than 46 million $50 currency notes with an insignificant misspell, but monumental in sheer scope. The value of the misprinted notes is said to be over $2.3 billion AUD, or $1.58 billion USD. Never before has a spelling mistake costed more than now. This is the first time in the history of the RBA that a monetary bill has been issued for public circulation with a misprint, that reoccurs not once but thrice on each of the 46 million bills.
It’s only ironic that the misspelled word is non other than “responsibility” which the imprint has penned thusly: “RESPONSIBILTY”.
It was discovered, after 6 months from the issue of the $50 bills, by an anonymous caller on the local Triple M news station.
The mistake appears in Edith Cowan’s first (Australia’s first female parliamentarian) official speech to parliament, which is located next to her portrait on the bill in the form of a micro text that is barely readable, which would explain why it took 6 months to discover it.
Logistically speaking, it will be close to impossible to fix the error, and so the notes will remain legal and in complete circulation throughout the country, until they are slowly replaced by the next, here’s hoping, error-free bank notes that will be printed sometime this year.
On the bright side, the blunder is relatively indistinguishable, and in reality very few would survey a $50 with such scrutiny, yet we are bound to conclude that if the inaccuracy was more noticeable the necessary precautions would have certainly been taken.