While many people today believe that the U.S. $100 note is the highest denomination, in reality there are 5 notes with higher values: €500, $1000, $5000, $10.000 and $100.000. These are however no longer used. The higher values were once used when there was still a lot of mining for gold in the U.S. To avoid walking around with hundreds of banknotes, higher values were added. The $100.000 note was meant specifically for traffic between banks and was never issued to the public. There are 20.113 of these banknotes with the highest value.
These notes were printed until 1945 and from 1969 the values higher than $100 were no longer being used in daily traffic. The notes which still exist belong to collectors and museum but have still kept their value and you could still use them to pay for things in the United States in theory.
John Pettit Rare Banknotes from Australia is in financial trouble, according to the Australian Financial Review. The losses are big it seems. Pettit claims he had become to much of a collector. Yeah, we all know that feeling...
The Reserve Bank of Fiji has today announced that a new series of banknotes and coins with new obverse designs will be officially unveiled by the president of Fiji, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau on 12 December 2012. Flora and fauna designs of Fiji will replace the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II across all denominations. Members of the British royal family have featured on Fiji’s currency since 1934. The reason given for this step by the Reserve Bank is that it’s “time to move forward and promote our very own unique national treasure and the biodiversity that lies all around us.“ Along with the design changes, the Reserve Bank will also introduce a $2 coin to replace the $2 note. Governor Whiteside said that a number of the new flora and fauna designs selected are unique to Fiji. “Some clearly belong on the endangered species list and all Fijians must be made aware of this fact and how critical it is to preserve our heritage.“ The new 2012 flora and fauna design series notes and coins will come into circulation 2 January 2013. (Source)
Update 30 November 2012: The Telegraph reports that Fiji might also replace the Queen's head for that of the new dictator Commodore Frank Bainimarama or the military-appointed president Epeli Nailatikau. This news is denied at Fiji itself. We'll have to wait another two weeks to be sure!
Yesterday a colleague returned from Hong Kong bringing the polymer 10 Dollar (P401b) with her. It's the first polymer banknote from Hong Kong and was introduced in 2007 for a 2-year trial period. Always nice to have good contacts when you're a collector of world banknotes!
A new banknote arrived yesterday by mail. It's the Russian 250 Rubles (P36) issued in 1917 by the Soviet government. The note was also issued by the provisional government but the fact that the serial number starts with AB points to the Soviet issue.
Closer inspection of the note reveals some strange designs: there are swastikas visible! To the uninformed this is somewhat baffling since the note was issued in 1917 at a time when Hitler was still fighting in the trenches of WW I and the Nazi party was still some years away from being formed. The swastika however is not only a Nazi symbol. As you can see in this list from Wikipedia the swastika was used all over Europe prior to it becoming a dominant symbol of the Nazis. The Nazis also used swastikas on their banknotes by the way (like in this complete series which was issued in the occupied territories in Europe). So no worries for the Russians but it's another great addiction to my collection.
The swastikas are on the front and the back of the note but at the back it's most visible:
Banknotenews reports that the 2012 series of the 10, 50 and 100 Gulden notes have been confirmed. Nothing special about that but here is an odd twist however:
10, 50, and 100 gulden notes (BNA B25, B27, and B28, respectively) have been confirmed dated 1 juni 2012 with the same signature combination as the preceding issues (Jerrald M. Hasselmeyer and Emsley D. Tromp). These notes are rather unusual in that they bear the issuer name as the Bank van de Nederlandse Antillen, even though the Netherlands Antilles was dissolved as a unified political entity on 10 October 2010, and the old bank became the Centrale Bank van Curaçao en St Maarten which had plans to introduce a new common currency, the Curaçao St Maarten guilder (CMG) in 2012.
To a lot of people’s surprise Canadian Mark Carney has been named as the new governor of the Bank of England. He is currently the governor of the Bank of Canada and will be the first non-Brit to hold the position in England.
Update: A thoughtful remark by Banknotenews on the same subject: "The move will likely mean new signature varieties for Canada's banknotes, but not for those in Great Britain, where the notes are signed by the chief cashier."
Some months ago there were questions being asked where Syria gets its new banknotes from. The 2009 issues (P112-P114) were printed by Oesterreichische Banknoten- und Sicherheitsdruck in Austria but due to sanctions by the EU against the Syrian regime, that printer was no longer available. Most people believed that the new printer would be Goznak, Russia’s biggest security printer. A fact flatly denied by the governor of the Syrian Central Bank (update: ...but which in the mean time has been confirmed by Goznak themselves).
But now new evidence has surfaced. Flight records show that massive amounts of cash have been flown from Russia to Syria. About 240 tons of banknotes to be precise! These are needed by the Syrian regime to cope with the international sanctions and to pay the war effort.
And then the banknote that will not be issued: the 3000 Rubel from Russia. Officials dismissed the rumors which had started on a website of a local politician. The idea was that this banknote would fill the gap between the 1000 and 5000 Rubel banknote. The 5000 Rubel being the last new banknote to be issued in Russia. But this banknote is virtually useless in daily payments due to lack of change in shops. The 3000 Rubel banknote might be a solution but not in the near future. A professor in graphic design made a design of the proposed banknote with scenes of Yekaterinburg on it. Quite a good looking note to be honest.
The Bank of Zambia has announced that the kwacha will be rebased by dividing it by 1,000, dropping three zeros off the currency, on January 1. Now Zambia has a K50,000 note, but this is worth less than $10. The Bank of Zambia said this resulted in inconvenience and risks in carrying large sums of money for transactions. It has also led to increasing difficulties in maintaining bookkeeping and statistical records, ensuring compatibility with data-processing software and higher costs in the payment system.
Zambia currently has banknotes for K20, K50, K100, K500, K1,000, K5,000, K10,000, K20,000 and K50,000. It has coins for K10, K5, K1, 50 ngwee and 25 ngwee. After January 1 there will be a new note series for K100, K50, K20, K10, K5 and K2 and coins for K1, 50 ngwee, 10 ngwee and five ngwee.
From July 1 next year, the old currency will not be accepted, but it will be exchangeable for a year thereafter for the new currency at the Bank of Zambia, commercial banks and designated agents. The new currency will get the symbol K. From July 1 2014 to December 31 2015, exchanges will be at the Bank of Zambia only and thereafter old currency will have no value. Click the popup to see the new banknotes:
First is the ten Rupees banknote from India. The Reserve Bank of India has announced that these will be gradually replaced by coins. The average life span of the 10 Rupees banknotes is 9-10 months. To have banknotes with such a short life span is not cost effective. At the same time they will begin to experiment with polymer banknotes to prolong the life of especially the lower denominations. Source
The Reserve Bank of India will shortly issue `10 denomination Banknotes with Rupee Symbol (`) on the obverse and the reverse, inset letter ‘A’ in both the numbering panels, in the Mahatma Gandhi Series-2005 bearing the signature of Dr. D. Subbarao, Governor , Reserve Bank of India, and the year of printing ‘2012’ printed on the reverse of the Banknote. The design of these notes to be issued now is similar in all respects to the `10 Banknotes in Mahatma Gandhi Series- 2005, issued earlier. All the Banknotes in the denomination of `10 issued by the Bank in the past will continue to be legal tender.
Owen Linzmayer of Banknotenews.com (every collector should have this site in his bookmarks) has designed a few calendars with the most beautiful banknotes depicting aircraft, beasts, beauties, birds, boats, bridges, and fish.
You can order them here for $24,99 but if you use the code DELIRITAS you get a 51% discount. This code expires 27 November so get them while you can! I just ordered a calendar with the beasts theme.
Two new notes arrived yesterday which I won on eBay. The first one is an ECU-testnote which I remembered from 20 years ago and which sparked my interest in banknotes. A year later I started collecting. The second note came as a gift with the first one and is from Burundi. Such a nice gesture!
As you might have noticed I love to collect banknotes. Some people however have thought of different uses for the notes in their pocket. Like this 'sugar daddy' in China who came up with the idea of dressing his girl up in a dress made of real banknotes. The girl claims they're the equivalent of 200.000 Yuan, or 32.000 Dollar. But as one commenter on a Chinese website pointed out, the dress is made of Ukrainian banknotes. All together he estimates they're worth about 200 Dollar which seems like a reasonable guess to me. Take a look:
Tuesday I wrote about the 50 and 1000 Krona from Sweden which will become invalid after 31 December 2013. More news is available now from the website of the Swedish Central Bank, the Sveriges Riksbank. This is part of the preparations for the replacement of the current banknote series which will begin in 2015. From the website:
Schedule for the introduction of Sweden’s new banknotes and coins
31 December 2013 is the last date you can make payments using 50-krona and 1,000-krona banknotes that do not have foil strips.
October 2015 is when the new 20-krona, 50-krona, 200-krona and 1,000-krona banknotes will be issued.
30 June 2016 is the last date you can use the current 20-krona notes and the 50-krona and 1,000-krona banknotes that have foil strips.
October 2016 the new 100-krona and 500-krona banknotes will be issued, along with the 1-krona, 2-krona and 5-krona coins.
30 June 2017 is the last date you can pay using the current 100-krona and 500-krona banknotes with foil strips and the current 1-krona, 2-krona and 5-krona coins.
For a collector of world banknotes like me it's always nice to know how many countries are represented in your collection. At the moment I have 157 countries for instance. But it's much nicer to see this in a list which could also be easy to manage.
Well I did just that. There are numerous lists of banknote issuing countries but I've tried to combine them in one list which I hope is somewhat complete. Of course there is still room for debate: should you add every German state as a separate entity or is 'German states' sufficient? But as a first attempt this works for me.
You can choose 'countries' in the menu on the right or click here.
Sweden: 50-krona and 1,000-krona banknotes without foil strips will become invalid after 31 December 2013. Source: Sveriges Riksbank.
United Arab Emirates: the new 50 Dirhams note which was announced on 23 July 2012 has been issued dated 2011. It has a new 3-mm wide color-shifting security thread and it bears the new coat of arms which was adopted on 22 March 2008. Source: MRI Bankers' Guide.
On December 13 Spink and Son will hold a new auction of world banknotes. A total of 741 lots with banknotes from all over the world is available to bid on. To be honest: the prices are a 'little' bit higher than on eBay. But the notes at Spink are indeed very rare and beautiful.
To me it's already a pleasure to flip through the catalogue which you can download here (pdf).
According to a recent study from forexcurrency.us 35% of all Britons believe you can't use Scottish banknotes in England. This is however not the case: in everyday transactions the notes can be used and will be accepted by retailers. The confusion probably comes from the use of the term "legal tender" as is being explained by The Telegraph:
As the Bank of England website clarifies, Scottish bank notes are technically not 'legal tender' in England, just as Bank of England notes are not in Scotland. However, the term 'legal tender' holds a very narrow, technical meaning in regards to debt settlement.
So when you do want to spend Scottish pounds in England, you are free to do so. Or collect them of course, as I did back in 1993 when I started my collection with a Scottish pound.
On the 14th of November I celebrated my 35th birthday. Yes, thank you very much. From my mother I got a whole bunch of new banknotes as a gift. Some were new, some were better versions than I already had and some were issues with lower serial numbers.
Cornish bank notes issued by a notorious businessman known as the "Smugglers' Banker" are to go on display in Polperro after being sold at auction in London.(...)The lower denomination note, which went under the hammer at Spinks' sale-room in Russell Square, is signed by Zephaniah Job and dated 1818. Job, who was born in St Agnes and moved to Polperro in the 1770s, was an astute and wealthy entrepreneur. He helped his adopted community in a number of ways, including building its first school, but behind the veil of respectability lay a scheming free-trader. It was for this reason he earned the nickname of the "Smugglers' Banker".
While checking all the sites of Central Banksyesterday, I stumbled on a truly horrific spectacle. On the website of the Central Bank of Paraguay, they show a video of banknotes being destroyed... These are old and dirty notes of course but still: the heart of a collector skips a beat. If you still want to watch this monstrosity, you can tune in from Monday to Friday between 11:00-13:00 local time. Be warned!
My list of central banks in the world which I copied from the IBNS website, has been completely checked and updated with new and current websites. About 25 websites had changed their address. I'm still looking (or waiting?) for the website of the Central Bank of South Sudan.
The Bank of Israel has announced new banknotes. In the second half of 2013 the first two new banknotes will be issued: 50 NIS and 200 NIS (NIS = New Israeli Shekel). Two other notes of 20 NIS and 100 NIS will be released in the beginning of 2014. The following list shows the new design features and links to additional information on the people who's portraits are used:
Azerbaijan is planning to issue new and larger denominations into the country. Right now they have banknotes of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 manat but notes of 200 and 500 manat have now been announced by the Central Bank of Azerbaijan. You can find more info on this website.
The Telegraph has a funny study on banknotes today. Researchers looked at how people spend money, particularly when they pay with either old filthy banknotes or with nice new crisp notes. You can already guess the conclusion: people tend to spend 'filthy money' faster than new banknotes.
Even though it's just money we value it more when it's nice and clean because it makes us feel proud to have it - especially if we're in a social setting where other people might see the bills, the researchers said. This could mean that asking a bank cashier for newer notes could in fact help curb spending, they said.
Of course, collectors already knew that nice uncirculated banknotes have far greater value.
I finally added some notes to my collection from one of my favourite series: the Suriname year 2000 series. What I specifically like about this series is the beautiful design with the vibrant colors, the flowers and the birds. Everything you would expect from a banknote issued by a tropical country! I hope to add the rest of this set in the future.
You can find the 5, 10, 25 and 100 Gulden notes (P146-149) right here.
Yesterday I wrote about disappointing results for the parent company of Landqart Paper but they are not the only banknote printer who has worried investors with their results. De la Rue, the worlds biggest commercial printer of banknotes, has also published disappointing figures. In response its shares dropped 7%.
De la Rue commented on the figures by pointing out that orders have been delayed and can't be added to this fiscal year. They won't tell which orders, but a persistent rumour says De la Rue has secretly been printing Greek drachma banknotes which could be issued right away in case Greece is forced to leave the euro.
De la Rue is the world's largest commercial banknote printer and responsible for 150 currencies. That means 1 in 5 of every type of banknote being used in the world right now, is printed by De la Rue. Other printers can be found here.
The IBNS Netherlands will hold its annual fair on the 8th of December this year. Admission is free for members and €2 for non-members. After the fair the annual meeting will take place at which time a new board will be elected.
There are rumours Swiss banknote printer Landqart could be hived off by its Canada based parent company Fortress Paper. It would then be seperately listed at the London Stock Exchange. These rumours arose due to disappointing results by Fortress: it's banknote printing business lost C$8,9 million in the third quarter (about € 7 million). Fortress CEO Chad Wasilenkoff hinted at radical plans to combat the bad results.
Landqart is one of many banknote printers in the world. To get more information on banknote printers, check this list I have.
The new South African banknotes with Nelson Mandela continue to make the news. This time in the form of the painting below. Is it a representation of the coming zombiecalypse? According to artist Ayanda Mabulu his version of the new banknotes is a way to show how the gap between the rich and the poor of South Africa has widened.
I like the art of banknotes, but I'm not too sure about this one... I prefer the original version!
More info has come available on the new "Europa" series of euro banknotes which I wrote about yesterday. We already know the new €5 will be released first and then the €10 etc. The new note will be presented in full on 10 January 2013 and will be issued in May 2013.
So what's new? A number of security features have been updated and some of the design will be changed though that's still a little bit shrouded in mystery. The artist chosen for the updated design is Reinhold Gerstetter, an independant banknote designer from Berlin. He is best known for his work on the last series of German Marks (example of his 200 Mark, P47) and on the last series of Spanish Pesetas.
1. The first new feature is the incorporation of the image of the mythological figure of Europa. She will first be visible as a hologram in the silver stripe on the banknote. Next to the hologram is an image of a window and the value of the note:
2. The second novelty is the same image of Europa in the watermark:
3. Last new item: the number 5 will be in emerald green and will shift color when you tilt the banknote.
The European Central Bank is Thursday to present a plan for replacing current euro notes with safer ones from 2013, Hessischer Rundfunk reported Sunday. The second generation euro notes will still have values from five to €500, but motifs will change and improved security features will make forgery more difficult.
Hopefully this means that the new banknotes will also be less boring.
If there's more news today, this article will be updated.
ECB President Mario Draghi has indeed announced that the new series of euro banknotes will be released next year. This second series of the euro has been named the "Europa" series. It will include a portrait of the mythological figure Europa in the watermark and hologram. The new banknotes will be gradually introduced starting with the 5 euro note in May 2013. Apart from the watermark and hologram an emerald number and other modern security features will be incorporated in the new design.
The Europa series will have the same denominations as its predecessor: €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500, and they will be introduced in ascending order. They will circulate alongside the first series of euro notes but these will gradually be withdrawn and cease to be legal tender. The final design of the 5 euro banknote will be unveiled on 10 January 2013.
Today Barack Obama was re-elected as president of the United States but their neighbours to the north also have cause for celebration. Because today the new 20 Dollar banknote is released to the general public in Canada.
Recent articles on this beautiful new note can be found here and here.
So BanknoteNews has a fun new challenge: identifying who Sister Sarah is on the Bahamas 1/2 dollar note (P42). When I was doing some research on my own collection I too ran into this problem. She is prominently featured on the banknote with her name next to her picture but I couldn't find any information on her.
But the readers of BanknoteNews have apparently found out who she is.
IDENTIFIED: According to Paul Walters, "Sister Sarah is indeed a real person. I am not sure if she is still living, I don't think she is. She was a prominant figure at the straw market in the 1970s, when the market was located along the dock--before it moved to its present day location on Bay street."
They also found an article mentioning her as a local straw weaver. Has the riddle finally been solved?
Some rather odd new additions to my collection this week. Some collectors would even go so far by claiming this isn't even real money. Well, it isn't!
From Spain I got this very interesting set of coupons. They were issued during World War II in Barcelona and were (mistakenly) sold on eBay as emergency money. On the front it depicts the Blue Division (División Azul in Spanish), the logo of the division, the iron cross and the swastika. TheDivisión Española de Voluntarios was a group of Spanish volunteers who fought with the German army at the eastern front. The backside of this piece shows several produces which could be bought with the note, like sugar and bread.
The Jason Islands are an archipelago in the Falkland Islands which used to be privately owned by Len Hill. To fund conservation work on the islands, Hill issued a set of collectors banknotes in 1979. Five different notes were issued with Len Hill as 'administrator' and his portrait on every note. Each denomination shows a different type of penguin which can be found on the islands: a Humboldt penguin on 50 pence, a Jackass penguin on 1 pound, a Rockhopper penguin on 5 pound, a Gentoo penguin on 10 pound and a King penguin on 20 pounds. Upon Len Hill's death the islands were eventually donated to the Wildlife Conservation Society. All banknotes can be found on my Jason Islands page.
As the regular visitor might have noticed I've implemented some changes on this blog. First of all it's wider. My blog has always been 750 pixels wide, but now it's grown to 900 pixels. Not much wider perhaps but it allows me to implement another change: advertisements...
Yes, that horrible evil phenomenon which will be the downfall of humanity as we know it!! Well, that's a bit over the top perhaps since it's an add for the great Banknote Book. This is by far the best catalogue on banknotes out there so if you want to check it out for yourself, please do so by clicking the banner at the right. That way I make a little bit of money as well.
Hello, I'm Steven Bron and welcome to my blog on banknotes! Here you can find: breaking news, background articles and of course my personal collection (world notes or at least one from each country, commemorative notes and polymer notes).