Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hong Kong to Circulate New Series of Banknotes Starting in Q4

Hong Kong Government News
July 20, 2010

The new series Hong Kong banknotes in $1,000 and $500 denominations, with advanced security features, will go into circulation in the last quarter of 2010 and early 2011.

Consistent with the current series, the new series will consist of five denominations, each adopting the same colour scheme. The $1,000 and $500 notes' designs were unveiled today, while those of the remaining three denominations - $100, $50 and $20 - will be unveiled around the middle of next year.

Security features

The five more important key features of the new banknotes are:

* a dynamic colour-changing pattern - colour shifting between green and gold with a shimmering horizontal bar seen to be rolling up and down when the note is tilted.

* a colour-changing windowed metallic thread - colour shifting between magenta and green and the "H" and "K" on the thread are made up of microtext.

* a standardised enhanced watermark - comprising a multi-tonal watermark of a bauhinia flower and highlight watermark of the denomination numeral and dot pattern, a standardised design for the three note-issuing banks.

* a fluorescent see-through pattern - perfect registration of the patterns on the front and back, with two fluorescent colours visible under ultraviolet light.

* a fluorescent serial number - the vertical serial number is fluorescent red under ultraviolet light.

Braille and tactile lines have been added to help people with visual impairments differentiate the denominations. A new note-measuring template will be made available through voluntary agencies to serve the visually impaired community.

Monetary Authority Chief Executive Norman Chan said for the past six years Hong Kong has seen a continuous drop in the counterfeit rate.

"We should not be complacent and must ensure that we are staying ahead of counterfeiters. There is a need to revamp the design of our banknotes and introduce latest available security features to minimise the risk of being counterfeited," he added.

Publicity drive

All existing banknotes continue to be legal tender. They will continue to circulate alongside the new banknotes and will be gradually withdrawn from circulation when they become unfit for circulation.

An extensive education programme will be launched to raise public awareness of the new banknotes. Seminars will be conducted for banks, retailers and money changers; and special outreach seminars will be arranged for centres for the elderly and the visually impaired.

Exhibitions will be held in different districts and an interactive online-learning programme is available on the authority's website. Leaflets illustrating the new security features are available at the Monetary Authority's office, the note-issuing banks' branches and District Offices.

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