Interview with Ton Roos, Director of Banknotes (ECB)

Coin Update has an interesting interview with Ton Roos, Director of Banknotes at the European Central Bank. He of course talks about the forthcoming new Europa series of the euro banknotes. But he also addresses the possibility of a polymer future for the euro notes (tip: don't hold your breath for it) and the process of the new design.

The new Europa series will start with the 5 euro banknote which was revealed at the beginning of this year and which will be issued to the public on 2 May 2013.

© European Central Bank

Steven Friday 15 March 2013 at 11:37 am | | links | No comments
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Russia presents commemorative banknote

As mentioned earlier this year Russia will issue a special 100 rouble banknote commemorating the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014. Details on the design have now been released to the public by the Central Bank of Russia.

The design of the banknote was revealed at a presentation at Krasnaya Poliana in Sochi. The banknote’s designer is a student of the Repin Institute of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, Pavel Bushuev , who won a contest to design the banknote. The banknote is vertically oriented.

The blue tinted banknote depicts a flying snowboarder on one side, and on the other - the Olympic Stadium and a firebird. As part of another innovation the banknote will be released in an original gift box. 10 million banknotes will be released into circulation in Russia.

The Central Bank of Russia will issue the commemorative 100 rouble note in October, a hundred days before the start of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

Steven Wednesday 13 March 2013 at 09:17 am | | news | No comments

Change of notes in Tunisia

News from Tunisia today: the banknotes of 20 dinars (1992), 30 dinars (1997) and 50 dinars (2008) will continue to be legal tender until 31 March 2013. Afterwards these may be redeemed at the branches of the Banque Centrale de Tunisie until 31 December 2017. Furthermore the Banque Centrale de Tunisie plans to issue new banknotes of 5 and 10 dinars dated 2012, and eventually withdraw from circulation the current ones. No dates have been yet established.


Steven Tuesday 12 March 2013 at 10:11 am | | news | No comments
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Three new notes for Tajikistan

After the introduction of the 5 and 10 Somoni banknotes last year, the National Bank of Tajikistan has now introduced the new 20, 50 and 100 Somoni notes. According to this press release from 4 March 2013 the notes have been issued with enhanced security features.

Amongst those security features are a kinegram with a laser printed serial number in relief.

Steven Wednesday 06 March 2013 at 09:01 am | | news | No comments
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Iran to issue larger denomination?

From Iran’s Central Bank plans to issue banknotes with twice the value of the largest ones in circulation, Donya-e-Eqtesad reported, citing Majid Saniei, an official at the financial institution.

The bank will start printing 200,000-rial ($16) banknotes as soon as it receives permission from the Economy Ministry and will release the new notes into circulation in the Iranian new year starting March 21, the Tehran-based daily quoted Saniei, head of Iran’s security and minting organization, as saying.

The Central Bank is also seeking approval for 500,000-rial notes and plans to introduce these in two years’ time, Saniei said. Iran’s largest banknote at the moment is 100,000 rials. 

Steven Tuesday 05 March 2013 at 09:09 am | | news | No comments
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New varieties for Croatia

The Croatian National Bank has announced that new varieties of the 10 and 20 Kuna will be issued on 18 March 2013. They will be the same as the current issues but with a new date (9 July 2012) and a new signature of Boris Vujcic.

The current 10 and 20 Kuna:

10 Kuna - P38

20 Kuna - P39

Steven Thursday 28 February 2013 at 12:41 pm | | news | No comments
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Vote now for Banknote of the Year 2012

Members of the IBNS can now cast their votes for the annual Banknote of the Year election. You can select a first, second and third preference which get 3, 2 and 1 points. Voting closes 23:59 GMT on 18 March 2013 and the winner will be announced at the annual meeting in Valkenburg in April. 

The nominees can be found here and are in no particular order:

My personal top 3:

1. South Africa's 200 Rand Note

2. Scotland's 10 Pound Note

3. Canada's 50 Dollar Note

Steven Thursday 21 February 2013 at 08:07 am | | news | No comments
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New additions week 8 - 2013

Just recently I wrote about the new commemorative issue from Cambodia honouring the late king Norodom Sihamoni. This week I received the beautiful new note from a purchase on eBay as a new addition to my collection. Yaay!

Steven Wednesday 20 February 2013 at 08:27 am | | new additions | No comments
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New banknotes Venezuela?

A website from Venezuela has shown banknotes of 200 and 500 bolivares which might be issued later this year. An exact date or confirmation of this news hasn't been given yet.

Below are images of these new banknotes, along with the current circulating banknotes in Venezuela.

Steven Wednesday 20 February 2013 at 08:16 am | | news | No comments
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New additions week 7 - 2013

Saturday I visited the Nieuwemarkt in my home town of Rotterdam. If you want to pay a visit as well, check for the square with the statue of the Virgin of Holland. The statue wasn’t the reason I was there: I came for the market where people were selling stamps, coins and banknotes. It turned out to be a very, very small market with only three sellers but they told me it was because of the cold weather.

When I looked through their books I had a bit of an argument with one of the dealers. When I aksed for the price of a banknote he gave me the price for a UNC grade. I pointed out to him it wasn’t a UNC grade because one of the corners had a little fold. He told me it was nothing and started vigorously ‘smoothing’ the fold with his thumbnail to make it flat again. “Well, now it’s DEFINITELY not uncirculated anymore!”, I told him. But he insisited he was right and he wasn’t planning to lower his price. I don’t like those types of dealers: acting like there’s a moron standing in front of them and ruining the banknotes they sell out of sheer amateurism.

Luckily for me there were also good dealers with good merchandise so I got away with four new banknotes from four new countries:

  • 1 Dong (P1a) from South Vietnam
  • 1­0­0­ O­u­g­u­i­y­a­ (P4h) from Mauritania
  • 10 Rupees (P36a) from the Seychelles
  • 2 Pa’anga (P32a) from Tonga

Steven Tuesday 19 February 2013 at 09:34 am | | new additions | No comments

Design of new banknote Iceland is finished

From the News of Iceland: "The development and design of a new Iceland bank note or bill, is finished. The 10 thousand ISK bill will be initiated this year, probably this spring. The first bills will come to Iceland this spring, around the same time as the Eurasian golden plover, a common bird in Iceland that will appear somewhere on the bill.

Graphic designer and artist Kristín Þorkelsdóttir developed the ten thousand ISK bank note. She says it was a lot of work, but that the bill will be beautiful. Kristin also designed the other Icelandic bills currently in use.

Jónas Hallgrímsson (1807-1845), natural scientist and poet will appear on the bill as well as the Eurasian golden plover. Jonas Hallgrimsson was interested in the plover and mentioned her in some of his poems."

Update 3 april 2013: there are reports that the new note won't be issued until the autumn or winter of 2013.

Steven Tuesday 19 February 2013 at 08:13 am | | news | No comments
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The road not taken

Say what you want about the Canadians but they do know how to keep their banknotes in the news. After the flood of bad press recently, this time the news is a bit lighter. A report shows the ideas for new themes on the banknotes which have been put out to focus groups. Amongst those themes were illustrations of a gay marriage, an officer wearing a turban, and a black hockey player.


The final images that were chosen are far less controversial. The $5 note will show robotic arms built for space programs and the $10 note a train. The $20 note depicts the Vimy Ridge memorial in France, while the $50 has a picture of an icebreaker. The Queen and prime ministers occupy the fronts of the notes.

An early version of the $100 note, illustrating the theme of medical innovations, showed a female medical researcher with distinctly Asian features. But later focus groups raised questions about her ethnicity, prompting the bank to erase the Asian features in favour of a Caucasian-looking woman.

Apparently a lot of things are controversial, looking at a list of rejected ideas which has been published nonetheless:

  • Images of hockey were rejected by some as they would "glorify a violent sport."
  • Suggested military images sparked controversy arising from Canada's role in Afghanistan, and from some people's preference for peacekeeping over warfare. The Vimy Ridge memorial, which was the image chosen for the $20 note, was seen as "sufficiently distant in time."
  • A suggestion to depict ice wine was rejected by some because "alcohol should not be shown on bank notes."
  • Proposals to depict "safe cities" and Canada's so-called "no gun" culture were rejected because the theme might not endure over the lifetime of the bank notes, e.g., cities might become more crime-ridden.
  • Aboriginal art was snubbed by a few participants because "enough had been done by way of promoting aboriginal art."
  • Images that included snow "may become more controversial should global warming progress," and are best avoided, said some.
  • Pictures of wind turbines and solar panels were rejected because "clean energy is a controversial concept."
  • Portraits of Terry Fox, Liberal Prime Minister Lester Pearson, and medicare trailblazer Tommy Douglas were all nixed.

This has caused some people to argue against the focus groups altogether. Not such a bad idea I think.

Steven Tuesday 12 February 2013 at 08:21 am | | links | No comments
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