What is a "600" card ?

Each card produced has a serial number on the reverse. For example 0028912345

The last five digits, in this case 12345 is the card number, and this can range from 00000 to 99999, making 100,000 possible numbers of each card. The 00289 is known as the prefix number. On the early card's they had quite a few leading zeroes. The prefix number is normally unique to a particular card. i.e. the front picture. Prefix numbers for the magnetic cards range from 0 to 1581. Some prefix numbers were occasionally shared between different pictures, refer to detailed prefix listings for more information.

A "600" card is where the serial number runs over into another cards prefix number at the beginning or end. Telecom advised the public of the occurrence of this via a newsletter. They said that on 8 occasions this had happened, but what they didn't say was if those cards had actually been released to the market. The leakage on to other prefixes was only by a quantity of 600. This sent prefix collectors madly scrambling through dealers' stock to try and locate any of these cards. If one of these cards was going to be found, the chances are that it would most likely have been used. The odds of obtaining a mint card were extremely rare.

This list of 8 occurrences was then added to the current Phonecard Catalogues that were available at the time, and from then on it was believed that all 8 cards existed, because they had been catalogued. The only proof of their existence is actually having examples of the cards. I show 6 of the 8 below. There is still some doubt as to the existence of the other 2. One in particular is the $50 Generic card. I know of no dealer or collector who has it, or has even seen an example.

If you have an example of the missing 600 cards, I would love to hear from you, and a scan or photo of the reverse would be greatly appreciated.



$20 SA Adelaide
$2 SA Vineyard ***
$2 Generic
$2 Generic ***
$10 VIC Grampians
$10 ACT Telecom Tower
$10 ACT Telecom Tower
$50 Generic

Telecom Number


Serial Number


*** The 41 $2 SA Vineyard "600" and the 43 $2 Generic "600's" are different to the other "600's" in that they have the same pictures as a normal 41 and 43.
There were 600 of the 41 starting at 4100000 and another 25,200  after a skip in serial numbers, beginning at 4110000. There were also 25,200 of the 43 starting at 4300000, then there was
a skip of serial numbers until the last 600 of the 43 range.


Looks like a normal 41 range card, but the serial number is
within the first 600 of the range

Looks like a normal 43 range card, but the serial number is
within the last 600 of the range

9999400-9999999 (Existence Unknown)

A Mint Card
12999400-12999999 (Existence Unknown)