Scratch-and-sniff banknotes?

Canadians and their money, a source of entertainment which goes on and on and on. What do we have so far? Naked women, melting banknotes, vending-machine-says-no, biological warfare and of course the wrong maple leafs. Now we can add another complaint: some people claim that when you scratch the new 100 dollar note, you can smell maple syrup. Why anyone would complain about such a delicious smell is beyond me but the fact is denied by the Bank of Canada: no scratch-and-sniff notes in Canada!

The people at the Bank of Canada must have a lot of fun with all these weird allegations. Would you like pancakes with these?

Steven Woensdag 29 Mei 2013 at 08:25 am | | fun | Geen reacties
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Mauritius switches to polymer banknotes

The Bank of Mauritius will soon issue banknotes plastic, specifically polypropylene. This was announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Xavier-Luc Duval, on his Facebook page. Two million notes of 500 rupees will be issued in plastic. The number of notes of 25 and 50 rupees, which will also be issued, has not yet been decided at this stage. The exact issue date is unknown at this time.


Steven Woensdag 29 Mei 2013 at 08:17 am | | news | Geen reacties
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Malawi cancels old kwacha series

The Nyasa Times reports that Malawi has cancelled the old series which were issued prior to the current kwacha series. On 23 May 2012 the Reserve Bank of Malawi introduced a new series consisting of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 kwacha. The people of Malawi have until 2 August 2013 to exchange their old banknotes for the new ones. 

The old 500 kwacha:

Steven Zaterdag 25 Mei 2013 at 3:22 pm | | news | Geen reacties
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New additions week 21 - 2013

After several failed attempts I finally managed to acquire the new 5 euro. With special thanks to my mother who stumbled upon the banknote at the place where she works.

© European Central Bank

Steven Donderdag 23 Mei 2013 at 08:24 am | | new additions | Geen reacties

200 gulden banknote sold for €44,280

At an auction by MPO a Dutch 200 gulden banknote from 1908 was sold for €44,280 which makes it the most expensive Dutch banknote ever. The banknote was bought by the De Ruiter family, who have a shop in stamps, coins and banknotes and who can be found at

The banknote measures 120 x 220 mm and was issued in 10 varieties. About 2 million were issued between 1860 and 1920. But only 20 now remain! What makes this one special is the signature of J.G.N. de Hoop Scheffer of De Nederlandsche Bank. This is the only surviving specimen of the 200 gulden banknote with that particular signature.

Steven Vrijdag 17 Mei 2013 at 11:28 am | | news | Geen reacties
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Cambodia to issue new 100,000 riel banknote

The NZweek reports that Cambodia is set to issue a new 100,000 riel banknote commemorating the 60th birthday of king Norodom Sihamoni on 14 May 2013. The news report is from 8 May 2013 so the banknote is probably already issued.

"The new bill will be officially issued in the next couple of days," Nguon Sokha, director general of the National Bank of Cambodia, told Xinhua over telephone.

A sub-decree on the issuance of the new 100,000-riel banknote was signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 30. The 100,000-riel bill is the country’s highest riel value banknote.

According to its model, the bill displays the portraits of late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and Queen Mother Norodom Monineath on the obverse and the pictures of the two monarchs and their current King Norodom Sihamoni on the reverse.

Steven Donderdag 16 Mei 2013 at 08:02 am | | news | Geen reacties
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Rwanda to issue improved 500 francs banknote

The website reports:

The Rwf500 note will be replaced with a better and improved version to make it usable in Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).

The Cabinet was presented with a draft Presidential Order requesting for approval to issue the new Rwf500 note, which is "consistent with the vision of our country," finance ministry officials said.

"The approval of the Presidential Order will help to circulate a new Rwf500 note, which will have new features that are consistent with the vision of our country," Pichette Kampeta Sayinzoga, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance said during a press conference last week.

"In this particular case, some of the principal features of the new note will be three exotic cows in the front face to reflect the government's effort to eradicate malnutrition, while on the back face, there will be four young students working with computers to reflect the government's efforts to promote education and technology."

The National Bank of Rwanda vice-governor, Monique Nsanzabaganwa, told Business Times that the new note is expected to be issued by the end of this year after its features have been published in the official Gazette.

The current 500 francs note:



Steven Woensdag 15 Mei 2013 at 4:03 pm | | news | Geen reacties
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Wanted: the new 5 euro (preferably alive)

Remember the new 5 euro banknote (and my first attempt to get one)? The one that was introduced into the eurozone 2 May 2013? I still haven't been able to get one through the usual channels like banks and shops. But it seems I'm not the only one: I've seen several articles on this issue. Just this weekend I was in Belgium and since I'd read that ATM machines in Belgium issue 5 euro notes (in contrast to the Netherlands where they only issue a minimum of 10 euro notes), I tried my luck at several machines. No luck there: only 20 euro banknotes. I then asked in numerous shops and at gas pumps if they happened to have the new note. The reactions I got were priceless: we also haven't seen the note, we have no idea what it looks like etc.

The best reaction however (and the one which pointed out a likely explanation for this lack of notes at shops) I got at the gas pump in my own neighborhood. The employee said they almost had a new 5 euro the day before but they refused to accept it because the couterfeit detection devices didn't recognize it as a valid banknote. All our money is based on trust because it has no intrinsic value. Trust that the piece of 'paper' you're holding is worth 5 euro. But if the new 5 euro is rejected everywhere it's value is basically 0 euro.

I wonder what that will do to the already very shaken confidence in the euro system?

© European Central Bank

Steven Dinsdag 14 Mei 2013 at 08:34 am | | news | Geen reacties
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New header image

As you can see, I've uploaded a new header image (the picture at the top of this screen with on it). I got the background picture from reddit and the complete world map of currencies can be viewed by clicking the thumbnail below.

Note: I do of course know that some of the currencies displayed in this image are not in use anymore but I still think it looks pretty cool.


Steven Woensdag 08 Mei 2013 at 09:02 am | | site info | Geen reacties
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Jack Lew has a new signature

Remember Jack Lew? President Obama named him to be the new US Secretary of the Treasury, all people could talk about for days was his funny signature. It consists of a number of loops which reminded people of a slinky. Some people complained it would be weird to have such a odd signature on the US Banknotes.

Well, apparently mr. Lew has listened to the criticism because recently he showed his modified John Hancock. It is unknown if this is the final version which will end up on new banknotes.

So which is better in your opinion? The old signature on top or the new version at the bottom:

Steven Woensdag 08 Mei 2013 at 08:28 am | | fun | Geen reacties
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Mexico issues revised 50 peso note

The Banco de Mexico has introduced a revised banknote of 50 peso on 6 May 2013, which includes new security measures and some new design elements. 

The image of Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon is the key motif on the front of the new 50-peso banknote and is printed similarly as in the previously-issued note. To the left of the image appears a frame made up of Morelos’ battle flag, two intertwined cannons, a bow, an arrow, and the word “SUD”. The latter two elements were used as motifs in the coins minted by the insurgent leader. The cannons are in blue. On top of the frame appears, in diminishing microprinting, the following texts included in the Sentiments of the Nation:


Morelos image, all texts, the denomination numerals, and the frame are printed in raised ink (intaglio), except for the denomination numeral and the rippled lines in the right lower clear window, which are embossed.

The monarch butterflies, which are the distinctive feature of the state of Michoacán, also appear, printed in a color-changing ink that has a rolling-bar effect (Spark technique), only in the small clear window in the upper left side, and in the clear window, in the right side. Another feature of this banknote is the increasing folio numerals.

The key visual feature on the back of the banknote is the aqueduct of the city of Morelia, Michoacán, constructed by Bishop Manuel Escalante Columbres in the eighteenth century. Three monarch butterflies appear in front of it. To the left side of the aqueduct is a representation of the pre-Hispanic symbol of the state of Michoacán (Mechuaca, which means “land of fish,” taken from the codex telleriano remensis). Monarch butterflies can also be observed, some printed in the main body of the polymer and others in the clear window.

You can find more information on the note in this poster (PDF) from the Banco de Mexico, on this website and in this video.

Steven Dinsdag 07 Mei 2013 at 7:46 pm | | news | Geen reacties
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IBNS Banknote of the Year 2012

The International Banknote Society (IBNS) announces "that its voting membership has again selected the National Bank of Kazakhstan to receive its prestigious “Bank Note of the Year” Award for 2012. Facing stiff competition as always from nearly 100 new banknotes released worldwide in 2012, the 5000 Tenge denomination Kazakhstan note was followed in voting by the Canada 50 Dollar and Jersey 100 Pound currency bills."

On the IBNS forum one of the members raises a very interesting complaint about this winning note. As you can clearly see on the website of the National Bank of Kazakhstan, the 5000 tenge banknote is part of the 2011 series and it even has an official issue date of 30 December 2011 which would make it impossible to enter the 2012 competition.

My opinion (I repeat, my opinion): I'm not crazy about the design of this banknote. I think it's too busy, too crowded with symbolism and the colours look a bit cheap. But congrats anyway and you can already send in nominations for Banknote of the Year 2013!

Steven Maandag 06 Mei 2013 at 6:01 pm | | news | Geen reacties
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First series Qatar banknotes will be cancelled

All notes of the first series of the Qatar Central Bank will become worthless on 15 June 2013. This includes the denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 riyals.


Steven Vrijdag 03 Mei 2013 at 3:19 pm | | news | Geen reacties
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Will future banknotes be traceable?

I found an interesting article about the use of RFID chips in future banknotes. When incorporated in a banknote this technology makes it possible to track a banknote for instance via satelite. Is this a brilliant new security feature or the next step in losing even more privacy?

Currently the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan and researchers in Saudi Arabia are investigating if these new techniques can be implemented in future banknotes.

Steven Vrijdag 03 Mei 2013 at 09:32 am | | links | Geen reacties
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Barbados presents new banknotes

The Central Bank of Barbados has presented its new series of banknotes. The new banknotes will be available to the public from 4 June 2013. From the press release:

Governor Dr. DeLisle Worrell said of the revamped design, "We've kept some of the more popular elements so that people can still easily identify the denominations, but we've modernised the look, made it more Barbadian, and made the notes easier to authenticate."

All denominations remain the same colour: $2 – blue, $5 – green, $10 – brown, $20 – purple, $50- orange and green, and $100 – grey, red and blue; and the portraits remain the same. Overall, though, the notes have a new look. Bold waves now make up the base of the new design, which on the front also includes images of the Coat of Arms, the broken trident, the map of Barbados, and the familiar portraits of John Redman Bovell, Sir Frank Worrell, the Right Excellent Charles Duncan O’Neal, the Right Excellent Samuel Jackman Prescod, the Right Excellent Errol Barrow, and the Right Excellent Sir Grantley Adams. Another new feature on the front of the notes is an area near the top left of the note with raised marks to help the visually impaired identify the value of each note. One dot represents the $2 note, two dots the $5, three dots the $10, four dots the $20, five dots the $50, and six dots the $100 note.

The backs of the notes now feature six different images, each linked to the portrait on the front. For John Redman Bovell, a pioneer of the sugar industry, the $2 has a vignette of Morgan Lewis Windmill. The $5, which has the portrait of former West Indies cricket captain Sir Frank Worrell, has 3Ws Oval, and the $10 portrays Charles Duncan O’Neal Bridge. In honour of the Right Excellent Samuel Jackman Prescod, the first coloured man in the House of Assembly, the $20 bears a vignette of one of the Parliament buildings. The $50 depicts Independence Square, including the statue of the Right Excellent Errol Barrow; and the $100 honours the Right Excellent Sir Grantley Adams with a view of the Grantley Adams International Airport.

Security features
In addition to the new design of the notes, major changes have been made to the security features. The map of Barbados watermark, which has been found on all denominations since 1973, has been replaced by six distinct watermarks – the image of the person featured on that denomination’s portrait. Below the main watermark is a second, smaller one that shows the note’s value in numbers. The security thread on the lower denominations - $2, $5 and $10 – remains the same wave-like silver line that is on current banknotes, but the $20, $50 and $100 have a new wide thread that changes from red to green when the note is tilted. Both types of thread weave in and out of the paper and have “CBB” and the denomination printed on them. For all denominations, when the note is held up to the light, the thread becomes a complete line from the top to the bottom of the note.

Under ultraviolet light, the waves in the centre of the $2, $5 and $10 glow and tiny fibres spread throughout the note fluoresce blue-yellow-blue. On the $20, $50 and $100, the waves fluoresce two different colours – pink and green on the $20, green and yellow on the $50, and yellow and green on the $100 – and tiny pink fibres glow. On the right side of the two highest denominations, the foil patches have been replaced with holograms. On the $50, the hologram features the pelican prominently along with broken tridents, Pride of Barbados flowers and the numeral "50"; while on the $100, the main image is the dolphin, along with broken tridents, Pride of Barbados flowers and the numeral "100". When the note is tilted, the images on the hologram shift.

The Bank advises that all banknotes issued since 1973 remain legal tender and that Barbadians should continue to use them.







Steven Vrijdag 03 Mei 2013 at 09:08 am | | news | Geen reacties
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Stephen Poloz new governor Bank of Canada

The Bank of Canada has announced that Stephen S. Poloz will be appointed Governor of the Bank of Canada for a seven-year term, starting 3 June 2013. He will will succeed Mark Carney, who is leaving the Bank of Canada on 1 June 2013 to become governor of the Bank of England.

It is unclear at the moment whether the signature of Mark Carney or that of Stephen Poloz will be on the recently presented new 5 and 10 dollar banknotes.

Poloz on the left, Carney on the right

Steven Vrijdag 03 Mei 2013 at 08:59 am | | news | Geen reacties
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New banknote? What new banknote??

I just thought I'd share this story with you. Today I went to the bank to see if I could get the new 5 euro. When I asked the bank clerk if she already had them, she looked very puzzled. "Is there a new banknote, you say? Does it have the new king Willem-Alexander on it or something? They don't tell us anything! But I'm sorry, we don't have any money at this bank"....

And they say the banking system is based on trust.

Update: No bank, no shop and no banknote and coins dealer has seen the new banknote yet. I'll just have to be patient I guess...

Steven Donderdag 02 Mei 2013 at 12:26 pm | | fun | Geen reacties
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Barbados unveils its new banknotes today

News from Barabados: "The Central Bank of Barbados will today unveil a new family of Barbadian banknotes – for the first time since the institution issued notes in 1973. The launch of the new series coincides with the Bank’s 41st birthday. The new notes have the same value as the current series, but will feature modern designs and upgraded security features.

De La Rue Limited printed the bills and representatives from this British-based company will be on the island for the launch. The new banknotes will be unveiled during a function at the Grande Salle, Tom Adams Financial Centre starting at 11 a.m. The event will be streamed live on the Bank’s website,"

Further details to come.

Steven Donderdag 02 Mei 2013 at 08:39 am | | news | Geen reacties
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"Keep a woman on the British banknotes!"

The news that Sir Winston Churchill will become the new face of the British 5 pound note has been met with harsh criticism from some people. The anger is not so much directed at Churchill himself but more so at the removal of Elizabeth Fry from the note, being the only woman on a British banknote save the Queen.

The Women's Room UK has launched a petition asking the Bank of England to keep a woman on a banknote. "An all-male line-up on our banknotes sends out the damaging message that no woman has done anything important enough to appear." The petition has already gathered 17,500 signatories.

The Bank of England replied to petition by stating that the new banknote with Churchill isn't scheduled for introduction until 2016 and that a final decision still has to be made.  It takes into consideration the list of public suggestions, however, which is published on its website (PDF).

So The Guardian asks its readers: which woman should be on a banknote?

Steven Donderdag 02 Mei 2013 at 08:24 am | | links | Geen reacties
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ECB issues new 5 euro banknote today

The European Central Bank (ECB) has introduced the new 5 euro banknote today. It's the first issue of the second series of euro banknotes. The new series has the same "ages and styles" design and dominant colours as the first series. The second series has a watermark and hologram display a portrait of Europa, a figure from Greek mythology – and hence the name of this series of banknotes. It also includes some new and enhanced security features. An eye-catching "emerald number" changes colour from emerald green to deep blue and displays an effect of the light that moves up and down.

The other denominations, i.e. €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500, will be introduced over the next few years, in ascending order. The first series will initially circulate alongside the new banknotes, but will gradually be withdrawn and eventually cease to be legal tender. The date when this occurs will be announced well in advance. However, the banknotes of the first series will retain their value indefinitely and can be exchanged at euro area national central banks at any time.

Some downloads:

  • Pictures (zip - < 1 MB)
  • Press Kit (pdf)
  • Footage of the new €5 banknote (design and security features) (zip - 357 MB)
  • Footage of the production of the new €5 banknote (zip - 918 MB)
© European Central Bank
© European Central Bank

Steven Donderdag 02 Mei 2013 at 08:08 am | | news | Geen reacties
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Mexico will change the design of the 50 peso note

The Bank of Mexico will present changes to the 50 peso banknote, according to this article on CNN Mexico. The presentation is scheduled for 6 May 2013. To be continued...


Steven Woensdag 01 Mei 2013 at 1:35 pm | | news | Geen reacties
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Israel presents two new banknotes

The Bank of Israel has unveiled the design for two new banknotes. At the end 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:

NIS 20
NIS 50
NIS 100
NIS 200
Dominant color:
Size (in mm)
The newly designed 50 and 200 NIS have now been unveiled.
50 NIS
200 NIS

Steven Woensdag 01 Mei 2013 at 09:31 am | | news | Geen reacties
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Canada presents new 5 and 10 dollar

The Bank of Canada unveiled the design for the new 5 and 10 dollar banknotes yesterday 30 April 2013. Like the rest of the series they're made of polymer. Below are the designs and more details on the banknotes itself. In my humble opinion they look absolutely stunning! When they're issued in November 2013 they would make a nice birthday present... (wink wink). Because of the space theme of the 5 dollar note, the note was unveiled from the International Space Station.

The 5 dollar note highlights Canada’s technological achievements and contributions to the international space program. The 10 dollar note depicts the joining of the East and West of Canada by rail.

5 dollar

Portrait: Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Prime Minister from 1896 to 1911
Signatures: T. Macklem, M. J. Carney
Size: 152.4 x 69.85 mm

10 dollar

Portrait: Sir John A. Macdonald, Prime Minister from 1867–1873 and 1878–1891
Signatures: T. Macklem, M. J. Carney
Size: 152.4 x 69.85 mm

Steven Woensdag 01 Mei 2013 at 08:02 am | | news | Geen reacties
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