After years of deliberation and rumours it seems the Reserve Bank of India is finally ready to introduce its first polymer banknotes. The first issue will be in 5 cities accross India as a test to see how the plastic money will hold up in different weather conditions. These 5 cities will be: Kochi, Mysore, Jaipur, Bhubaneswar and Shimla. A total of 1 billion notes will be issued in 2015 and these will all be notes with low denominations.
After the pilot has been evaluated a decision will be made on the introduction of polymer money nationwide.
Collectors of fantasy banknotes can add a new set to their collection from the Mujand Trading Company. This is the 4th series in their collection of fantasy banknotes from the fictional planet Blissdane Naïve. This 4th edition is from the nation of Andeqesh and has the same level of detail and design as the previous three series. You can get the full set for $12 on the Mujand website. If you're quick you might be able to buy one of the first seven sets and get a banknote with a #1 serial number.
News from Trans-Dniester, the small breakaway state which issues its own banknotes after declaring independence from Moldova in 1990. The 'country' (though not recognized by any UN member state) has announced (Google translate) it will issue a commemorative set of notes commemorating "20 years of national currency 1994-2014".
The banknotes of 1, 5, 10, 25 rubles banknotes modified in 2012 will have an emblem on the lower right corner on the front which says "20 years of the national currency of 1994-2014". A booklet with more information can be found here.
In November of 2013 I wrote about the continuing rumours surrounding higher denominations in Azerbaijan. I finished with "let's wait for the next rumour". Well, we had to wait a few months but here it is!
The government is planning to put new 250 and 500 manat banknotes into circulation in the near future, First Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan Alim Guliyev told journalists.
My thoughts? Proof, pudding, eating.
Bank Indonesia has issued a new banknote of 100,000 rupiah. This seems a rather strange move in light of the continuing reports of a redenomination. Bank Indonesia however says that it will go ahead with the redenomination plan that will slash three zeroes off the currency.
The new note has added printing that says, “Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia” (The Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia). The banknote will also be the first rupiah denomination to bear the signature of a government representative, in this case the finance minister. Previously, only officials from the Bank Indonesia could have their signatures printed on the rupiah.
Following the news from last year that Cuba would abolish the two-currency system, it has now been announced that new banknotes of the regular Cuban pesos will be issued.
ITAR-TASS reports: "The Central Bank of Cuba is to issue banknotes of a new pattern with an enhanced degree of protection against forgery, the newspaper Granma reported on Tuesday. The new banknotes with denominations of 100, 50, and 20 non-convertible Cuban peso will bear, in place of the watermark, a representation of Cuban national heroes Carlos Manuel de Cespedes del Castillo, Calixto Garcia, and Camilo Cienfuegos. A watermark indicating denomination of the banknote will be placed to the left of the representation.
Banknotes of other denominations will still carry a watermark with a representation of Cuban revolutionary Celia Sanchez and a banknote denomination to the right of her representation. The old pattern money will remain in circulation as a legal tender.
Banknotes with enhanced elements of protection come into being in the light of expectation of two currencies' merger promised by the authorities. Convertible and non-convertible pesos are in official circulation on the island (the ratio of the former to the latter is about 1 to 25). Within the framework of the monetary reform, the authorities intend to eliminate the convertible peso which is actually equated to the US dollar and leave national peso intact. However, the authorities have not announced up to now either a timeframe for implementing the reform or an exchange rate of the national currency following the abolition of the convertible peso. Since the end of 2004, the convertible peso has been the only monetary unit which is accepted in Cuba in cash payments for services and purchases in the "dollar" shops. This happened after Fidel Castro announced the termination of the free circulation of the US currency on the island.
Renunciation of the double-currency system, which is officially reckoned as "one of the main obstacles to the country's development", will be among the large-scale reforms being implemented by the Raul Castro government."
The new banknotes will have the year 2014 printed on them. No word yet on an exact issue date but most reports speak of "soon" so September seems likely.
Recently I wrote about the new 500 pound note from Syria. I still can't find an image on the website of the Central Bank of Syria (I suppose they have more pressing matters at the moment), but I did find a picture of the new note on eBay.
I think it's pretty nice actually:
German newspaper Die Welt has published several articles about the history and design of banknotes. Several of these can be read online so if you can read German or know how to use Google Translate, you can find some below:
- Diese Scheine waren der Ursprung der Hyperinflation (These notes were at the origin of the hyperinflation)
- Wie Tito auf Guineas Banknoten kam (How Tito ended up on a banknote from Guinea)
- Die rätselhafte Marktfrau auf dem Bahamas-Dollar (The mysterious market woman on the Bahamas dollar)
- Der italienische Maler, der alles falsch machte (The Italian painter who did everything wrong)
>> More articles can be found here.
Reserve Bank of India's Governor Raghuram Rajan today said that nobody but Mahatma Gandhi should feature on the currency notes. "There are so many great Indians, but of course he (Gandhi) stands above head and shoulders above every one. There are many great Indians that we could get on the notes. But I sense that almost anybody else would be controversial," the Governor said.
The Reserve Bank of India has released the following press release to announce new 1,000 rupees banknotes incorporating the rupee symbol, with 'R' inset letter, in the Mahatma Gandhi Series-2005 bearing the signature of Dr. Raghuram G. Rajan, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, and the year of printing '2014' printed on the reverse of the banknote.
The design of these notes is similar in all respects to the 1,000 rupees banknotes in Mahatma Gandhi Series-2005, issued earlier. All the banknotes in the denomination of 1,000 rupees issued by the Bank of India in the past will continue to be legal tender.
Just recently there was news on a new 5,000 won banknote from North-Korea. The new note would include an image of the former leader Kim Jong-Il on the front.
It seems those plans have changed because the latest news (or rumour) is that the image of "Eternal President" and founder of the country Kim Il-Sung will be removed from the 5,000 won note and replaced by an image on the front of the house at Mankyungdae where official propaganda says Kim was born, and the back contains an image of the International Friendship Exhibition at Mt Myohang.
The Guardian continues: "(...) sources inside North Korea say they believe a 10,000 won bill could be put into circulation in due course, and that the new bill, when it appears, will once more feature the likeness of Kim Il-sung. Such a step would be economically logical, since inflation continues to eat away at the value of the Korean People’s Won. For the time being, however, it is unclear when such a new bill will appear, if at all. Daily NK sources asked banking officials about the possibility, but were told: 'Don’t ask'."
Here is another fun read explaining this last option which would make a new 10,000 won note a real option.
Update 14-08-2014: image below is from banknotenews.com:
Last April several newssites reported that the Central Bank of Iraq was planning to issue new banknotes of 10,000 and 25,000 dinar. The Central Bank has now published a press release (supposedly) stating that the 10,000 dinar has indeed been issues. The image below is from banknotenews.com. The image depicts the Freedom Monument in Baghdad.
Since the press release can't be translated by Google Translate and the image below looks anything but new and clean, I'll have to take banknotenews' word for it.
Update 25 December 2015: new images and confirmation from banknotenews.com.
The commemorative 20 zlotych banknote from Poland which is described in more detail here, can now be bought at the online shop of the National Bank of Poland. The price is 60 zlotych (about 15 euro or 19 dollar) excluding shipping costs.
US President Obama created somewhat of a stir last week when he answered in reply to a question from a young girl why there aren't any women on US banknotes that it would be "a pretty good idea". The Obama administration does have the power to make this happen. An 1862 act of Congress gives the secretary of the Treasury near-complete authority over the design and printing of paper currency, while Congress retains the power of coinage under the Constitution.
To have a woman on a greenback would mean that either a new denomination would have to be created (which the Treasury has no intention of doing) or replace one of the men on the dollar bills. With the exception of George Washington that is: under the 2001 Legal Tender Modernization Act, the Treasury is prohibited from changing the design of the 1 dollar note. Under the law, there are only two other requirements the secretary of the Treasury must follow in designing paper money: the bills must contain the inscription "In God We Trust" in an appropriate place, and only portraits of dead people may appear.
The chances of this really happening are very remote in my opinion. The main reasoin for this is the fact that the dollar is de de facto world currency and must have a very recognizable (i.e. conservative) design. This probably means that Martha Washington will remain the last American woman to appear on an American banknote as can be seen in this 1 dollar silver certificate from 1896:
It's not every day news arrives out of North Korea regarding banknotes but today there's a report on the Global Post website that North Korea allegedly has issued a new banknote of 5,000 won. The new note, which is the highest denomination in the country, includes an image of the former leader Kim Jong-Il on the front.
"Old notes carried the image of the North's late founder Kim Il-sung alone but fresh ones will also have a portrait of his son Kim Jong-il, who died in 2011, said the source."
As can be expected from a closed nation like North Korea, no images are available right now.