Critique on plans for the US dollar redesign

Edward Rothstein, a critic working for The Wall Street Journal, has written a very interesting opinion piece on the proposed redesign of the US dollar notes. If you recall, the plans are for the 5-, 10- and 20-dollar notes to get a big makeover with several new faces added the notes, amongst them no less than 8 women who played a part in the abolishment of slavery, civil rights movement and women's right to vote. 

His critique is both directed at the choice and combination of people ("a potpourri of portraits") but also the incoherent imagery the dollars will get.

"Alexander Hamilton, the founding father of America’s economic system, stays on the $10 bill, but the institution on the back—the U.S. Treasury—will now appear as a backdrop for the 1913 Women’s Suffrage Parade, accompanied by images of almost a century of suffrage leaders (...) The Treasury is on the back of Alexander Hamilton’s bill because he was the first Treasury secretary and helped shape conditions for the prosperity and power that the building represents. Now that structure will be the backdrop for an event that has nothing to do with Hamilton or the monetary system."

It's a very interesting observation in my opinion. I for one am very curious how the designers of the new note will deal with all the different images they want to show. 

© www.theatlantic.com

Photo: German actress Hedwig Reicher wears the costume of "Columbia" with other suffrage pageant participants standing in background in front of the Treasury Building in Washington, District of Columbia, on March 3, 1913. The performance was part of the larger Suffrage Parade of 1913.

Steven Sunday 08 May 2016 at 09:20 am | | links | No comments
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Women on banknotes

In light of the recent announcement of the return of women on US banknotes, data analysts from Statista have done research which countries have women on currently circulating banknotes. The map below is the result of this investigation. 

Infographic: Women On Banknotes Are A Rarity | Statista

Statista

Steven Friday 06 May 2016 at 9:19 pm | | links | One comment
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German emergency issues

First of all, happy New Year to everybody! To start 2016 right, here's an interesting story on the German emergency issues of 1960 and 1963.

One of these notes would be a great addition to my collection but I'm not sure if it's 100% legal to own one after reading the article.

Steven Friday 08 January 2016 at 09:44 am | | links | No comments
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De la Rue cuts banknote printing capacity

The biggest banknote printer in the world, De la Rue, has announced it will cut its banknote printing capacity by a quarter, according to this article in the Financial Times. De la Rue will close its banknote plant in Malta leaving only the factories in the UK, Kenya and Sri Lanka. About 300 people are expected to lose their jobs because of this reduction.

Steven Saturday 05 December 2015 at 11:39 am | | links | No comments
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An Illustrated History of American Money Design

Gizmodo has a very nice article (with beautiful pictures): The Illustrated History of American Money Design. Definitely worth a look.

Steven Monday 23 November 2015 at 11:57 am | | links | No comments
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Women on currency notes in the United States

There is quite a discussion going on right now in the USA about the design of the US dollars. In particular the lack of women on the notes. I already wrote about this issue in 2014 and the poll which was announced by the action group Women on 20's has been won by abolitionist and humanitarian Harriet Tubman (c.1822-1913). 

This discussion prompted David Pearl from the Metric Pioneer to make this summary of US banknotes which already had women on it. Mostly allegorical but also some famous women like Martha Washington. The reason why I'm posting this is of course for the sheer beauty of the old US notes. Please let them do something like this again, with women or without them. 

HARRIET TUBMAN (C.1822 - 1913)

Steven Friday 05 June 2015 at 8:13 pm | | links | No comments
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Oxenaar gave everyone the finger

On the member forum of the IBNS website, I found a link to a great interview with Ootje Oxenaar, the designer of one of the most beautiful banknote series the Netherlands has ever seen. It provides some insight in the development of a new banknote series as well as great anecdotes on specific notes. Like the 1000-gulden note shown here in which Oxenaar hid a etching of his own fingerprint... from his middle finger :-)



You can also check this video in which he talks about designing the Dutch banknotes. 

Steven Wednesday 03 June 2015 at 6:58 pm | | links | No comments
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Bank of England wants new face for 20-pound note

The Bank of England has asked the public to nominate who they would like to feature on the back of the future £20 note. This new banknote will be issued in 3-5 years, probably made of polymer and it will celebrate Britain’s achievements in the visual arts.

Visual artists include architects, artists, ceramicists, craftspeople, designers, fashion designers, filmmakers, photographers, printmakers and sculptors.  The Bank will not feature fictional or living characters, with the exception of the Monarch, who appears on the front of our notes.

Nominations can be send in until 19 July 2015.

Steven Wednesday 20 May 2015 at 4:02 pm | | links | No comments

Spink to offer newly discovered banknotes

From coinweek.com: "The World Banknotes auction on 29-30 April [at Spink] showcases a wide range of notes from countries across the globe. We are offering many great rarities, and as usual, some completely unique items. Below is a selection of some of the most spectacular or otherwise interesting items.

Central Bank – United Arab Republic

A group of specimens showing a series of UAR banknotes that were never issued. The United Arab Republic was a union between Egypt and Syria. It lasted only three years, from 1958 until 1961. No official currency was issued for the union, despite the fact that Egypt continued to call itself the United Arab Republic until 1971.

These specimen banknotes, dated 1959, show beyond all doubt that the two countries were planning a combined currency. There is a complete set of notes, with the denominations 25 and 50 piastres, and 1, 5, and 10 Arab Dinars.

That fact that these notes are Arab Dinars is actually what makes them so remarkable. This will no doubt have collectors completely mystified, since neither Egypt nor Syria used Dinars at any point in their history. It could be speculated that Dinars was proposed so that neither party could claim favouritism. Another possibility is that it was an effort to appeal to other states, such as Iraq, in an effort to get them to join the union as well. One thing is for certain, these banknotes will fuel speculation and research for years to come, and are one of the most important discoveries in the fields of Egyptian and Syrian notes for decades."

Combined Estimate £31,000-£46,000 (US$46,810-$69,460)....

Steven Tuesday 28 April 2015 at 10:50 am | | links | No comments
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Hungarian artist designs beautiful concept money

If you give an artist total freedom in designing new money, you can end up with the most beautiful concepts. Take for example this work by the artist Barbara Bernát who has designed the fictional currency of the Hungarian euro.

The common side of each note features european animals, the other side shows related species of plants. I used the original proportions of the existing euro banknote for my design, as the denomination increases, the size of each banknote is growing. The animals also represent the growth of value.

The higher the denomination, the higher position in the food chain each animal has. She has left out most of the security features to present an image with as much simplicity as possible. One thing she has left on the note is probably also one of the most appealing security features I've ever seen. Holding the note under UV light reveals the ghostly skeleton of the pictured animals!



Steven Wednesday 18 February 2015 at 09:02 am | | links | No comments
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Russia declines to issue 2,000-ruble banknote

An article from The Moscow Times: "Russia's Central Bank has declined to issue a 2,000-ruble banknote honoring the far eastern city of Vladivostok, state news agency RIA Novosti reported Monday.

The proposed banknote, inspired by the song "Vladivostok 2000" by hometown rock stars Mumy Troll, was designed by Russian advertising firm Provoda and become wildly popular on the RuNet, as the Russian-language section of the Internet is known.

The Central Bank, which said it often receives proposals for new banknotes, declined to issue this one "due to the economic situation in the country and considering the demands of cash circulation," RIA cited the bank as saying.

The country's main banknotes in circulation honor an array of Russian cities: Krasnoyarsk (10-ruble banknote), St. Petersburg (50), Moscow (100), Arkhangelsk (500), Yaroslavl (1,000) and Khabarovsk (5,000). The Central Bank in 2013 also issued a limited edition 100-ruble banknote dedicated to the Winter Olympics in Sochi."

Steven Wednesday 18 February 2015 at 08:56 am | | links | No comments
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Send in your nominations for IBNS Banknote of the Year!

With the coming of the new year it's also time to reflect on the past year and that means: time to send in your nomination for Banknote of the Year! This annual award is organised by the IBNS and has been won for the past three years by Kazachstan (123).

Of course it would be easy to nominate their new banknote for this award and have a very good chance of nominating the winning banknote. But I decided to nominate a bit of an outsider this year: the 5,000 francs note from the French Pacific Territories which was issued on 20 January 2014

My reasons:

  1. I think it's a bold move to completely depart from the old design which was loved and admired  for decades by users and collectors worldwide.
  2. The look and color of this particular 5,000 francs note is beautiful and really gives the series its 'tropical' feel.

If you disagree please feel free to nominate your own favorite banknote issued in 2014. All the information and other nominees can be found here.

Steven Friday 02 January 2015 at 10:22 am | | links | Five comments
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