The United Arab Emirates Central Bank has issued updated 50- and 100-dirham notes on 9 March 2015 with features for the blind and sight-impaired. From the Emirates News Agency:
"The banknotes will include new tactile features for the blind and sight impaired, engraved in bleed-off intaglio printing on the edge of the banknotes’ short sides. The tactile feature on the AED 100 denomination consists of two horizontal lines, centered around the middle of the right and left short sides of the note, separated by a recognisable distance.
The tactile feature on the AED 50 denomination consists of four horizontal lines next to each other in the middle of the right and left short sides of the note.
The Metallic ink surrounding the UAE emblem on the front top half of the note is replaced by multicolored shifting element for denomination AED 50.
The overall design and other specifications of the two notes are the same as in the currency notes currently in circulation."
Argentine President Cristina Fernández has presented the design of a new 100-peso note. The note is dedicated to the mothers, grandmothers, children and grandchildren of Plaza del Mayo. This square is where the Mothers of the Plaza del Mayo have been gathering to commemorate the people who have vanished during the military dictatorship.
An issue date hasn't been given yet, but personally I can't wait. What a beautiful banknote!
According to several newssites the first polymer note has been introduced in Britain. The 5-pound note from the Clydesdale Bank has been introduced in Scotland and features an image of the Forth Bridge to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the structure. The new note also features a portrait of Sir William Arrol, whose company constructed the bridge among many other landmarks in Scotland. A previous post about this new note can be read here.
One of the most interesting fantasy banknote series is the one from the Mujand Trading Company. Previous posts about their sets can be read here, here and here. What I like about these sets is not only their beautiful and innovative design but especially the whole story and mythology behind them. The fictional planet Blissdane Naïve and the different nations on the planet provide a fascinating backdrop for the different banknote sets.
Now a fifth set has been released, from the nation of Perish Island. The story goes that this island regularly sinks beneath the water and now has submersible houses on it (please read the whole fantastic story of why this happens here). Following this story the banknotes have been made of a waterproof polymer material. The front of the notes shows half of the portraits above water, while the backs shows the other half of the portrait under water. Front and back put together makes the portrait complete. How brilliant is that?
The set can be bought exclusively at the eBay store of Yuri111.
The annual IBNS competition for Banknote of the Year is underway. If you're a member of the IBNS you can still cast your vote here until 29 March 2015. The winner will be announced at the Papermoney Fair Maastricht in Valkenburg aan den Geul which will be held 25-26 April 2015. Below are the nominations of 2014.
Banknotenews mentions two articles dealing with new notes in the Maldives. The first article on Sun.mv states that the Maldives Monetary Authority will replace the 5-rufiyaa note with a coin in 2016, and will introduce a new denomination of 1,000-rufiyaa in October of this year.
The second article (also from Sun.mv) mentions the winner of the competition for designing the new series of banknotes. The winner is Abdulla Nashath. Javaahirumaage, Baa Kendhoo. The new series of notes, which is called Randhihafaheh, will be printed on polymer instead of paper. The 10-, 50-, and 1,000-rufiyaa notes will be issued in October 2015. The 100- and 500-rufiyaa will be issued sometime in 2016.
The two articles don't mention the commemorative note which is also scheduled for this year.
HSBC has announced that a new commemorative note of 150 dollar will be introduced in Hong Kong to commemorate the 150th anniversary of HSBC in Hong Kong.
The notes are available as a single note in a folder, a 3-in-1 uncut set in folder, and a 35-in-1 uncut set. Sets can be ordered by anyone aged 18 or above with a valid Hong Kong Identity Card or passport and a valid Hong Kong correspondence address and phone number. The deadline for applying to buy notes is 21 March 2015. So no luck for me I'm afraid.
Update 16 March 2015: Wow, see what you can do with this banknote!! Virtual reality coming to a banknote near you?
The website FARS News Agency reports that the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran has announced a new 50,000-rial note in the spring in commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the founding of the University of Teheran.
Below is a picture of the new note.