Welcome to new 'Watermerk' readers!

Recently I was asked to be an editor for 't Watermerk, the quarterly magazine from the Dutch chapter of the International Banknote Society (IBNS). My 'task' is to gather all the banknote news and describe the latest banknote issues from the different central banks all around the world. So pretty much what I also write about here! For the readers of 't Watermerk who have just found me via the link in the latest magazine issue I bid you a warm welcome here!

As the name of my site sort of suggests this is my personal banknote site. The main reason why I began gathering and writing about banknote news was a personal frustration. Whenever I went to an auction, a papermoney fair or a shop and wanted to know something more about a new banknote I discovered, I had to go through several sites to find a particular piece of information I was looking for. So I decided to gather the info for my personal collecting preferences. You'll also find some info about my personal collection at the right for the exact same reason. 

That also means I feel very comfortable giving my opinion on new banknotes. Of course I provide the bare facts like the issuing authority, denomination, color, etc. etc. but I also looooove to give my opinion. If I think a new note is beautiful I'll let you know. If I think it looks like the product of a kid painting with cat vomit I will definitely let you know. What if you disagree with my opinion? Great! Jut let me know in the comments. 

So that's basically it. If you have any questions just let me know and as a final note I wish you lots of success with your own collection. Fijne dag verder!*

*(that's Dutch, don't worry)

Steven Sunday 29 November 2015 at 8:17 pm | | site info | No comments
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Argentina won't see new 500-peso note in January 2016

Argentina has a new president, Mauricio Macri, and he has made a statement on the country's banknotes which is of course interesting for us collectors. He stated that the country needs a new 500-peso note but in contrast with his appointed Interior Minister he denied that the new note will be issued in January 2016.

The biggest problem for that plan is the fact that the new head of the National Bank of Argentina, Federico Sturzenegger, has to be appointed first. But the current head of the national bank has been appointed until 2019 so that's a bit of a problem.

Steven Sunday 29 November 2015 at 08:24 am | | news | No comments
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Guyana plans commemorative 50-dollar note in 2016

The Bank of Guyana has plans to introduce a new 50-dollar commemorative note. The new note will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the country. The Bank of Guyana is expected to release the new note around April or early May 2016 in time for the country’s 50th Independence Anniversary on 26 May 2016. No news on the design yet I'm afraid. 

Steven Sunday 29 November 2015 at 08:18 am | | news | No comments
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An Illustrated History of American Money Design

Gizmodo has a very nice article (with beautiful pictures): The Illustrated History of American Money Design. Definitely worth a look.

Steven Monday 23 November 2015 at 11:57 am | | links | No comments
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Oman issues new commemorative banknote of 1 rial

The Central Bank of Oman has issued a new commemorative banknote of 1 rial on 18 November 2015 commemorating the 45th National Day. From the website: "On the occasion of the 45th National Day 2015, the Central Bank of Oman is pleased to announce to the Public the issue of a New Commemorative Banknote of R.O. 1 denomination with effect from Wednesday, 18th November 2015.

This new banknote shall be in circulation as legal tender along with the existing banknotes. Describing the technical aspects and the appearance of the newly issued RO 1 bank note, the press release from the bank indicated that the new note bears a portrait of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said and the facsimile signature of His Majesty at the centre of the note.

In addition there’s a water mark portrait of His Majesty on the right side of the note, the National Emblem (coat of arms) at the centre, “Central Bank of Oman” in Arabic on top of the note.

Similarly, the serial numbers are seen on right and left side of the note with the denomination in Arabic on right and on left side of the note. The wording “45th National Day” in Arabic can be sighted at the right bottom of the currency note.

The Al Alam Palace is featured at the right side of the note, while the recognition feature for the blind persons can be seen on both sides of the note.

The vertical windowed security thread in two metallic colours is embossed at the left side of the note."

This note sure has interesting colors doesn't it? I really wonder what it will look like for real and at a face value of just over 2 euro or dollars this shouldn't be that difficult to get.

© Central Bank of Oman
© Central Bank of Oman

Steven Wednesday 18 November 2015 at 3:54 pm | | news | No comments
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New additions week 46 - 2015

One new banknote this week with a big thank you to my traveling aunt who visited Lithuania recently: 10 Litu, P68. 

From Wikipedia: "The reverse of the 10 litu banknote featured Lithuanian heroes, Steponas Darius and Stasys Girenas. In 1933 they flew from New York over the Atlantic Ocean with a small plane called Lituanica. However, the plane mysteriously crashed in Germany (now Poland). The duo did not survive.

The obverse depicts Lituanica flying over the Atlantic Ocean with visible shores of the North America and Europe. This banknote was noticed by the international press covering the introduction of the litas. Journalists made a metaphor that the litas should do better than the pilots, i.e. the litas, hopefully, would not crash. The most recent release clearly shows Darius wearing the cap with an insignia from the Palwaukee Municipal Airport located in Wheeling, Illinois. It attracted some attention from topic collectors.

The banknote was designed and redesigned by Giedrius Jonaitis. The very first draft of new Lithuanian currency had Darius and Girenas on the 5 litai banknote. It was released in different designs four times (in 1993 (twice), 1997, and 2001). The first banknote design started an international scandal. In 1992, these banknotes were printed and ready to be released to the public. However, it was discovered that they were virtually unprotected. It delayed the introduction of the litas as the banknotes had to be reprinted. The banknotes bearing the date "1991" were released for a very short time and were quickly replaced by the 1993 issue. The major design ideas have not changed throughout the issues."

Steven Sunday 15 November 2015 at 10:12 am | | new additions | No comments
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Peru issues three updated banknotes

The Banco Central de Reserva del Perú (Central Bank of Peru) has issued the last three banknotes from the revised and updated new series. The design has basically been kept the same but the security features have been updated. One new feature is a special security thread with moving parts that can be seen when the note is tilted.

The new notes will circulate side-by-side with the old notes.

© www.huarmeyperu.com

Steven Friday 13 November 2015 at 11:20 am | | news | No comments
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Iraq has new 50,000-dinar note

The Central Bank of Iraq announced it has issued a new 50,000-dinar banknote.

From Iraq Tradelink News: "In a statement, the bank said that the issuance of the new banknote is to "restructure the Iraqi currency and providing a high value currency in circulation"." Earlier the CBI had already announced its intention to issue high-value currency in both Arabic and Kurdish languages. Update: The press release and its translation can be read here (thank you to John Raine!). 

The front of the note shows a water wheel on the Euphrates river and the Gali Ali Beg waterfall in Kurdistan. The back has fishermen on canoes, ducks, water buffalos and a reed house. One of the security devices is the Malwiya Tower, a spiral minaret at the Great Mosque of Samarra.

Image from www.banknotenews.com
Image from www.banknotenews.com

Steven Friday 13 November 2015 at 11:11 am | | news | No comments
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Macedonia is still going to issue two new denominations

MRI Bankers' Guide reports that the National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia is still going to issue the new denominations of 200 and 2,000 denara. The new note were announced in November 2014 but won't be in the Macedonian wallets until the end of 2016. The National Bank held a competition for the design of the notes. From the press release:

"Leitmotif of the obverse of the conceptual, and art and graphic design of the 200 denar banknote is the relief with a presentation of the 41st Psalm of David from the Old Testament, which belongs to the infamous terracotta icons from Vinica, one of the most important early medieval archaeological discoveries on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia. On the same side, in the left center field, there is a presentation of an early medieval bow bronze fibula from the beginning of the VII century, found near Prilep. The reverse of the banknote contains a presentation of an architectural and art element of the frontal facade of the "Colorful (Aladzha) Mosque" in Tetovo, one of the most attractive monuments of architecture and art from the Ottoman period in the Republic of Macedonia, complemented by floral elements taken from the decoration of the marble floor tiles of the famous "Isaac Mosque" in Bitola, built at the beginning of the XVI century.

Leitmotif of the obverse of the conceptual, and art and graphic design of the 2000 denar banknote is the presentation of Macedonian bridal costume from Prilep Field, as an impressive reflection of the richness of the folklore heritage of the Republic of Macedonia. On the same side, in the left center field, there is a presentation of a pendant in the form of a poppy head, which was discovered in Suva Reka, Gevgelia. It is an artifact dated to the VII century BC and belongs to the well-known group of Paionian-Macedonian bronzes. The reverse of the banknote contains a presentation of the decoration of the inside of a gilded vessel, which originates from the XVI century and whose central field shows two affronted peacocks near the "source of life" surrounded by lavish floral decoration."


Steven Wednesday 11 November 2015 at 10:40 am | | news | No comments
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China to launch a space-themed commemorative note

The People's Bank of China has announced that a new commemorative 100-yuan note will be issued. The beautiful blue note commemorates the Chinese space program. The banknote will be issued from 26 November 2015, measures 155 x 77 mm and 300 million pieces will be printed.  

The front of the note depicts the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft docking with the Tiangong 1 space station, which occured on 18 June 2012. To the left we can see the Dongfanghong 1, China's first satellite launched in 1970. On the right side is the Chang'e 1 lunar-orbiting spacecraft. The back of the note shows a sort of ladder with the different stages of flight, starting at the bottom with a bird, above that an early plane by Chinese aviation pioneer Feng Ru. Next we have a fighter jet, then the future Tiangong 3 space station which will be launched in 2020 and at the top we see the Chang'e 1 lunar-orbiting spacecraft again. 

I like commemorative banknotes and I love them even more when they have a space theme (check out my space and astronomy notes blog). So this is one I'm definitely getting for my collection!

Steven Monday 09 November 2015 at 8:04 pm | | news | No comments
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Suriname issues commemorative banknote

The Centrale Bank van Suriname has issued a commemorative banknote of 50 dollar commemorating the 55th anniversary of the Central Bank, Banknotenews.com reports. A total of 50,000 notes have been packaged in a folder and sold at a premium of five times the face value of the note. This note is legal tender however most buyers will probably keep it inside the folder for collecting of trading purposes. 

The front of the note shows the building of the Central Bank. The back of the note shows a meeting of people, the bank's mission statement and a list of the presidents of the Central Bank. 

Steven Friday 06 November 2015 at 2:38 pm | | news | No comments

Belarus to issue redenominated notes from 1 July 2016

The National Bank of the Republic of Belarus has announced that president Aleksander Lukashenko has signed a decree for the redenomination of the national currency, the Belarusian ruble.

From the press release: "The redenomination will be carried out by means of substitution of the banknotes in circulation of the 2000 series by the banknotes and coins of the 2009 series in proportion of 10,000 Belarusian rubles of the 2000 series per 1 Belarusian ruble of the 2009 series. (...) A total of seven denominations of banknotes – 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 rubles – and eight denominations of coins – 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 copecks, and 1 and 2 rubles – will be put into circulation beginning on July 1, 2016.

The general concept of the new banknotes design meets the motto "Belarus is my country". Each banknote is dedicated to one of the regions of Belarus and the city of Minsk. The coincidence of the regions and the banknotes denominations was determined in alphabetical order. The design of the banknote of 5 ruble denomination is dedicated to Brest region, 10 rubles – to Vitebsk region, 20 rubles – to Gomel region, 50 rubles – to Grodno region, 100 rubles – to Minsk region, 200 rubles – to Mogilev region, and 500 rubles – to the city of Minsk. The design of new banknotes of the 2009 series maintains continuity of the line of banknotes of the 2000 series as to the use of images of the architectural and urban monuments.

The currently circulating banknotes of the 2000 series will be the sole legal tender for making cash settlements in the Republic of Belarus till July 1, 2016.

From July 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016, the banknotes of the 2000 series and the banknotes and coins of the 2009 series will be in parallel circulation and subject to obligatory acceptance without restriction in all kinds of payments performed by all economic entities.

During the next five years – from January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2021 – the currency units of the 2000 series will be exchanged for the currency units of the 2009 series in any sum without restriction and charging commission.

It is worth mentioning that preparations for the redenomination in the Republic of Belarus were under way during a fairly long period. For example, new currency units that will be put into circulation beginning on July 1, 2016 have been printed by order of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus as early as 2008. However, at that time the redenomination was postponed due to the global economic crisis and, as a consequence, deteriorating economic situation in our country, whereas printed currency units were transferred to the National Bank’s Central Vault.

Taking into account the time of printing, new Belarusian rubles feature certain peculiarities. In particular, banknotes of 2009 series that are put into circulation bear the facsimile of Petr P. Prokopovich’s signature, the then Chairman of the Board of the National Bank. Also, the new fifty-ruble note carries an inscription which is inconsistent with currently applicable Belarusian spelling rules. (...)

The above-mentioned inconsistencies will be removed as the National Bank will place further orders to print new banknotes."

The banknotes and coins that will be put into circulation. (pdf)

This is the third redenomination in Belarus. The Belarusian ruble was redenominated on 20 August 1994, with one new unit equaling 10 old ones, and the second time it lost three zeros on 1 January 2000. As some may recall in 2014 there was a mention of the redenominated banknotes looking a lot like euro banknotes. Well, I don't know about you but the 5-ruble note for instance does look an awful lot like the new 10-euro note, doens't it? And the 10-ruble looks a bit like like the new 20-euro note, right?

Below are the new banknotes in all their glory:

5 ruble. Front: Belaya Vezha (the Tower of Kamenets) in the town of Kamenets, Brest Region. Back: the collage devoted to first Slavic settlements (a leather belt fragment, a wooden wheel, and a picture of "Berestie" ancient stronghold).


10 ruble. Front: the church of the Savior and Transfiguration in the town of Polotsk, Vitebsk Region. Back: the collage devoted to enlightenment and printing (books, the Cross of Euphrosyne of Polotsk, and an ornamental pattern fragment).


20 ruble. Front: The Rumyantsev-Paskevich palace in the town of Gomel. Back: the collage devoted to spirituality (a bell, the Turov Gospel, ancient town of Turov, and fragments of carving).


50 ruble. Front: the Castle of Mir in the settlement of Mir, Grodno Region. Back: the collage devoted to art (a lyre and laurel twigs, a quill pen, a sheet of paper, and a stave).


100 ruble. Front: the Radziwills' castle in the town of Nesvizh, Minsk Region. Back: the collage devoted to the theatre and folk festivals (a violin, a tambourine, a zhaleyka woodwind instrument , the belts of Slutsk , and the symbols of folk festivals such as the "Kalyady's star", a she-goat, and "Batleyka" folk puppet theatre).


200 ruble. Front: Mogilev Regional Art Museum named after P. Maslennikov, in the town of Mogilev. Back: the collage devoted to handicraft and urban construction (the golden key and the seal of the town of Mogilev, a glazed tile (a stove tile), and fragments of the wrought iron lattice)


500 ruble. Front: National Library of the Republic of Belarus in the city of Minsk. Back: the collage devoted to literature (a quill pen, an inkwell, book covers, and a fern leaf

Thanks to Triaff Nikitin for the tip!

Steven Thursday 05 November 2015 at 6:52 pm | | news | No comments
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Georgia to issue three new notes in 2016

The National Bank of Georgia has announced it will gradually issue three new banknotes in 2016. The 20-, 50- and 100-lari notes will be printed by De La Rue from England, Giesecke & Devrient from Germany and Oberthur Fiduciare from France. Quite interesting to have three separate printers for your notes. I wonder if that won't create a lot of unnecessary bureaucracy. It's unknown at this moment which printer is responsible for which note.  

Update 14-01-2016: the new notes of 20- and 50-lari will be issued in February 2016 followed by the 100-lari note later this year. The 5- and 10-lari notes will be replaced at a later date.

Update 26-09-2016: the new 100-lari note will be issued on 1 November 2016.

The new notes in more detail:

20 lari. Size of banknote: 66 x 132 mm, color: magenta. Front: The portrait of the great Georgian writer and public figure Ilia Chavchavadze (1837-1907) with lettering of his name in Georgian. The newspaper "Iveria" publishing-house. The magazine "Sakartvelos Moambe" and newspaper "Iveria" established by Ilia, Ilia’s signature and his personal things – the lens, watch, pen and inkpot. The denomination numerals, letterings in Georgian and in English, 'NATIONAL BANK OF GEORGIA', 'Twenty Lari', the signature of the president of the National Bank of Georgia, the issue date '2016' and the serial number composed of two Roman letters and eight Arabic numerals. Back: a panorama of old Tbilisi, a 17th century plan of Tbilisi city created by Vakhushti Batonishvili’s in 1735, the monument of the great Georgian king Vakhtang Gorgasali adjacent to the Metekhi church, the coat of arms of Georgia and denomination numerals and letterings in Georgian and in English.

50 lari. Size of banknote: 68 x 137 mm, color: green. Front: the portrait of Georgian King Tamar with lettering in Georgian, a 12th to 13th century monasterial complex in cave "Vardzia", the bas-relief from the Pitareti Virgin Mary Monastery from the 13th century. The denomination numerals, letterings in Georgian and in English, the signature of the president of the National Bank of Georgia, the issue date '2016' and the serial number composed of two Roman letters and eight Arabic numeral. Back: a miniature of the Zodiac sign 'Sagittarius', the manuscript from a 12th century script collection, the coat of arms of Georgia and the denomination numerals and letterings in Georgian and in English.

100 lari. Size of banknote: 70 x 142 mm, color: violet. Front: a portrait of the great Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli with lettering in Georgian, an illustration from the great poem 'The Knight in the Tiger Skin', one of the pages of its original prints and one of the ornaments from its original manuscript, a 7th century bas-relief of  'Daniel in the Den of Lions' from Martvili Cathedral of Assumption of the Virgin Mary The denomination numerals, letterings in Georgian and in English, 'NATIONAL BANK OF GEORGIA', 'One Hundred Lari', the signature of the president of the National Bank of Georgia, the issue date '2016' and the serial number composed of two Roman letters and eight Arabic numerals. Back: the Zakaria Paliashvili’s National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet a fragment from the score of the Georgian national anthem, the coat of arms of Georgia and the denomination numerals, letterings in Georgian and in English.

Well, don't they sound like a very patriotic threesome? I'm sure the design of these notes has something to do with the continuing tensions in the region between Georgia and neighboring Russia. The notes almost scream: we are Georgia and we are proud of our nation and history. And why not indeed? Below is a video showing the new notes.

Steven Wednesday 04 November 2015 at 10:41 am | | news | No comments
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Maldives shows beautiful new banknote series

And now for something really nice. The Maldives Monetary Authority has published the new designs of the new banknote series and boy are they nice! The six new notes which are made of polymer have beautiful colors, aquarell-style paintings on the front and nicely-shaped see-through windows. The issue-date for this new series is unknown at this moment but is likely delayed because of the recent political problems.

Update 26 January 2016: the new series has been issued today according to this press release

The designs in more detail:

10 rufiyaa - 'Our culture'. Color: Golden yellow. Background Pattern of note: Pattern made using designs on the traditional drum (Boduberu). Front:Toddy tapper (Ruh’ erun), group of men and women engaged in playing traditional music (Boduberu), a coconut bunch (Dhondhamburu ruku ihaleh). Back:The oldest drum displayed in the National museum (Boduberu)

20 rufiyaa - 'Our industrial and economic progress'. Color: Purple. Background pattern of note: A line pattern representing the aerial view of islands and reefs in Maldives. Front: a fisherman carrying a skipjack tuna and a yellow fin tuna, the main airport in Maldives Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, an image of the Cyprea Moneta (Cowry shell). Back: a traditional sail boat (Dhoni).

50 rufiyaa - 'Our unity, and Islamic values'. Color: Green. Background pattern of note: Pattern made from stone carvings in the Friday Mosque (Hukuru Miskiy). Front: a boy reciting the Holy Quran, activity of pulling boats from the beach onto the water (Dhoni beylun). Back: the minaret of the Friday Mosque (Hukuru Miskiy).

100 rufiyaa - 'Nationalism and our native language'. Color: Red. Background pattern of note: pattern made using old Dhivehi alphabet Dives akuru. Front: woman in one of the Maldivian traditional dresses (Libaas), working on the neckline threading (Hiru) of a similar dress, group of locals in traditional attire. Back: the early Dhivehi scripture Dambidu Lomafanu.

500 rufiyaa - 'Our ancestral craftsmanship'. Color: Orange. Background pattern of note: pattern called Kuribontaa found on traditional hand weaved mats made out of hay (Thun’du kunaa). Front: the act of wood carving, wood worker fashioning an intricate design using mallet and chisel, woman making ekels (Iloshi), traditionally used to make brooms (Iloshi fathii). Back: traditional hand carved vase with lacquer work detailing.

1,000 rufiyaa - 'The beauty in our surrounding'. Color: Blue. Background pattern of note: pale yellow spot and striped pattern on the skin of whale sharks. Front: green turtle (Chelonia mydas), a representation of a luxury resort, manta rays (Manta alfredi), Corals. Back: whale shark (Rhincodon typus).

Size of the notes: 150 x 70 mm. Signature on the note: Governor Dr. Azeema Adam. Date on the note: 22 Zul’hijja 1436, 5 October 2015. Serial Number: prefix of vertical serial number is in Dhivehi and prefix of horizontal serial number is in English.

Steven Monday 02 November 2015 at 7:43 pm | | news | No comments
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Iran issues commemorative 50,000-rial note

It was expected earlier this year but the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran has finally released the new commemorative 50,000-rial banknote. The note features the familiar portrait of ayatollah Khomeini on the front which we've seen on other notes from Iran.

The back is more interesting I think. It shows a tree next to the entrance to Teheran University. In the back we can make out the famous double-helix structure of DNA. The poem reads: "Capable is / the one who is wise / Knowledge makes / the old heart young" by Ferdowsi and we see the planet Saturn. I like this theme very much and I think it makes for a nice contrast between a religious leader on the front and the celebration of knowledge and science on the back. 

© www.banknotenews.com
© www.banknotenews.com

Steven Monday 02 November 2015 at 7:17 pm | | news | No comments
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