Oberthur Fiduciaire acquires banknote paper plant VHP

Oberthur Fiduciaire has acquired from Arjowiggins Security its banknote paper production plant known as VHP, as well as all its banknote related Intellectual Property. VHP is located in The Netherlands and is equipped to manufacture paper for the Euro. 

The company will be renamed VHP Security Paper. From the press release: ""VHP Security Paper has been producing and supplying state-of-the-art banknote paper throughout the world for more than 200 years. It was the right choice and the perfect match for both Oberthur and VHP. We are very excited by this new acquisition which will furthermore consolidate Oberthur Fiduciaire’s position as one of the largest and fastest growing banknote printers in the world" said Thomas Savare, CEO of Oberthur Fiduciaire."

Steven Sunday 06 August 2017 at 2:43 pm | | news | No comments
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Lots of new notes from Mujand

I received a thick package from Texas last week with lots of new fantasy notes from Mujand. For those that never heard of Mujand: it's a fantasy banknote company publishing notes designed by the artist Celsus Solar. The biggest project from Mujand are the notes from Blissdane Naive but there are also smaller side projects. To explain what Blissdane Naive is, I'll just quote from the website:

"Nine planets orbit the Mujand Sun. The planet Blissdane Naive has life. It's a world where the fantastic is common and time has become yesterday, today and tomorrow... all at once. What may appear true today, changes within years, months, days, or hours. No one is sure. A time anomaly has hit Blissdane Naive and no one was aware or prepared until the past, present and future became in doubt. It's a mystery yet to be solved. Each country has its Story. These stories can be myth or history. For the people of Blissdane Naive it's getting hard to tell which is which. The Blissdane Naive time anomaly mystery is being revealed one banknote, one story at a time..." There is even a newspaper, the Mujand Investigator, to follow the stories.

All of this background makes it incredibly fun to collect these fantasy notes and read the sometimes bizarre stories. However, besides writing fun stories designer Celsus Solar is also a very skilled banknote designer who produces some of the best looking fantasy notes I ever saw. They are for sale in several eBay-stores but I would recommend visiting the shop on the Mujand site first because not all notes are for sale elsewhere. 

But let's dive into it and see what the content of the surprise package from Mujand was. First of all there were three new series, the M-, N- and O-series (I call them that for the first letter of the serial numbers). The M-series, or officially called the 'Lia Antootica Pirates series', consists of 4 notes of 5-, 10-, 25- and 50-sivar. The front of the notes show the so-called Founding Pirates, while the back of the note shows murdered members of the Royal family. To understand the design choices and what the implications were of this design, I recommend you read the short history of Lia Antootica. See if you can draw some parallels with our own time and world. Security features on the notes include a transparent hologram strip and unique serial numbering. 

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The second series is the N-series, or officially the Amotekunia Birds & Bees series, consists of two notes of 50- and 100-nemaz. The front of both notes show Bee-Eater birds. The back shows scientific research and the modification of bees. The security features are the same as the Pirate notes: a transparent hologram strip and unique serial numbering.

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The third new series from the Blissdane Naive world is just a single note so far: the 20-lixo note from Toroguay. The front shows scienteer / explorer Sergi Fonte. The back, which has a vertical orientation, shows a luminescent frog (they exist in our own world as well) and the daily life of the Dera people. This is the third series with the same transparent hologram strip and unique serial numbering as security features.

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One last note from Blissdane Naive and that is a new Tobacco note from the Poneet Islands. We already had one Tobacco note issued in 2016 but here is its brother. Or should I say sister? Like the first note we can also admire a naked lady on this new note who is enjoying a walk with her pig. Nothing wrong with that right? I really like the colorful design of the series. The design elements are more or less the same as the previous note in the series but it does have a different security strip. You could argue that this is a bit of a missed opportunity to keep the notes the same but I like the second strip more to be honest. 

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Last but not least, the final two notes exist outside the world of Blissdane Naive but in a whole world of their own. These are the two MAGA-notes, where MAGA of course stands for 'Make America Great Again'. The 1-dollar note has the official portrait of President Donald Trump in front of the White House on it, the American eagle and the text E Pluribus Unum. The back shows a portrait of First Lady Melania Trump with the Washington Monument in the back. 

The 5-dollar note has the official portrait of Vice-President Mike Pence in front of the United States Capitol building, the text Declaration of Independence and an image of the signing of this document which you can also see on the regular 2-dollar note from the United States. The back shows Second Lady Karen Pence with an aerial shot of the Lincoln Memorial.

Both notes have a transparent security strip and unique serial numbering starting with the letter T (for Trump I suppose). I'm not a huge fan of the security strip which has been used in these notes since it doesn't feel integrated into the note but more pasted on. The design of the notes is understated on the front but more lustrous on the back. The use of one or two colors with different tints and shades adds to the understated design regular American banknotes also have. This is something I always admire in Mujand banknotes: the thoughtful design and use of colors which add significantly to the overall appearance of the notes. 

Well, so far I've managed to write about the MAGA-notes without making a political statement so kudos to me. I don't know if people would criticize these notes because they don't like the people depicted. If that's the case, I have to ask if they also don't like collecting banknotes from Iraq, Iran, North Korea and so on? And no, I didn't just compare Trump to Saddam Hussein. 

I have understood that the usual sites which sell Mujand notes don't sell this particular series. So if you want them, you can visit the shopping section of the Mujand site. 


Disclaimer: these fantasy sets were sent for review purposes. The text is entirely mine and was not paid for or asked for in any way.

Steven Sunday 06 August 2017 at 1:10 pm | | new additions | No comments
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New additions week 31 - 2017

No less than 11 new notes this week! In my local banknote shop I found two notes I quite liked. First a 100-shilling note from Uganda (P31c) with a design I thought was fascinating. I'm still a sucker for notes that "just look nice". In the same shop I also found an Austrian note which at first glance isn't all that special but the little 1-krone note (P73) is actually the first issue from the Austrian Government in 1922. I didn't have any note from that series yet, so here you go.

The biggest batch of new notes was in a package I got from Texas and were several new series and single notes from Mujand. The Blissdane Naive world keeps on expanding with an M-, N- and O-series. There was also a new Tobacco-note from the second F-series with a naked lady with a pig on it, how great is that?

But the biggest suprise were two MAGA-notes. MAGA? Make America Great Again, does that ring a bell? When I opened the package the face of Mike Pence on the fantasy 5-dollar note smiled at me. The 1-dollar note with Donald Trump on it? Not so many smiles...

I will post a separate review for the Mujand-notes later this weekend. 

Steven Sunday 06 August 2017 at 11:16 am | | new additions | No comments

Thailand announces commemorative series

The Bank of Thailand has a long tradition of commemorative notes celebrating different occasions regarding the royal family. So it comes as little surprise that the death of King Bhumibol is the subject for new commemorative notes.

But this time it's not a single note but a whole series which will be issued. The regular 20-, 50-, 100-, 500- and 1000-bath notes of the 16th series will get a special reverse side depicting the life of the late King. From the press release we learn what the subjects of the different notes are:

  • 20 baht: the early life of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
  • 50 baht: H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s royal ceremonies and duties during the early time of his accession to the throne.
  • 100 baht: H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s kindness through royal duties in rural areas.
  • 500 baht: H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s wisdom and talents reflected through royal projects.
  • 1,000 baht: The late reign of H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the beloved King of Thai people.

The security features are identical to the 16th series banknotes. There is however a special feature located on the reverse side. The area around the portrait of H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej will illuminate when viewed under ultraviolet light. The new banknotes will begin to circulate from 20 September 2017.

via

Steven Thursday 27 July 2017 at 10:20 am | | news | No comments
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Madagascar issues first notes of new series

As previously announced the Banque Central de Madagascar (BCM) has issued the first 4 notes of the new series on 17 July 2017. These are the notes with the highest value (2,000-, 5,000-, 10,000-, and 20,000-ariary notes). The 100-, 200-, 500- and 1,000-ariary notes will be issued on 18 September 2017. The theme of the new series is "Madagascar and its Riches".






Steven Thursday 27 July 2017 at 10:15 am | | news | No comments
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Bank of England presents new 10-pound note

On 18 July 2017 the Bank of England has officially unveiled its new polymer 10-pound note featuring the image of writer Jane Austen (1775-1817) on the back. As it turns out, the leaked image from February 2017 was the actual new image. 

Features of the design on the reverse of the Jane Austen note include:
  • The quote – “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!” from Pride and Prejudice (Miss Bingley, Chapter XI).
  • Portrait of Jane Austen. Commissioned by James Edward Austen Leigh (Jane Austen’s nephew) in 1870, adapted from an original sketch of Jane Austen drawn by her sister, Cassandra Austen.
  • An illustration of Miss Elizabeth Bennet undertaking “The examination of all the letters which Jane had written to her”– from a drawing by Isabel Bishop (1902-1988).
  • The image of Godmersham Park. Godmersham was home of Edward Austen Knight, Jane Austen's brother. Jane Austen visited the house often and it is believed that it was the inspiration for a number of her novels.
  • Jane Austen’s writing table – the central design in the background is inspired by the 12 sided writing table, and writing quills, used by Jane Austen at Chawton Cottage.

The new tactile feature on this note is a series of raised dots in the top left-hand corner and has been developed in conjunction with the RNIB. This is in addition to the elements already incorporated in Bank of England banknotes for vision impaired people: the tiered sizing, bold numerals, raised print and differing colour palettes.

Security features on the new note include:
  • A see-through window featuring the Queen's portrait.
  • Winchester Cathedral shown in gold foil on the front of the note and silver on the back.
  • A quill at the side of the window which changes from purple to orange.
  • A hologram which contains the word 'Ten' and changes to 'Pounds' when the note is tilted.
  • A hologram of the coronation crown which appears 3D and multi-coloured when the note is tilted.
  • A book-shaped copper foil patch which contains the letter JA.
  • Micro-lettering beneath the Queen's portrait with tiny letters and numbers that are visible under a microscope.
  • The words 'Bank of England' printed in intaglio (raised ink) along the top of the note.

The full design can be viewed in high-resolution detail on the Flickr page of the Bank of England (I wish more bank's would provide such detailed pictures!). 

The new 10-pound note will be issued from 14 September 2017. The public can continue to spend paper 10-pound notes as usual. They will however be gradually withdrawn as they are banked by retailers and the public. Legal tender status of the paper 10-pound featuring Charles Darwin will be withdrawn in Spring 2018 with the exact date being announced at least three months in advance.


Steven Saturday 22 July 2017 at 09:56 am | | news | No comments

Vanuatu gives issue date for last two new banknotes

The Reserve Bank of Vanuatu (RBV) has announced that the new 5,000-vatu note will be issued on 28 July 2017. The new 500-vatu note will be issued at the end of 2017. These new notes will be issued on polymer just like the already issued notes of the new series

The Governor of the RBV has stated that the notes were printed by Note Printing Australia Limited, a subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Steven Sunday 16 July 2017 at 7:47 pm | | news | No comments
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Madagascar publishes new series and issue dates

The Banque Central de Madagascar (BCM) is gearing up for the release of their new banknote series. The BCM has issued a leaflet with more details of the new notes and the issue dates. Images below are the leaflets and pictures from a press conference.

The notes with the highest value (2,000-, 5,000-, 10,000-, and 20,000-ariary notes) will be issued from 17 July 2017. The 100-, 200-, 500- and 1,000-ariary notes will be issued on 18 September 2017. The theme of the new series is "Madagascar and its Riches". 

Courtesy of Jérémy Pureur. 







Steven Sunday 16 July 2017 at 7:11 pm | | news | No comments
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India to issue new 200-rupees note soon

The Reserve Bank of India will soon issue a new 200-rupees note according to the Financial Express. A printing order has supposedly been placed. This printing of this note is being done to improve the currency situation in the country. After the announcement of demonetisation in November last year, the RBI had introduced new notes of 500- and 2,000-rupees.

On social media the image below has been shown as the new banknote but it is likely a photoshopped note. 

Steven Sunday 16 July 2017 at 6:43 pm | | news | No comments
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Brunei and Singapore issue commemorative notes

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD) have jointly issued a set of two $50 commemorative polymer notes, comprising one Brunei Darussalam $50 note and one Singapore $50 note in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Currency Interchangeability Agreement between Brunei Darussalam and Singapore on 5 July 2017. 

From the press release: The Brunei Darussalam and Singapore $50 commemorative notes feature the same design elements and layout and is predominantly gold in colour to signify the golden jubilee. The 50th Anniversary logo of the Currency Interchangeability Agreement is a key feature on the front of the note. It shows a unifying flower motif comprising of a prominent flower found in Brunei Darussalam and Singapore's national flower, the Simpur and the Vanda Miss Joaquim respectively, in full bloom. This and the radiating flower petals symbolises the flourishing growth friendship between the two nations.

A unique element in the note is the see-through, colour-shifting window security feature that depicts Brunei Darussalam's Istana Nurul Iman and Singapore's Istana. A portrait of His Majesty Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam is shown on the Brunei Darussalam note, while the Singapore note features a portrait of Singapore's first President, Mr Yusof bin Ishak. 

The back design of the note portrays the close collaboration between Brunei Darussalam and Singapore in the areas of defence, education and tourism. The bilateral defence cooperation is depicted by military personnel from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces and the Singapore Armed Forces in their ceremonial uniforms. Collaboration in education is represented by students from both countries engaging in cross-cultural learning and exchange of ideas. Brunei Darussalam's Ulu Temburong National Park, the "Green Jewel of Brunei" and the Singapore Botanic Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage site, are also featured, signifying the importance of the Agreement in facilitating tourism between the two countries.

 There will be five types of limited edition numismatic sets sold by AMBD in conjunction with the celebration:

  • Identical Numbered Notes Set: this set contains one $50 Brunei and one $50 Singapore commemorative notes, sharing the same serial number with the CIA prefix. This set will be sold at B$300 each.
  • 3-in-1 Uncut Sheet: this set contains one uncut sheet of three $50 Brunei commemorative notes. This set will be sold at B$400 each.
  • 8-in-1 Uncut Sheet: this set contains one uncut sheet of eight $50 Brunei commemorative notes. This set will be sold at B$1,000 each.
  • 40-in-1 Uncut Sheet: this set contains one uncut sheet of forty $50 Brunei commemorative notes. This set will be sold at B$4,500 each.
  • Coffee Table Book with a set of B$50 and S$50 commemorative notes: this limited edition coffee table book highlights elaborate descriptions of the commemorative notes' designs elements and contains a set of B$50 and S$50 commemorative notes. The coffee table book will be sold at B$138 each.


(i)         Identical Numbered Notes Set

This set contains one $50 Brunei and one $50 Singapore commemorative notes, sharing the same serial number with the CIA prefix. This set will be sold at B$300 each.


(ii)         3-in-1 Uncut Sheet

This set contains one uncut sheet of three $50 Brunei commemorative notes. This set will be sold at B$400 each.


(iii)       8-in-1 Uncut Sheet

This set contains one uncut sheet of eight $50 Brunei commemorative notes. This set will be sold at B$1,000 each.


(iv)       40-in-1 Uncut Sheet

This set contains one uncut sheet of forty $50 Brunei commemorative notes. This set will be sold at B$4,500 each.


(v)        Coffee Table Book with a set of B$50 and S$50 commemorative notes 

This limited edition coffee table book highlights elaborate descriptions of the commemorative notes' designs elements and contains a set of B$50 and S$50 commemorative notes. The coffee table book will be sold at B$138 each.

Steven Sunday 16 July 2017 at 6:19 pm | | news | No comments

New additions week 28 - 2017

After last weeks discoveries at a local store I couldn't resist and just had to return again. This time with more time than just my lunch break. After going through the mountain of available notes twice I found several other notes I could add to my collection. 

  • Czechoslovakia: 50 korun (P96a)
  • Ukraine: 500 hryven (P23)
  • Ukraine: 1,000 Karbovantsiv (P35a2)
  • Germany (Empire): 5 Mark (P56a1)
  • Germany (Empire): 20 Mark (P57)
  • Germany (Weimar): 50,000 Mark (P80)
  • Germany (Weimar): 5,000 Mark (P81a)
  • Germany (Weimar): 100,000 Mark (P83a2)
  • Germany (Weimar): 100 Million Mark (P107e1)
  • Germany (Weimar): 50 Million Mark (P109b2)
  • Germany (Weimar): 500 Million Mark (P110f)

Steven Monday 10 July 2017 at 09:10 am | | new additions | No comments

Syria to issue new 2,000-pound note

USNEWS.com reports that the Central Bank of Syria has announced that a 2,000-pound banknote featuring a portrait of Syrian President Ashad will go into circulation. This would be the first time Syria will depict President Bashar Assad on its currency since he took office 17 years ago. The back of the note shows the People's Council of Syria inside the Parliament Building in Damascus, Syria. 

The new note will be issued from 9 July 2017. The image below is from a press conference by the Central Bank Governor Duraid Durgham on 2 July 2017. I'm sure this note will be popular with collectors of notes with notorious leaders. 

Update 6-7-2017: we have better pictures (from banknotenews.com).

Steven Tuesday 04 July 2017 at 10:59 pm | | news | No comments
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