How do they do it: polymer money

Steven Thursday 25 October 2012 at 3:47 pm | | articles | No comments
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Canada's new 20 Dollar is coming

On November 7th the new 20 Dollar will be released to the public in Canada. To announce this event Canada has unveiled a giant image of the note on the side of the Central Bank building.

Picture of the bank from Tom Chao's blog

This has sparked some controversy in Canada due to the costs for this piece of art. The image costs almost $40.000 to design, produce and install. This is of course a large sum for you or me but to be honest: is it that much for a publicity campaign? I don't know.

But that's not the only turmoil surrounding the introduction of the new banknote. Apparently some Canadians have been outraged that the pictures of three naked women and the Twin Towers are on their new money.

Yes, this is the moment where you probably should raise your eyebrows...

What they view as a weird semi-pornographic image is actually the Vimy Memorial in northern France, a monument for Canadian soldiers who died in the First World War. Never let the truth get in the way of a good story I guess. On November 7th everyone can view the new banknotes for themselves at their local sexshop bank.

Steven Wednesday 24 October 2012 at 09:11 am | | news | No comments
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New additions week 43 - 2012

Another week with some great new banknotes. My mother recently visited Rome in Italy. Of course she knows I'm always interested in new banknotes for my collection so when she came across the store Numismatica Merulana in the Via Merulana she just had to go in. Lucky me! She came home with some very nice Italian banknotes. But that's not all this week because I also received my oldest German banknote to date.

  • The forst one from Italy is a Biglietto di Stato. These are banknotes printed by the state instead of the Central Bank. A modern example of such a note is the Euro. The Euro banknotes are printed by the member states instead of the central bank in Frankfurt. This particular Italian note is the 1 Lire from 1944 (P29b).
  • Another Italian note is the 1000 Lire from 1969 (P101b) with composer Giuseppe Verdi on it. This is a different signature variety than the one I already had (P101e).
  • The next one is the 2000 Lire (P115) with Guglielmo Marconi on it, the inventor of the radio.
  • The last Italian banknote is the very nice (and quite expensive) 50.000 Lire (P116b). The Italian hero on this banknote is the artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Yes, that guy from the book Angels and Demons by Dan Brown.
  • My final new banknote is the (in my humble opinion) beautiful 5 Mark (P8b) which was issued in 1904 by the German Empire. So this little blue friend is more than a 100 years old. Amongst collectors it's known as the 'Dragon Note' for obvious reasons.

Steven Tuesday 23 October 2012 at 08:52 am | | new additions | No comments

UNESCO sites on banknotes

I read an interesting topic on the members forum of the IBNS. Somebody has a special collecting theme: UNESCO sites on banknotes. UNESCO stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

What are these sites? To quote UNESCO: "The World Heritage List includes 962 properties forming part of the cultural and natural heritage which the World Heritage Committee considers as having outstanding universal value." Countries like to put sites on their banknotes which are the pride of a nation so it should come as no surprise that quite a few of the current 962 sites have ended up on banknotes thoughout the world.

Right now people on the IBNS forum are compiling a list of the sites, so it's 'work in progress'. The list is impressive so far and can be viewed after the click (pick numbers and the exact banknote will be added later by the collectors):

Read on

Steven Friday 19 October 2012 at 09:33 am | | articles | No comments
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So where did he stand?

A little game: trying to determine where the artist stood when he shot the photo or made the painting which went on to become a banknote.

The first one: the back of the 1 Pound note from the Isle of Man (P40). 



To view in Google Maps: click here.

Steven Thursday 18 October 2012 at 8:20 pm | | fun | No comments

New additions week 42 - 2012

A new week with lots of new banknotes and all from Europe. 

  • Good old eBay brought me some joy with a set of Nazi paper money. This whole set was issued to German soldiers in the occupied territories throughout Europe. As somewhat of a history enthusiast this is a great addition to my collection but also a real historical document. I got the 50 Pfennig and the 1, 2, 5, 20 and 50 Mark (PR135-PR140).
  • A new country in my collection is the Isle of Man with this 1 Pound note (P40c) from 2009. It's printed by Thomas de la Rue and another great example of their craftsmanship and ability to incorporate local art and themes in a banknote. 

Steven Thursday 18 October 2012 at 7:16 pm | | new additions | No comments

¿Habla inglés?

So what's this? All of sudden everything is in English on this website?!

Well not everything yet but I'm working on it. Since I'm listed in the members section of the IBNS with my website I've noticed a lot of traffic from across the world. Now that's great of course but unless your native language is Dutch you wouldn't understand a word I wrote. So I decided that from now on my banknote website will be in English. I've only translated a few of the recent posts at the moment but I'm hoping to translate everything soon.

Of course, I'm 100% Dutch: English is not my native language. So if you're reading this and thinking: 'WTF is this guy blabbering about?', then please bear with me.

Steven Wednesday 17 October 2012 at 3:33 pm | | site info | No comments

Banknotes reflect glory of nation state

Rare auction of Arab world currencies provides rich pictorial display of region's turbulent modern history. (...) Banknotes – sometimes dubbed the "calling cards of nation" – reflect changing political and economic fortunes across a century and a half of Middle Eastern history, the collapse of empires, war, revolution and unrest.

Nice article in The Guardian about the auction last week of the collection of banknotes from the Middle East by George Kanaan. Despite the fact that the auction has finished and that you have to login at auction house Spink to see past auctions, the catalogue is still freely available when you search Google for it: right here. (Via)

Steven Friday 12 October 2012 at 09:35 am | | links | No comments
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New additions week 41 - 2012

The autumn winds are blowing throught the streets and the days are getting darker and colder. But don't be too depressed because I have found some new banknotes for my collection! I've managed to expand the number of countries in my collection and I even added my daughter Charlie's favourite little friend.

Since I was in Delft for another appointment I took the opportunity to visit Van Domburg. I bought my first banknotes in that shop many years ago. It was nice to be back again and see nothing had changed. Still boxes everywhere and hundreds of binders filled with stamps, coins and banknotes. The smell of old paper was in the air. They sell mostly stamps and the banknotes are scattered throughout the shop but if you're not in a hurry you can always find something to your liking. Luckily I was the first customer of the day so I had all the time in the world to find the following new banknotes.

  • While I waited for the shop to open I saw behind the glass some notes I'd been searching for in Paris recently: Disney Dollars. This isn't money you can put on your bank account but you can spend it in Disneyland and Disneyworld in the USA. That was also the reason I couldn't find them in Disneyland Paris a few weeks ago: they're not accepted on this side of the ocean. I immediately bought three notes: from 1987, 2008 and 2009. I think they're beautiful designs. I know some collectors think they shouldn't be in a banknote collection but as far as I'm concerned it's money and it belongs with the other banknotes. You can find more information on Disney Dollars at this website.
  • I also acquired this very pretty 100 Francs (P107) from Belgium, 1938. Belgian paper money in UNC grade (for the non-informed: that's the highest quality) is rare and this note is no exception. But it still looks great and I have a soft spot for pretty banknotes.
  • The 1000 Francs (P10a) from Gabon means a new country has been added. Like many other African banknotes this one is also a beauty with nice colors and pictures.
  • Another new country is Malaysia with the blue 1 Ringgit (P39).
  • Just behind Malaysia in the alphabet is another new country: Mauritius. Named after the Dutch Stadtholder Maurits the island was colonised from 1598 on by the Dutch. They managed to wipe out the native Dodo but the ugly bird makes a comeback on this 10 Rupees (P31c).
  • The last new country and banknote is the 5 Dirham (P19a) from the United Arab Emirates. It was issued in the year 2000 (or 1420 if you follow the Arab calendar which is also used on this banknote).

Steven Friday 12 October 2012 at 09:09 am | | new additions | No comments

Traders favourite banknotes

CoinWeek has published a video shot during the last Paper Money Fair in Valkenburg, the Netherlands. A few traders comment on their favourite banknote. To be honest: they really are beautiful (the banknotes of course, not the traders). Some of the notes shown cost a small fortune to acquire but there are also some cheaper banknotes.

Video (with free 80's theme music!):

Steven Friday 12 October 2012 at 08:39 am | | links | No comments

New additions week 40 - 2012

I hadn't visited Van Mastrigt in Rotterdam for a while so when I had a free afternoon I stopped by them. Their banknote collection is very small and most of it is piled up in something which can best be desribed as a waste paper basket. Most of it isn't worth much and in very poor quality (Van Mastrigt is primarily a coin- and stampshop). So it takes some time and a trained eye to spot the good banknotes between the toilet paper.  

Apparently someone had brought a large amount of Austrian Notgeld because it comprised half of the available banknotes. I'm not really a Notgeld collector but nice looking or interesting notes always spark my interest. After about half an hour of digging through piles of paper money I had six new notes for my collection.

  • From Austria three Notgeld notes. A very nice one from Waldhausen and two from Mauthausen. Mauthausen, haven't we heard that name before? Indeed, the place where a famous World War II concentration camp was. They apparently have a thing for prisoners in Mauthausen because on the two banknotes are pictures of "different types of prisoners of war" from World War I. Now there's a nice thing to put on your banknote... 
This isn't the version I have but this scan shows the picture in more detail.
  • From Spain a 2 Pesetas (P95) from 1938 with the text "Republica Espanola" on it. This was issued during the Spanish Civil War.
  • My second Swiss banknote is the 10 Francs from 1963 (P45h).
  • One of my goals is to have at least one banknote from every country. But I also have a preference for some countries and one of those is Germany. So I'm delighted to have found the first ever banknote issued in the Federal Republic of Germany better known as West Germany. From 1948 it's the 1/2 Mark (P1a).

Steven Monday 08 October 2012 at 12:02 pm | | new additions | No comments

Is this Australia's new paper money?

Australia is developing new banknotes. This project, called Next Generation Bank Note, has started five years ago and so far it has cost 9,3 million Australian dollar (about 7,4 million euro). Supposedly, the Reserve Bank of Australia is running two years behind schedule according to Australian newspapers but they (of course) refuse to comment on this delicate subject.

But now a new set of approved designs had surfaced which will serve as a basis for the final designs. You might notice that queen Elizabeth II is missing from these notes. Don't be alarmed: the central bank has already proclaimed that the queen will appear on the issued note. The new banknotes promise to have a more youthful appearance and will be updated with the latest security features. The approved designs are made by Garry Emery, a designer from Melbourne who also designed the current banknotes in circulation.

I can see the youthful appearance but 'Monopoly' is also something which springs to mind seeing these designs. Due to the complicated process of developing new banknotes, the Aussies will have to wait for a few more years before they have new money in their wallet.





Steven Tuesday 02 October 2012 at 1:50 pm | | news | No comments
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