West African countries choose single currency: 'ECO'

Years ago I posted a link to an article called: "Currency unions in Africa" from The Economist. As it seems one of the predictions of that article will come true: CNN reports that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has agreed to adopt a single currency, called the ECO.

The ECOWAS consists of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cote d'Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. Six member countries, including Nigeria, Liberia, and Ghana, could be swapping their currencies for a new one - the ECO. Eight ECOWAS countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo) currently jointly use the CFA franc. Originally intended to be launched in 2000, the ECO has been postponed multiple times and the newest target date is 2020.

But don't hold your breath and make room in your collection for new banknotes: the African Development Bank Group (Afdb) in a report says the 2020 deadline for the single currency will most like be postponed again unless the region can align with its monetary and fiscal policies.

Steven Tuesday 09 July 2019 at 7:11 pm | | links | No comments

SCWPM publisher F+W Media files for bankruptcy

Well shit...

"The firm F + W media, a major periodical and book publisher whose titles include Numismatic News, Bank Note Reporter, and the seminal references Standard Catalog of World Coins and Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to reconcile $105.2 million in outstanding debt.

In its March 10 filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware in Wilmington, F + W Media cites just $2.5 million in cash on hand. The company plans to remain in operation while it plans liquidation of its holdings.

Company officials cite industry decline, problematic investments and corporate mismanagement as contributing factors leading F + W into bankruptcy.

The court filing identifies an estimated 1,000 to 5,000 creditors that fill 543 pages of court documents."

Will this be the end of the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money?

Steven Friday 22 March 2019 at 3:40 pm | | links | No comments
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Introduction to Banknotes and Banknote Collecting

(The text below is copied from the IBNS website and the 36-page PDF is highly recommended, also for more experienced collectors)

Are you interested in finding out more about banknotes and banknote collecting?

Do you know

  • how banknotes are manufactured?
  • the different features that can appear on a banknote and why they are there?

Have you thought about starting a banknote collection but want some information about

  • where to start
  • the equipment you need
  • how to look after your collection
  • the different grades and condition of banknotes

Members of the International Bank Note Society (IBNS) with many years of experience of banknotes and banknote collecting have produced

The IBNS Introduction to Banknotes
and Banknote Collecting

Aimed at beginners, it includes answers to those questions as well as the definition of a banknote, its various features and how banknotes are manufactured, as well as an outline of aspects to be considered when building a collection of banknotes including information on how to grade a banknote.

If you want to take your interest in Banknotes even further, why not consider joining the International Bank Note Society?

Membership of the IBNS has numerous benefits which include:

  • bringing together people with a common interest in banknotes
  • the award winning IBNS Journal produced quarterly which includes articles covering all aspects of banknotes as well as the Society’s activities
  • a forum on the IBNS Website for members to discuss matters and ask questions

To gain the most from an interest in banknotes, membership of the IBNS is recommended.  Membership of the IBNS costs $36.00 USD (£28.00 GBP or $48.00 AUD) per year.  

To become a member please complete an
application form - https://www.theibns.org/join

Steven Monday 10 December 2018 at 6:54 pm | | links | No comments
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How the dollar has changed over the years

Nice article about the changing appearance of the US dollar over the years. With nice big pictures of some of the beautiful banknotes from the past.

Steven Sunday 28 October 2018 at 08:34 am | | links | No comments

Israeli rabbi forbids looking at 50 NIS-note

The Times of Israel reports that a controversy has broken out in Israel over the use of the 50 NIS-note which was issued in 2014. The controversy started when influential Sephardic rabbi Benzion Mutzafi said he folds the banknote face down in his pocket to avoid seeing the face of poet Saul Tchernichovsky. 

And what, may you ask, has provoked the rabbi's discomfort? Apparently the fact that Tchernichovsky married a Christian woman who kept her faith during their marriage. "Dr. Hagi Ben-Artzi, brother of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife, Sara, said that the use of the Russian-born poet’s image on the bill was "an outrage."". 

Reading the article you suddenly understand a little better why so many 'holy' wars have been raging in this region for the past milennia....

 

Steven Monday 04 December 2017 at 2:37 pm | | links, news | No comments
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Why is the Queen's face so different around the world?

This excellent question is answered in this video at the BBC site where former IBNS President Peter Symes is interviewed. As most collectors know, he has a website where all 31 used portraits of Queen Elizabeth II have been gathered. You can find the 31 different portraits here and the video from the BBC here.

Steven Sunday 29 October 2017 at 3:04 pm | | links | No comments
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Frida the rescue dog on a banknote?

Mexico is still recovering from the earthquake. The nation mourns the hundreds of deaths and tries to rebuild after the devastation. One of the uplifting stories is rescue dog Frida who is deployed by the Mexican Navy to look for victims beneath the rubble. So far she's found dozens of people and her story is one of the few lights in the Mexican darkness. 

The Mexican people are so proud of the hero dog someone even suggested that she should be honored with her own banknote. Looks kind of nice doesn't it? 

Steven Thursday 28 September 2017 at 8:24 pm | | links | No comments
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Joh. Enschedé sells its banknote printing equipment

Do you have an empty garage? And has it always been your dream to print your own money? Don't wait any longer and grab your chance now!

Last December I wrote about the renowned Dutch banknote printer Royal Joh. Enschedé who would stop printing banknotes. Well, they will now sell their inventory to the highest bidder. The auction contains "...paper cutting machines, counting lines, collection/sealing machines, binding machines, cutting lines, varnish coater, light authenticity tester, laboratory and testing equipment, hydraulic ink mixer, rolling stock and office inventory etc. due to the closure of the banknotes department of Royal Joh. Enschede B.V, in Haarlem, The Netherlands."

You can find the auction here, but be warned: it's a bit of a sad sight... :-(.

Steven Friday 08 September 2017 at 3:15 pm | | links | No comments
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BBC: Russian explorers find 'swamp' of Soviet money

From the BBC website an interesting article on the discovery of vast amounts of old Russian banknotes.

"A group of explorers in Russia have found around a billion roubles in old Soviet money at an abandoned mine, but it's all completely worthless.

The group from Saint Petersburg, who publish a blog on abandoned sites across Russia, came across the money after following rumours that large quantities of cash had been dumped in old missile silos near Moscow after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Komsomolskaya Pravda news website reports. After travelling for several hours across rough terrain in Russia's Vladimir region, they found the mine literally overflowing with cash.

© YOUTUBE/ABANDONED COUNTRY

The site contains an estimated one billion roubles ($18m; £13.5m at current exchange rates, or $33.3m at the "official" Soviet rate in 1991) in Soviet Union banknotes of various denominations issued between 1961 and 1991, all no longer legal tender in the Russian Federation. The mine had been flooded in recent years, leaving what was essentially a swamp of banknotes bearing the face of Vladimir Lenin, the explorers' YouTube channel shows."

What a find! You can read the rest of the article here. The video of this discovery can be viewed below. 

Steven Friday 26 May 2017 at 08:32 am | | links | One comment

Funny video for new Norwegian 200-kroner note

It's only a few more days until the Norges Bank issues the new 100- and 200-kroner banknotes. These will be the first two notes of the highly anticipated new series

To celebrate this event the Norges Bank has begun a campaign featuring the video below which is 'celebrating' the new 200-kroner note which has the image of a cod on the front.

The video features the trio KLM along with a certain 'DJ Codfather' singing the song "Torsken kommer II – Torske kroner nå" which roughly translates into something like "the cod is coming". The rest of the text is more difficult to translate into English according to Bank President Øystein Olsen.

I wish more central banks made bizarre funny videos like this!

Steven Thursday 25 May 2017 at 08:31 am | | fun, links | No comments
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Canadian police: "watch out for Frankenstein notes"

Canadian police is warning the public for a new type of counterfeiting involving the 5-dollar notes.

In a nutshell: "Police say counterfeiters are removing the clear panel near the side of the bill, which also contains two shiny, embedded holographic strips. The clear plastic is being replaced with tape, and tinfoil is being used as a substitute for the holograms.

Investigators suspect the real $5 panels are being repurposed to create higher-denomination counterfeits, while the cobbled-together $5 bills are being put back into circulation. The result is two Frankenstein-like sets of bills, with each containing elements of real and fake banknotes."

I wonder if we will see these kind of notes show up on sites like eBay advertised as "very rare misprints!".

© www.ctvnews.ca
The top note is counterfeit, the real note is the bottom one.

Steven Wednesday 17 May 2017 at 09:42 am | | links | No comments
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Swiss 50-francs note Banknote of the Year 2016

The 2016 Banknote of the Year award has been won by the Swiss National Bank for their 50-francs note. The note was issued in April 2016 and has been praised for its design and security. 

source - banknotenews.com
source - banknotenews.com

Steven Thursday 11 May 2017 at 08:09 am | | links | No comments
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