According to several newssites the first polymer note has been introduced in Britain. The 5-pound note from the Clydesdale Bank has been introduced in Scotland and features an image of the Forth Bridge to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the structure. The new note also features a portrait of Sir William Arrol, whose company constructed the bridge among many other landmarks in Scotland. A previous post about this new note can be read here.
One of the most interesting fantasy banknote series is the one from the Mujand Trading Company. Previous posts about their sets can be read here, here and here. What I like about these sets is not only their beautiful and innovative design but especially the whole story and mythology behind them. The fictional planet Blissdane Naïve and the different nations on the planet provide a fascinating backdrop for the different banknote sets.
Now a fifth set has been released, from the nation of Perish Island. The story goes that this island regularly sinks beneath the water and now has submersible houses on it (please read the whole fantastic story of why this happens here). Following this story the banknotes have been made of a waterproof polymer material. The front of the notes shows half of the portraits above water, while the backs shows the other half of the portrait under water. Front and back put together makes the portrait complete. How brilliant is that?
The set can be bought exclusively at the eBay store of Yuri111.
The annual IBNS competition for Banknote of the Year is underway. If you're a member of the IBNS you can still cast your vote here until 29 March 2015. The winner will be announced at the Papermoney Fair Maastricht in Valkenburg aan den Geul which will be held 25-26 April 2015. Below are the nominations of 2014.
Banknotenews mentions two articles dealing with new notes in the Maldives. The first article on Sun.mv states that the Maldives Monetary Authority will replace the 5-rufiyaa note with a coin in 2016, and will introduce a new denomination of 1,000-rufiyaa in October of this year.
The second article (also from Sun.mv) mentions the winner of the competition for designing the new series of banknotes. The winner is Abdulla Nashath. Javaahirumaage, Baa Kendhoo. The new series of notes, which is called Randhihafaheh, will be printed on polymer instead of paper. The 10-, 50-, and 1,000-rufiyaa notes will be issued in October 2015. The 100- and 500-rufiyaa will be issued sometime in 2016.
The two articles don't mention the commemorative note which is also scheduled for this year.
HSBC has announced that a new commemorative note of 150 dollar will be introduced in Hong Kong to commemorate the 150th anniversary of HSBC in Hong Kong.
The notes are available as a single note in a folder, a 3-in-1 uncut set in folder, and a 35-in-1 uncut set. Sets can be ordered by anyone aged 18 or above with a valid Hong Kong Identity Card or passport and a valid Hong Kong correspondence address and phone number. The deadline for applying to buy notes is 21 March 2015. So no luck for me I'm afraid.
Update 16 March 2015: Wow, see what you can do with this banknote!! Virtual reality coming to a banknote near you?
The website FARS News Agency reports that the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran has announced a new 50,000-rial note in the spring in commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the founding of the University of Teheran.
Below is a picture of the new note.
The Bank of England announced on 24 February that the signature of new Chief Cashier Victoria Cleland will begin to appear on notes which will be issued on 3 March 2015. The notes which will include her signature will be the £10, £20 and £50 denominations, with the first “F” series £5 notes bearing the signature of Ms. Cleland to be printed on polymer and introduced into circulation from the second half of 2016.
It was already announced in November 2014 and was expected to be issued before the end of the year, but it seems that the new commemorative 20-dalasi note will finally be issued on 2 March 2015. And not only that: the Central Bank of the Gambia will introduce a whole new series on 30 March 2015 including a new 200-delasi note.
From the press release: "Commemorative D20.00 Polymer Banknote. This is the first series of Polymer Banknotes to be issued by the CBG and is intended, among other things, to Commemorate 20 Years of the July 22nd Revolution and to be in line with international best practice.
The Polymer Banknote is based on the existing D25.00 note and therefore similar in many aspects except that the colour background of the D20 Polymer banknote is green and bears the portrait of the President, H.E. Sheikh Professor Alhagie Dr. Yahya. A. J. J. Jammeh. The polymer banknotes have a date of 22nd July 2014 with the words “20 Years of Progress and Self-Reliance” written on the centre bottom of the obverse side of the note. Few critical changes were made to incorporate security features that are unique to only polymer notes to enhance the overall security level of the denomination. However, both the polymer and the current D25.00 notes shall be in circulation side by side and the latter will continue to be legal tender and be in circulation until it is fully withdrawn over time.
Furthermore, the CBG will introduce into circulation a New Family of paper base Gambian Banknotes for all other denominations except the D25.00 which will be replaced by the D20.00 note. These notes will include a New D200.00 denomination. A fundamental distinction is that all the notes are smaller in size and all of them bear the portrait of the President. This new family of banknotes will be circulated nationwide along with the existing banknote family of D100.00, D50.00, D25.00, D10.00 and D5.00 until these are fully withdrawn overtime."
Update: better pictures of the 20-delasis note from banknotenews.com.
I'm particularly happy with this news, because after the flood of commemorative notes we finally get to see a 'normal' note again. Thailand is a personal favourite country to collect so I'm definitely getting this one for my collection. The pictures below are from banknotenews.com.
As a little side note: here's an interesting link on the collection of Jan Olav Aamlid who apparently is also writing a book on the history of Thai banknotes.
Remember the special Malvinas / Falklands banknote Argentina was supposed to issue at the end of 2014? Well, the end of the year came and went, but no new note. I had already skipped it from my calendar because I didn't believe anymore the note would actually be issued.
But to my surprise there is now a site from the Central Bank of Argentina describing the new note. An issue date is still not mentioned but it does say that the new notes will coexist along with the current notes. Another surprise is the picture they show of the new note. Subtle differences can be spotted, like the number 50 inside the sun (where in previous images it showed a smiling face).
I'm putting this note back on the calendar! Let's just say it will probably be issued "later this year". The note will be issued next March.
The new note includes an innovative security feature in the form of a "portrait window" set in the hologram. When the banknote is held against the light, the window becomes transparent and reveals a portrait of the mythological figure Europa, visible on both sides of the note. The new €20 banknote, like the new €5 and €10 notes, also includes an "emerald number" and a portrait of Europa in the watermark.
President Draghi said: "The portrait window is a real innovation in banknote technology. It is the outcome of the Eurosystem’s work to ensure that the euro notes continue to be resilient against counterfeiting. This will reinforce the trust that the 338 million citizens across the euro area place in their banknotes."
And here's a cool video showing all the new features of the new 20 euro note.
"As previously announced, existing features to help the vision impaired tell the difference between different denominations of Australian banknotes will be maintained on the new series. These include: bright colours; large and bold numbers; and different sizes for each denomination of banknote. The Bank will also continue to fund the production of the 'cash test card'. The addition of a 'tactile' feature will further assist people with a vision impairment to tell the difference between denominations."
The campaign for this new series of banknotes was led by 13-year-old Connor McLeod, along with the members of the visually impaired community. In May last year McLeod, who is legally blind, lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission against the RBA’s current banknotes, arguing it discriminates against the 300,000 visually impaired people people in Australia. After receiving money for Christmas, and being embarrassed for not being able to tell how much it was, McLeod began a petition for the new banknotes, which attracted to 57,000 signatures and led a meeting with the RBA last November, prompting the this week’s announcement by the RBA. (source)