Welcome to the new Canadian 20 Dollar

Today Barack Obama was re-elected as president of the United States but their neighbours to the north also have cause for celebration. Because today the new 20 Dollar banknote is released to the general public in Canada.

© Bank of Canada

Recent articles on this beautiful new note can be found here and here.

Steven Wednesday 07 November 2012 at 08:10 am | | news | No comments
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Release of the new South African banknotes

Today the new banknotes of South Africa featuring Nelson Mandela are released to the general public! Read more about them in a recent post or view the promotion material on the official site.

The new notes come in 5 different denominations with an image of Nelson Mandela on the front and the animals of the Big Five on the back.

To promote these beautiful new banknotes the South African Reserve Bank made this video.

Steven Tuesday 06 November 2012 at 2:42 pm | | news | No comments
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Sister Sarah

So BanknoteNews has a fun new challenge: identifying who Sister Sarah is on the Bahamas 1/2 dollar note (P42). When I was doing some research on my own collection I too ran into this problem. She is prominently featured on the banknote with her name next to her picture but I couldn't find any information on her.

But the readers of BanknoteNews have apparently found out who she is.  

IDENTIFIED: According to Paul Walters, "Sister Sarah is indeed a real person. I am not sure if she is still living, I don't think she is. She was a prominant figure at the straw market in the 1970s, when the market was located along the dock--before it moved to its present day location on Bay street."

They also found an article mentioning her as a local straw weaver. Has the riddle finally been solved?

Sister Sarah - © Banknotenews.com

Steven Tuesday 06 November 2012 at 2:18 pm | | articles | No comments
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New additions week 45 - 2012

Some rather odd new additions to my collection this week. Some collectors would even go so far by claiming this isn't even real money. Well, it isn't! 

  • From Spain I got this very interesting set of coupons. They were issued during World War II in Barcelona and were (mistakenly) sold on eBay as emergency money. On the front it depicts the Blue Division (División Azul in Spanish), the logo of the division, the iron cross and the swastika. The División Española de Voluntarios was a group of Spanish volunteers who fought with the German army at the eastern front. The backside of this piece shows several produces which could be bought with the note, like sugar and bread.
  • The Jason Islands are an archipelago in the Falkland Islands which used to be privately owned by Len Hill. To fund conservation work on the islands, Hill issued a set of collectors banknotes in 1979. Five different notes were issued with Len Hill as 'administrator' and his portrait on every note. Each denomination shows a different type of penguin which can be found on the islands: a Humboldt penguin on 50 pence, a Jackass penguin on 1 pound, a Rockhopper penguin on 5 pound, a Gentoo penguin on 10 pound and a King penguin on 20 pounds. Upon Len Hill's death the islands were eventually donated to the Wildlife Conservation Society. All banknotes can be found on my Jason Islands page.

Steven Monday 05 November 2012 at 8:10 pm | | new additions | No comments

Some site changes

As the regular visitor might have noticed I've implemented some changes on this blog. First of all it's wider. My blog has always been 750 pixels wide, but now it's grown to 900 pixels. Not much wider perhaps but it allows me to implement another change: advertisements...

Yes, that horrible evil phenomenon which will be the downfall of humanity as we know it!! Well, that's a bit over the top perhaps since it's an add for the great Banknote Book. This is by far the best catalogue on banknotes out there so if you want to check it out for yourself, please do so by clicking the banner at the right. That way I make a little bit of money as well.

Steven Monday 05 November 2012 at 7:31 pm | | site info |

How do they do it: polymer money

Steven Thursday 25 October 2012 at 3:47 pm | | articles | No comments
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Canada's new 20 Dollar is coming

On November 7th the new 20 Dollar will be released to the public in Canada. To announce this event Canada has unveiled a giant image of the note on the side of the Central Bank building.

Picture of the bank from Tom Chao's blog

This has sparked some controversy in Canada due to the costs for this piece of art. The image costs almost $40.000 to design, produce and install. This is of course a large sum for you or me but to be honest: is it that much for a publicity campaign? I don't know.

But that's not the only turmoil surrounding the introduction of the new banknote. Apparently some Canadians have been outraged that the pictures of three naked women and the Twin Towers are on their new money.

Yes, this is the moment where you probably should raise your eyebrows...

What they view as a weird semi-pornographic image is actually the Vimy Memorial in northern France, a monument for Canadian soldiers who died in the First World War. Never let the truth get in the way of a good story I guess. On November 7th everyone can view the new banknotes for themselves at their local sexshop bank.

Steven Wednesday 24 October 2012 at 09:11 am | | news | No comments
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New additions week 43 - 2012

Another week with some great new banknotes. My mother recently visited Rome in Italy. Of course she knows I'm always interested in new banknotes for my collection so when she came across the store Numismatica Merulana in the Via Merulana she just had to go in. Lucky me! She came home with some very nice Italian banknotes. But that's not all this week because I also received my oldest German banknote to date.

  • The forst one from Italy is a Biglietto di Stato. These are banknotes printed by the state instead of the Central Bank. A modern example of such a note is the Euro. The Euro banknotes are printed by the member states instead of the central bank in Frankfurt. This particular Italian note is the 1 Lire from 1944 (P29b).
  • Another Italian note is the 1000 Lire from 1969 (P101b) with composer Giuseppe Verdi on it. This is a different signature variety than the one I already had (P101e).
  • The next one is the 2000 Lire (P115) with Guglielmo Marconi on it, the inventor of the radio.
  • The last Italian banknote is the very nice (and quite expensive) 50.000 Lire (P116b). The Italian hero on this banknote is the artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Yes, that guy from the book Angels and Demons by Dan Brown.
  • My final new banknote is the (in my humble opinion) beautiful 5 Mark (P8b) which was issued in 1904 by the German Empire. So this little blue friend is more than a 100 years old. Amongst collectors it's known as the 'Dragon Note' for obvious reasons.

Steven Tuesday 23 October 2012 at 08:52 am | | new additions | No comments

UNESCO sites on banknotes

I read an interesting topic on the members forum of the IBNS. Somebody has a special collecting theme: UNESCO sites on banknotes. UNESCO stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

What are these sites? To quote UNESCO: "The World Heritage List includes 962 properties forming part of the cultural and natural heritage which the World Heritage Committee considers as having outstanding universal value." Countries like to put sites on their banknotes which are the pride of a nation so it should come as no surprise that quite a few of the current 962 sites have ended up on banknotes thoughout the world.

Right now people on the IBNS forum are compiling a list of the sites, so it's 'work in progress'. The list is impressive so far and can be viewed after the click (pick numbers and the exact banknote will be added later by the collectors):

Read on

Steven Friday 19 October 2012 at 09:33 am | | articles | No comments
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So where did he stand?

A little game: trying to determine where the artist stood when he shot the photo or made the painting which went on to become a banknote.

The first one: the back of the 1 Pound note from the Isle of Man (P40). 



To view in Google Maps: click here.

Steven Thursday 18 October 2012 at 8:20 pm | | fun | No comments

New additions week 42 - 2012

A new week with lots of new banknotes and all from Europe. 

  • Good old eBay brought me some joy with a set of Nazi paper money. This whole set was issued to German soldiers in the occupied territories throughout Europe. As somewhat of a history enthusiast this is a great addition to my collection but also a real historical document. I got the 50 Pfennig and the 1, 2, 5, 20 and 50 Mark (PR135-PR140).
  • A new country in my collection is the Isle of Man with this 1 Pound note (P40c) from 2009. It's printed by Thomas de la Rue and another great example of their craftsmanship and ability to incorporate local art and themes in a banknote. 

Steven Thursday 18 October 2012 at 7:16 pm | | new additions | No comments

¿Habla inglés?

So what's this? All of sudden everything is in English on this website?!

Well not everything yet but I'm working on it. Since I'm listed in the members section of the IBNS with my website I've noticed a lot of traffic from across the world. Now that's great of course but unless your native language is Dutch you wouldn't understand a word I wrote. So I decided that from now on my banknote website will be in English. I've only translated a few of the recent posts at the moment but I'm hoping to translate everything soon.

Of course, I'm 100% Dutch: English is not my native language. So if you're reading this and thinking: 'WTF is this guy blabbering about?', then please bear with me.

Steven Wednesday 17 October 2012 at 3:33 pm | | site info | No comments