Russia wins Best Regional Banknote of the Year Award

The Pan European High Security Printing™ Conference is an annual event that focuses on government-specified and issued documents. These include currency, fiduciary documents, excise stamps, ID cards, e-passports, visas, vehicle documents and licences, with a particular emphasis on banknotes and the emerging technologies for ID and travel documents.

This year the conference was held in Milan, Italy and several awards were handed out. The Regional Banknote of the Year Award 2014 went to the Central Bank of Russia for its new 100 Rubles banknote commemorating the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

"The regional Banknote of the Year Award recognises outstanding achievement in the design, technical sophistication and security of a banknote or banknote series, the key judging criteria being that successful banknotes should combine visual artistry and high levels of technical and security sophistication, with considerable emphasis placed on reflecting the cultural heritage of the issuing country in the note, and the relevance of the overall design and symbolism to the issuing country.

The Russian Sochi banknote is the first ever issued to mark the Winter Olympic Games – and its eye-catching design is the result of collaborative work between Goznak and the Central Bank’s team. It is the first time that the Bank has used a vertically-orientated design, chosen to emphasise the uniqueness of the Sochi region, which combines the proximity of mountains and warm sea. A total of 20 million pieces have been put into circulation.

The design of the new note reflects both the character of the host city and the nature of the event with a flying snowboarder on the front and the Olympic Stadium on the back set against a patchwork motif background featuring various winter sports. The note also incorporates several security features previously unseen on Russian banknotes, including a holographic patch and a 15mm wide polymer thread which changes image depending on the viewing angle. The award was received by Alexey Salunin of Goznak."

Meanwhile you can also vote for the IBNS Banknote of the Year if you're a member of the IBNS. I nominated the 100 ruble note for this competition but feel free to vote for your personal favorite.

Steven Friday 21 February 2014 at 10:14 am | | news | No comments
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President of the Central Bank of Nigeria ousted

The BBC reports that the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria has been ousted. Lamido Sanusi has been suspended by the president for "financial recklessness and misconduct". Mr Sanusi was widely respected after undertaking reforms to the banking sector since his appointment in 2009. He was named central bank governor of the year for 2010 by Banker magazine.

This probably means that future banknotes from Nigeria will have a new signature. Sanusi's signature can be seen on this 50 naira note from 2011:

Steven Thursday 20 February 2014 at 1:50 pm | | news | No comments

Banknote with the image of Bin Laden? Not likely!

The BBC reports: "An extremist group operating in Iraq and Syria seems to have made a banknote bearing the image of Osama Bin Laden, in an apparent effort to declare sovereignty over areas in their control. The note claims to be worth "one Islamic hundred pounds" and says in both English and Arabic it is from the Islamic State in Iraq, the Kurdpress news agency reports. But one expert talking to the Kuwaiti Al-Ra'y website said he was already suspicious about why the currency had been issued in pounds instead of Iraqi dinars, and added he did not think al-Qaeda would print English on its currency.

Meanwhile, Shafaq News in Baghdad points out the extremist group emerging in Iraq's western Anbar province is usually known by a different name - The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). The banknotes have not convinced pro-militant groups either. One group says in a Facebook post that the bills are a hoax meant to discredit the ISIS. "Look closely you'll see it's Photoshop," the group said, accusing local Sunni militias of "playing tricks". We've also noticed the Bin Laden banknote has the same serial number - A001088 - as the Palestinian 100-pound note featured on Wikipedia."

The note in question:

The Palestinian note it resembles from Wikipedia:

Steven Thursday 13 February 2014 at 3:24 pm | | news | No comments
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Rio's residents fight inflation with fake currency

The Guardian reports about the residents of Rio who fight inflation.

Fed up with high inflation and rip-off prices ahead of this year's World Cup and the Olympics in 2016, they have set up a Facebook page called "Rio $urreal – Don't Pay" dedicated to "exposing and boycotting the extortionate prices being charged by bars, restaurants and shops.

The $urreal itself is a mock banknote – Brazil's currency is the real – emblazoned with the face of Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dalí. O Globo, Rio's biggest-selling daily newspaper, joked that the city needed its own currency, and some media-savvy Cariocas decided to create one, with Dalí's face on the front in place of the usual Brazilian national heroes.

Steven Wednesday 05 February 2014 at 09:09 am | | news | No comments
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Bank Al Maghrib denies new 1000 dirham note

The central bank of Morocco, Bank Al-Maghrib, has denied the issuing of a 1000 dirham note. reports that those rumours were spread on social media along with pictures of the alleged new note (seen below). It seems to be a photoshopped version of the new 100 dirham note.

A new family of notes has been introduced in Morocco since August 2013. The highest denomination at this moment is the 200 dirham note.


The 100 dirham note which seems to be the source for the fake note above:

Steven Tuesday 04 February 2014 at 4:38 pm | | news | No comments
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