New additions week 42 - 2014

New banknote from South Korea, donated by a colleague! A 1000 won note, P54a:

Steven | Friday 17 October 2014 at 08:40 am | | new additions | No comments

Why the US Military printed women on the MPC's

A fun article (Google Translate) from Die Welt about women on US banknotes. Women? Wasn't Martha Washington the only woman ever on a US banknote? Yes, but the Military Payment Certificates (MPC's) which were used by US soldiers between 1946 and 1973 did have women on them. Some even looked very familiar...

More banknote stories from Die Welt can be found here.

© Die Welt

Steven | Wednesday 15 October 2014 at 09:25 am | | links | No comments

Canada invites citizens to participate in design process

The Bank of Canada has announced that Canadian citizens are invited to participate in the design of future banknote series. From the website:

"The Bank of Canada today announced that it is inviting Canadians to comment on the principles that guide the design of the country’s bank notes.

The consultation, which will take place until 10 November, is a way for Canadians to contribute in an unprecedented way to the design of future bank note series. Canadians can participate in an online survey by visiting our Principles for Bank Note Design web page. The Bank will publish a summary of the comments received before the end of the year.

The consultation stems from a review the Bank conducted for the process used to select, develop and design the visual content for the Polymer series of bank notes. The review concluded that Canadians should have increased participation in the design process for the next series.

The Bank wants to include Canadians’ input at every stage of the design process. This consultation seeks to solidify the foundation upon which the visual content - theme, subject matter and images - will be developed in the future.

The Bank will also benefit from Canadians’ ideas on how images can respect these principles.

When the Bank begins work on the next series, it will again seek input from Canadians."

Steven | Thursday 09 October 2014 at 08:34 am | | news | No comments
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Norway chooses motifs for new banknote series

Norway announced on 4 December 2012 the start of the project to design new banknotes which will be their 8th series. First step was to decide on a theme for the new notes and in December 2013 they chose.... The Sea! I bet you didn't see that one coming right?

Based on that theme designers went to work. The subthemes for the different nominations were:

  • 50 krone: the sea that binds us together
  • 100 krone: the sea that brings us into the world
  • 200 krone: the sea that gives us food 
  • 500 krone: the sea that gives us welfare 
  • 1,000 krone: the sea that brings us further

Is it just me or do these subthemes almost sound like a prayer if you read them together?

The designers came up with different ideas based on these subthemes and all the design can be found here. It is written in Norwegian but it is totally worth it because some of the designs are beautiful. And now from the press release:

"Eight participants were selected by a group of experts to take part in the final round of the competition. The jury has comprised five external professionals and one member from the Norges Bank. They have concluded that two proposals stand out: Ripple Effects by Enzo Finger, and Norwegian Living Space by The Metric System and Terje Tønnessen. The jury has selected Enzo Finger's proposal as the winner of the competition and is of the opinion that this proposal communicates the theme in a surprising way with considerable artistic flair.

Norges Bank has decided that a combination of two proposals submitted will go on for further work. The obverse sides of the notes will be developed on the basis of the proposal from The Metric System, Norwegian Living Space. The basis of the reverse sides will be the pixel motifs submitted by Snøhetta Design, Beauty of Boundaries."

So bad luck for Enzo Finger and his winning design but instead the Norges Bank chose two different designs as the motifs for the new series:

© Norges Bank

Hmm, well, that is kind of..... boring? If you want to see What Could Have Been, check Enzo Finger's design on page 41-45 of this PDF. In my opinion they are much nicer.

The new Norwegian banknotes will be issued in 2017.

Update 9 October 2014: the other denominations with these motifs are also available now.

© Norges Bank
© Norges Bank

© Norges Bank
© Norges Bank

© Norges Bank
© Norges Bank

© Norges Bank
© Norges Bank

Steven | Wednesday 08 October 2014 at 10:10 am | | news | No comments
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Macau presents new banknotes for Year of the Goat

Macau has authorised both the Banco Nacional Ultramarino (BNU) and the Bank of China from 2012 to 2023 to issue special banknotes commemorating the Lunar New Year. The next year wil be the year of the goat and will start on 19 February 2015. Below are the notes both banks will issue in commemoration of the new year.



Steven | Wednesday 08 October 2014 at 09:40 am | | news | No comments
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Cuba to issue higher-denomination banknotes

Last year Cuba announced that it would abolish its two-currency system. Since 1994 Cuba has had two currencies, one pegged to the US dollar and the other worth only a fraction of that. The more valuable convertible peso (CUC) was reserved for use in the tourism sector and foreign trade. Now its value will be gradually unified with the lower-value CUP.

New details about this plan have now been published by the Central Bank of Cuba. The convertible peso is worth about one U.S. dollar, or 24 local pesos. The highest-denomination local bill is 100 pesos. So the shift will require putting more pesos into circulation and issuing higher-denomination banknotes.

Steven | Thursday 02 October 2014 at 08:43 am | | news | No comments
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New Swiss banknotes delayed until... 2016

The new Swiss banknotes are not off to a good start. After previous delays the notes, which should have been issued in 2012(!), were supposed to be issued in 2015. Now it has been made clear that date won't be reached as well. The Swiss National Bank (SNB) has now mentioned 2016 as the most likely issue date. Insert your own joke about Swiss clocks and their accuracy here.

The reason for the delay is (again) technical difficulties. According to one spokesperson from the SNB "the new banknotes are reaching the limits of what is physically possible with a banknote"...


More info on the new banknotes can be found in this post.

Steven | Thursday 02 October 2014 at 08:25 am | | news | One comment
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Profits warning from De la Rue

An interesting article on the site of The Economist as to why De la Rue issued a profit warning when it has just been awarded the printing order for the next generation of British banknotes.

Steven | Wednesday 01 October 2014 at 10:20 am | | links | No comments
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USA won't see visual aids on its notes until 2020

Yes I know, sorry for the lame pun in the title. The subject of this post is actually a serious one. The US Government Accountability Office released a report Friday that said the Bureau of Engraving and Printing has fallen behind in its plans to produce US paper money with raised bumps on them than visually impaired people can use to identify the notes in their wallets.

The problem with US notes is that they are all the same size and have similar designs. They can only be distinguished form each other by looking at them. Not very helpful if you're, oh I don't know... blind? In 2002 a law suit was held against the Treasury Department by the American Council of the Blind. As a result of that suit, a Washington DC court ordered the Treasury to make its currency more accessible to the blind.

In 2011, the Treasury Department approved a three-pronged plan that includes making the denominations on bills easier to read, providing small currency readers to people, and creating money with raised bumps that can be read by hand. Treasury has approved a design for the raised bumps that it hopes to test in the coming years.

Due to worries about the costs and the ability of the bumps to 'stick' to the note and not wear off in everyday use, the whole process has been delayed. The expectation now is that the new notes will be available from 2020. In the meantime the Government Accountability Office has advised the government to hand out note readers as compensation.

In the graphic below a possible placement of the raised bumps on the US notes is suggested.


Steven | Wednesday 01 October 2014 at 10:03 am | | news | No comments
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New additions week 40 - 2014

Last weekend the bi-annual Papermoney Fair Maastricht was held in Valkenburg a/d Geul. As always the halls were packed with dealers, collectors and of course loads of banknotes. I managed to acquire some nice new notes and also to expand the number of countries I have notes from. Unfortunately I was also witness to an arrest when I saw a guy being taken away in handcuffs for trying to steal from a dealer. I later heard from other dealers that this was not the first theft that weekend.

But back to our hobby now. I bought 7 new banknotes including 5 from new countries. The list:

  • Djibouti, 1,000 francs - P37d
  • Faeroe Islands, 50 krónur - P24a
  • Fiji, 5 dollar - P115
  • France, 100 francs - P94
  • French West Africa, 10 francs - P37
  • Malta, 1 Lira - P31a
  • St. Helena, 1 Pound - P9a

Steven | Tuesday 30 September 2014 at 08:37 am | | new additions | No comments

This weekend: Papermoney Fair autumn 2014

This weekend on 27-28 September the Papermoney Fair Maastricht will be held in Valkenburg a/d Geul. Although not as big as the spring edition held in April every year, the autumn edition is growing fast. As we speak 157 dealers have already booked a table. Be sure to check it out if you've never been there: the mood is good, the local town and surroundings beautiful and more than enough banknotes are available to satisfy every collectors wishes.

More info can be found on the website.

Steven | Friday 26 September 2014 at 09:00 am | | links | No comments
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Italy seizes massive amount of counterfeit euro notes

Reuters reports: "Italian finance police arrested a man who concealed a haul of forged 50-euro banknotes equivalent to 17 million euros ($21.8 million) in a van outside a shopping center near the southern city of Naples, a police statement said.

The massive seizure tops the number of counterfeit banknotes withdrawn from circulation by the European Central Bank during the first half of the year.

The banknotes "were a very good copy of the original and absolutely capable of deceiving most consumers because they successfully imitated the texture, the security band and the holograms," the statement said.

Police spotted the man in a corner of a shopping center parking lot, "frenetically" moving packages into his van from another vehicle. Suspicious of his movements, they searched the van and found the fake banknotes hidden underneath stationery in 15 boxes, the statement said.

The man, who is accused of counterfeiting currency with intent to distribute, had no criminal record, police said. They did not release his name. Investigators are now trying to find out where the notes were made.

The Naples area is a hotbed for counterfeiting in Italy. The top finance police counterfeiting investigator in Naples, Gerardo Marinelli, said this week half of all fake bills in the euro zone come from the Naples area, according to estimates based on previously sequestered banknotes.

The seizure of 340,000 50-euro notes is more than the 331,000 counterfeit notes of all denominations withdrawn by the ECB in the 18-country bloc during the first six months of 2014, but it is a small fraction of the 16 billion notes the central bank said were in circulation."

Steven | Thursday 25 September 2014 at 08:17 am | | links | No comments
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