Will Iran's currency change from rial to toman?

The German news site Deutsche Welle reports that Iran is considering changing the currency from rial to toman. Iran has had the rial as its currency since 1932 but unofficially people have been using the name toman ever since with 1 toman being 10 rials.

The possible renaming of the currency is part of a longer process which started in the 1980's. The issue has re-emerged from time to time because of the low value of the rial and rising inflation. From Wikipedia: "On 12 April 2007, the Economics Commission of the Parliament announced initiation of a statute in draft to change the currency, claiming redenominations had helped reduce inflation elsewhere, such as in Turkey. In 2008, an official at the Central Bank of Iran said the bank plans to slash four zeros off the rial and rename it the toman. The bank printed two new travelers cheques, which function quite similar to a banknote, with values of 500,000 and 1,000,000 rials. However, they have the figures "50" and "100" written on their top right hand corners, respectively, which is seen as the first step toward a new currency.

In 2010, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that Iran would remove three zeros (not the four that had been proposed) from its national currency as part of the economic reform plan.

In April 2011, it was reported that the Central Bank is working on a six-month redenomination project to cut four zeros from the national currency and replace old bank notes with new ones, similar to the redenomination of the Turkish lira and introduction of the Turkish new lira in 2005.

A website to poll the public on the redenomination plan was launched on 21 July 2011; the public was allowed to vote on how many zeroes to cut and what the new currency's name should be. Preliminary results indicate that four zeroes would be cut (in line with the government's recommendation) and that the name will be changed to Parsi."

So now it seems they're going for the toman after all. Which makes sense since everybody on the street is already using this name.

Steven | Friday 09 December 2016 at 10:27 am | | news | No comments
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Viola Desmond to be on next Canadian 10-dollar note

The Bank of Canada has chosen Viola Desmond (1914-1965) as the face of the next 10-dollar banknote of the new series. She is the second woman after Queen Elizabeth II but the first Canadian woman to feature on a banknote.

She was selected from a short list of five 'banknoteable' women which was publicized last November. From the website of the Bank of Canada: "Viola Desmond remains an icon of the human rights and freedoms movement in Canada. A successful Nova Scotia businesswoman, she defiantly refused to leave a whites-only area of a movie theatre in 1946 and was subsequently jailed, convicted and fined. Her court case was the first known legal challenge against racial segregation brought forth by a Black woman in Canada." You can read more about her here.

So what's next? The Bank of Canada: "The Bank will now begin to design this new $10 note featuring the portrait of Viola Desmond. Through consultation with subject matter experts, the reverse side of the note will depict symbols and images that represent the broader themes of social justice and the struggle for rights and freedoms.

To continue to celebrate more iconic Canadians, the next $5 note will also feature a new portrait subject and supporting imagery. In due course, the Bank will launch another consultation process to seek input from Canadians on the design of the next $5 note, building on the success of this most recent process.

This will be a few years in the making. The new $10 note is expected in late 2018, and the new $5 note will follow a few years after that, but soon enough two new notable Canadians will be celebrated on our currency. The subsequent notes (the $20, $50 and $100 notes) will follow every two to three years.

As Viola Desmond will be featured on the $10 note, and another iconic Canadian will be featured on the future $5 note, Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, and our first francophone Prime Minister, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, will be honoured on our higher value bank notes. This will take place when the higher value notes are redesigned for the next series.

These changes mean that former prime ministers William Lyon Mackenzie King and Sir Robert Borden will no longer be portrayed on bank notes. The $20 denomination will continue to feature the reigning monarch."

Steven | Friday 09 December 2016 at 10:02 am | | news | No comments
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There might be a fortune on 5-pound notes

Lots of people in Britain are curently rubbing their new 5-pound banknotes. Are they looking for strips of bacon after the recent animal fat scandal? No, they're looking for a potential fortune.

Engraving artist Graham Short has engraved the image of writer Jane Austen in miniature on 4 new 5-pound notes and issued them quietly to the public. Based on previous work done by him, estimates of the worth of these little pieces of art are skyrocketing to 50,000 pound at the moment.

The engravings, which are next to Big Ben on the holographic foil, are invisible to the naked eye and can only be seen in certain lights. Short has worked for two weeks on the images. He also said he only works between midnight and 5 am to reduce the traffic noise from outside and he binds his right arm to a chair to stop unnecessary body movement.

As the newspaper The Independent points out: "... Mr Short's latest project could get him into trouble with the law as it is technically an offence to deface a banknote. Under the Currency & Banknotes Act 1928, it is illegal to print, write or impress words, letters or symbols onto notes issued by the Bank of England."

If he should be fined, I think he won't get into any financial trouble: "His previous work, a picture of the Queen’s head on a speck of gold the size of the eye of a needle, recently sold for £100,000."

On this Facebook page you can find a video of the actual artwork and how it looks on the banknote (so you know what to look for).

Steven | Wednesday 07 December 2016 at 2:44 pm | | news | Two comments

Kyrgyzstan to issue 3 revised banknotes next year

The National Bank of Kyrgyzstan has announced a revision of its 200-, 500- and 1,000-som banknotes. They are very much like the current series but with some small differences. The image on the front is slightly different, there is a new ornament on the front which incorporates the (very cool) MASK technology by Delarue and the new notes have the year 2016 on the back. The revised notes will be issued from 1 January 2017. 

So Delarue will print these 3 denominations but Oberthur is responsible for the notes of 20-, 50-, 100- and 5,000-som. No news yet when these revised banknotes will be issued.

Pictures below and a video after the click.

Read on

Steven | Tuesday 06 December 2016 at 10:40 pm | | news | No comments
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Central Bank of Seychelles has issued its new series

The Central Bank of Seychelles has issued its new series of banknotes on 5 December 2016. The new series was announced in November and consists of 4 denominations. 

The theme of the new banknote family is "Seychelles' Unique Biodiversity – the backbone of our economy". 

Steven | Tuesday 06 December 2016 at 10:10 pm | | news | No comments
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Venezuela finally announces higher denominations

There have been numerous rumours (uno, dos, tres) that the Central Bank of Venezuela would one day issue higher denomination banknotes to deal with its gigantic inflation. When people have to take bags full of banknotes to stores where the notes are being weighed instead of being counted, you know you have a problem.   

It seems the people of Venezuela can finally expect some relief because new notes are coming. You should be able to read about it in this press release, but unfortunately the website of the Central Bank is offline right now... That's not at all cause for panic right?

Anyway, the press release mentioned that we can expect 6 new denominations, starting from 15 December 2016 with a new 500-bolivares note. The other denominations will be: 1,000-, 2,000-, 5,000-, 10,000- and 20,000-bolivares. No news on the design yet.

Update 9-12-2016: Banknotenews.com has posted pictures of the new series.

Steven | Tuesday 06 December 2016 at 9:51 pm | | news | No comments
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World News on Banknotes: Thailand has a new king

By accepting the crown on 1 December 2016, Thailand officially has a new king. Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn will henceforth be known as King Rama X. He succeeds his father King Bhumibol, or Rama IX, who died on 13 October 2016. The new king will be formally crowned next year after the official period of mourning has ended. 

This means he will eventually also replace his father on all Thai banknotes. We have seen him there before however, like on this commemorative 100-baht banknote issued on 27 July 2012. 

King Rama X as Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn

Steven | Sunday 04 December 2016 at 4:03 pm | | news | No comments
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Bhutan has released a commemorative note

This news slipped by me I'm afraid. The Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan has released a commemorative banknote of 1,000-ngultrum on 21 September 2016 to celebrate the birth of His Royal Highness The Gyalsey, Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck. He was born on 5 February 2016 and is the first child and heir apparent of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.

From the press release: "The Banknote bears the Commemorative message “Celebrating the Birth of The Gyalsey, February 5, 2016” on the Obverse and the message “Birth of the Prince of Bhutan” on the Reverse side. The note bears the prefix “W” to mark the reign of the Wangchuck Dynasty. The note measures 175mm x 60mm, with the security thread enhanced to 4.0mm wide rolling star window thread with clear text. The note bears the signature of Governor, Dasho Penjore. The colour scheme and all other features of the commemorative banknote are the same as the Series 2008 Nu.1000 notes. The RMA has printed 3,420,000 pieces of the commemorative banknote through Giesecke & Devrient.

Steven | Sunday 04 December 2016 at 3:19 pm | | news | No comments
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Money kite

From Reddit: German kids flying a kite made of worthless money during hyperinflation 1923. 

Steven | Thursday 01 December 2016 at 8:37 pm | | fun | No comments
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Colombia to issue new 10,000-pesos note

As predicted the Banco de la República in Colombia has announced that a new 10,000-pesos note will be issued from 7 December 2016. This will be the sixth and last banknote of the new series

The new note shows antropoligist Virginia Gutiérrez on the front, with the Amazonian forest on the back.

Steven | Thursday 01 December 2016 at 8:08 pm | | news | No comments
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Royal Joh. Enschedé to stop printing banknotes

Sad news from The Netherlands. Dutch banknote printer Royal Joh. Enschedé has announced it will downsize the company and will stop printing banknotes... :-(

Royal Joh. Enschedé has printed dutch banknotes, euro banknotes for several countries, all the dutch stamps and other security prints. The company was founded in 1703 and is one of the oldest dutch companies. On the euro notes of the first series you can identify the notes printed by Joh. Enschedé by looking at the printer code which starts with a G.

The euro notes were also the beginning of the end by the way because the company lost the monopoly it had in the Netherlands for printing banknotes and the Dutch Central Bank negotiated a price drop. The company was in financial trouble a few years back and was saved but it seems the troubles are not yet over...

All the beautiful notes Joh. Enschedé has printed over the years were compiled in one fantasy note titled "Mother of all Dutch Money" given to the employees in 2003 in commemoration of the 300th anniversary of the company.

Steven | Thursday 01 December 2016 at 6:38 pm | | news | No comments

Animal fat in polymer banknotes

Well, there was a controversy I didn't expect! After a tweet was sent to the Bank of England asking if the new plastic pound notes contain tallow, the answer was a rather surprising 'yes'. Tallow is a rendered form of beef fat so of course vegans, vegetarians, hindus, sikhs and lots of other people were outraged that they were forced to use a product partly made from an animal. More than 118,000 people have already signed a petition at this moment, urging the Bank of England to remove tallow from the banknotes. 

The Bank of England has responded to the controversy by promising to look into ways to make its banknotes more animal-friendly. At the time of signing the contract with polymer supplier Innovia the Bank of England wasn't aware that the product contained traces of animal fat. 

Meanwhile, the Scottish banks have announced that their plastic notes also contain traces of animal fat. "The Clydesdale Bank, Bank of Scotland and Royal Bank of Scotland, had previously all said their notes were free of animal products. (...) However, De La Rue, which makes the notes, said more detailed analysis had revealed animal derivative equivalent to a maximum of 0.003% per banknote."

I'm sure other countries that use polymer notes are also taking a closer look at their banknotes right now.

Steven | Thursday 01 December 2016 at 6:12 pm | | news | No comments