De la Rue cuts banknote printing capacity

The biggest banknote printer in the world, De la Rue, has announced it will cut its banknote printing capacity by a quarter, according to this article in the Financial Times. De la Rue will close its banknote plant in Malta leaving only the factories in the UK, Kenya and Sri Lanka. About 300 people are expected to lose their jobs because of this reduction.

Steven Saturday 05 December 2015 at 11:39 am | | links | 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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Women on currency notes in the United States

There is quite a discussion going on right now in the USA about the design of the US dollars. In particular the lack of women on the notes. I already wrote about this issue in 2014 and the poll which was announced by the action group Women on 20's has been won by abolitionist and humanitarian Harriet Tubman (c.1822-1913). 

This discussion prompted David Pearl from the Metric Pioneer to make this summary of US banknotes which already had women on it. Mostly allegorical but also some famous women like Martha Washington. The reason why I'm posting this is of course for the sheer beauty of the old US notes. Please let them do something like this again, with women or without them. 

HARRIET TUBMAN (C.1822 - 1913)

Steven Friday 05 June 2015 at 8:13 pm | | links | No comments
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Oxenaar gave everyone the finger

On the member forum of the IBNS website, I found a link to a great interview with Ootje Oxenaar, the designer of one of the most beautiful banknote series the Netherlands has ever seen. It provides some insight in the development of a new banknote series as well as great anecdotes on specific notes. Like the 1000-gulden note shown here in which Oxenaar hid a etching of his own fingerprint... from his middle finger :-)



You can also check this video in which he talks about designing the Dutch banknotes. 

Steven Wednesday 03 June 2015 at 6:58 pm | | links | No comments
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Bank of England wants new face for 20-pound note

The Bank of England has asked the public to nominate who they would like to feature on the back of the future £20 note. This new banknote will be issued in 3-5 years, probably made of polymer and it will celebrate Britain’s achievements in the visual arts.

Visual artists include architects, artists, ceramicists, craftspeople, designers, fashion designers, filmmakers, photographers, printmakers and sculptors.  The Bank will not feature fictional or living characters, with the exception of the Monarch, who appears on the front of our notes.

Nominations can be send in until 19 July 2015.

Steven Wednesday 20 May 2015 at 4:02 pm | | links | No comments

Spink to offer newly discovered banknotes

From coinweek.com: "The World Banknotes auction on 29-30 April [at Spink] showcases a wide range of notes from countries across the globe. We are offering many great rarities, and as usual, some completely unique items. Below is a selection of some of the most spectacular or otherwise interesting items.

Central Bank – United Arab Republic

A group of specimens showing a series of UAR banknotes that were never issued. The United Arab Republic was a union between Egypt and Syria. It lasted only three years, from 1958 until 1961. No official currency was issued for the union, despite the fact that Egypt continued to call itself the United Arab Republic until 1971.

These specimen banknotes, dated 1959, show beyond all doubt that the two countries were planning a combined currency. There is a complete set of notes, with the denominations 25 and 50 piastres, and 1, 5, and 10 Arab Dinars.

That fact that these notes are Arab Dinars is actually what makes them so remarkable. This will no doubt have collectors completely mystified, since neither Egypt nor Syria used Dinars at any point in their history. It could be speculated that Dinars was proposed so that neither party could claim favouritism. Another possibility is that it was an effort to appeal to other states, such as Iraq, in an effort to get them to join the union as well. One thing is for certain, these banknotes will fuel speculation and research for years to come, and are one of the most important discoveries in the fields of Egyptian and Syrian notes for decades."

Combined Estimate £31,000-£46,000 (US$46,810-$69,460)....

Steven Tuesday 28 April 2015 at 10:50 am | | links | No comments
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Hungarian artist designs beautiful concept money

If you give an artist total freedom in designing new money, you can end up with the most beautiful concepts. Take for example this work by the artist Barbara Bernát who has designed the fictional currency of the Hungarian euro.

The common side of each note features european animals, the other side shows related species of plants. I used the original proportions of the existing euro banknote for my design, as the denomination increases, the size of each banknote is growing. The animals also represent the growth of value.

The higher the denomination, the higher position in the food chain each animal has. She has left out most of the security features to present an image with as much simplicity as possible. One thing she has left on the note is probably also one of the most appealing security features I've ever seen. Holding the note under UV light reveals the ghostly skeleton of the pictured animals!



Steven Wednesday 18 February 2015 at 09:02 am | | links | No comments
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Russia declines to issue 2,000-ruble banknote

An article from The Moscow Times: "Russia's Central Bank has declined to issue a 2,000-ruble banknote honoring the far eastern city of Vladivostok, state news agency RIA Novosti reported Monday.

The proposed banknote, inspired by the song "Vladivostok 2000" by hometown rock stars Mumy Troll, was designed by Russian advertising firm Provoda and become wildly popular on the RuNet, as the Russian-language section of the Internet is known.

The Central Bank, which said it often receives proposals for new banknotes, declined to issue this one "due to the economic situation in the country and considering the demands of cash circulation," RIA cited the bank as saying.

The country's main banknotes in circulation honor an array of Russian cities: Krasnoyarsk (10-ruble banknote), St. Petersburg (50), Moscow (100), Arkhangelsk (500), Yaroslavl (1,000) and Khabarovsk (5,000). The Central Bank in 2013 also issued a limited edition 100-ruble banknote dedicated to the Winter Olympics in Sochi."

Steven Wednesday 18 February 2015 at 08:56 am | | links | No comments
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Send in your nominations for IBNS Banknote of the Year!

With the coming of the new year it's also time to reflect on the past year and that means: time to send in your nomination for Banknote of the Year! This annual award is organised by the IBNS and has been won for the past three years by Kazachstan (123).

Of course it would be easy to nominate their new banknote for this award and have a very good chance of nominating the winning banknote. But I decided to nominate a bit of an outsider this year: the 5,000 francs note from the French Pacific Territories which was issued on 20 January 2014

My reasons:

  1. I think it's a bold move to completely depart from the old design which was loved and admired  for decades by users and collectors worldwide.
  2. The look and color of this particular 5,000 francs note is beautiful and really gives the series its 'tropical' feel.

If you disagree please feel free to nominate your own favorite banknote issued in 2014. All the information and other nominees can be found here.

Steven Friday 02 January 2015 at 10:22 am | | links | Five comments
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With paper money, tiny details lead to big adventures

"Often a design on a piece of paper money can lead you down a trail of adventure without ever leaving your desk." Thus begins a great article on Coinworld.com, which is probably very recognizable for collectors like us.

Steven Friday 19 December 2014 at 1:02 pm | | links | No comments

Canadians propose their ideas for future banknotes

The Bank of Canada has published the results from the public consultation into its banknote design principles. The public was asked in October of this year to participate in the design process for future banknotes, including the recently announced commemorative issue which is to be issued in 2017.

The results of the consultation can be found in this press release: "Of the nearly 2,000 Canadians who participated, about 80 per cent said they support the principles the Bank put forward. There was considerable interest in how bank notes reflect Canada and many respondents said greater emphasis should be put on representing gender equality, multiculturalism and aboriginal culture. Others said bank notes should show iconic Canadian activities and achievements, landscapes and famous Canadians."

Not really a surprising result is it? Canadian citizens still have the opportunity to propose ideas for the new commemorative note until 8 January 2015.

Steven Wednesday 17 December 2014 at 12:02 pm | | links | No comments
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New SCWPM General Issues 1368-1960 available

At Shopnumismaster.com the new and 15th edition of the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money General Issues 1368-1960 has been released. This pick-catalog (although heavily criticized and more and more replaceable by better alternatives like The Banknote Book) is still a standard in collecting banknotes.

The 'Pick'-catalog for the older notes is now in it's 15th edition. There is some very good news for us collectors because this edition is finally available as a digital version so it can be used on your iPad for instance. This means that all three Standard Catalogs bij Krause Publications are now available as a digital PDF-file. No more carrying around kilo's of dead trees when you visit a fair or auction.

The paper edition is of course also still available. The catalog of General Issues 1368-1960 can be picked up here for (at the moment) $52.99. But if you sign up for the newsletter from shopnumismaster you will receive discounts and coupons on a very regular basis. So you should be able to get it cheaper than the current price (I bought mine with a discount of 15 dollars).

Steven Sunday 07 December 2014 at 4:49 pm | | links | No comments
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