Thursday, August 19, 2010

What Would It Take To Redesign American Currency?

By Allie Townsend
TIME NewsFeed

An Obama $1 bill? See one British design firm's reimagination of the dollar – now in blue.
UK-based design firm Dowling Duncan has given U.S. currency a modernized face lift, redesigning U.S. banknotes in a rainbow of colors. An entry for The Dollar ReDe$ign Project competition, Dowling Duncan's new dollar aesthetic is surprisingly joyful. Their take on U.S. bills feature historical facts and figures: a tepee on a purple five, the Bill of Rights on a yellow 10, 20th-century scientific and manufacturing achievements on a green 20, the 50 states on a red 50 and an FDR time line on an orange 100.

The visually appealing bills focus on some of America's greatest moments and honestly, have made us look at into our own wallets with disappointment. We never pictured greenback as a drab reminder of U.S. hedonism and a failing economy – until now. Sorry, Mr. Washington.

Dowling Duncan redesign the US bank notes
14 August 2010 05:16

We have submitted a design concept to a competition being run by New York designer Richard Smith. The Dollar ReDe$ign Project hopes to bring about change for everyone. Richard Smith states that he ‘wants to rebrand the US Dollar, rebuild financial confidence and revive our failing economy.’

Why the size?
We have kept the width the same as the existing dollars. However we have changed the size of the note so that the one dollar is shorter and the 100 dollar is the longest. When stacked on top of each other it is easy to see how much money you have. It also makes it easier for the visually impaired to distinguish between notes.

Why a vertical format?
When we researched how notes are used we realized people tend to handle and deal with money vertically rather than horizontally. You tend to hold a wallet or purse vertically when searching for notes. The majority of people hand over notes vertically when making purchases. All machines accept notes vertically. Therefore a vertical note makes more sense.

Why different colors?
It’s one of the strongest ways graphically to distinguish one note from another.

Why these designs?
We wanted a concept behind the imagery so that the image directly relates to the value of each note. We also wanted the notes to be educational, not only for those living in America but visitors as well. Each note uses a black and white image depicting a particular aspect of American history and culture. They are then overprinted with informational graphics or a pattern relating to that particular image.

$1 – The first African American president
$5 – The five biggest native American tribes
$10 – The bill of rights, the first 10 amendments to the US Constitution
$20 – 20th Century America
$50 – The 50 States of America
$100 – The first 100 days of President Franklin Roosevelt. During this time he led the congress to pass more important legislations than most presidents pass in their entire term. This helped fight the economic crises at the time of the great depression. Ever since, every new president has been judged on how well they have done during the first 100 days of their term.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

An Introduction to Federal Reserve Notes
By George Cuhaj
August 16, 2010

The “Nations Bank” is the Federal Reserve. It is broken up into 12 districts – Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Dallas and San Francisco. Each of these branches control cash within their service areas, and the New York Fed branch is also given the job of international distribution of cash.

Each district can order qualities of currency from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. On Federal Reserve Notes the seal color is green. Starting with the 1928 series the Federal Reserve bank name is in a seal at the left side of the note and has a large number in the center. On notes starting with the 1934 series the number in the seal switches to a letter. Each branch has a number-letter combination, Boston is A-1, New York B-2, and so on thru San Francisco L-12.

As an additional security feature that Branch letter is also printed as the starting letter in the serial number (the seal letter and the serial number prefix letter have to match). On currency greater than $5. with a series date since 1996, the Federal Reserve branch letter and number is now printed under the top left serial number, and the branch letter is printed as the second letter in the serial number prefix.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Yemen Issued Revised 1,000 Rial Banknotes

August 15, 2010

The Central Bank of Yemen has issued a revised 1,000 Rial banknote last week. The note is similar to the previous issue except dated 2009 and has improved security features.

Info courtesy of Claudio Marana and MRI Guide Updates

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

New 1000 Rouble note to make life tough for counterfeiters

Published 10 August, 2010, 21:50

Russia's Central Bank is introducing a revised version of the 1 thousand rouble banknote, in response to significant amounts of fraud involving the current version.

On Tuesday the Central Bank began supplying the new version of the note to regional departments with the note tipped to come into mass circulation in October this year. Vladimir Finogenov, head of currency unit at the Central Bank says people in Russia will notice major changes to the note include a translucent guard band, a colour change to the Central Banks seal, and a slightly darker and refined picture of Yaroslavl kremlin chapel, and Yaroslav I the Wise, as well as a number of changes to shading lines and margins.

The bank says the 1000 rouble note accounts for as much as 95% of all counterfeit cases and that the new note will be the most secure against counterfeiting in the world. The Central Bank expects to have 1 billion of the new notes printed by the end of 2011, gradually replacing the old variants, designed in 1997 and revised in 2004, which will remain in circulation, before being taken out as they deteriorate.

The move comes as a response to widespread forgery cases with the banknote and Alexandra Lozovaya, deputy head of analysis at Investcafe telling business FM that the existing 1000 rouble note was becoming subject to counterfeiting.

“According to specialists, the fake notes are of the very high quality and are very difficult to distinguish from the true ones, even with the banknotes assesor using ultraviolet. The thousand rouble banknotes comprise 95% of the total fraudulence cases brought to light in Russia.. 84% of the cases, which is the most, come from Russia's centre – Moscow and its regions.”

According to Central Bank data, there are 2.1 billion banknotes denominated 1 thousand roubles.

Scotland's banknotes - legal tender or not?

By John Kilbride
10 August 2010 12:23 GMT

Can you use Scottish notes in England? English notes in Scotland? What's the bottom line on the currency question?

While most countries have a central bank that issues that country's currency, the situation is different in the UK, with a number of retail banks having the right to produce their own banknotes along with the Bank of England.

In Scotland, the Bank of Scotland, the Royal Bank of Scotland, and the Clydesdale bank all release their own banknotes. Four banks in Northern Ireland also produce their own banknotes.

Until the mid-19th century, all privately owned banks in Great Britain and Ireland were permitted to issue their own banknotes provided they had the means to support their value. Restrictions on banking that were introduced then meant that from then on, no new banks would be permitted to issue banknotes and only the Bank of England would be permitted to issue currency. The banks that did issue their own currencies gradually disappeared, but in Scotland and Northern Ireland several banks retained their right to issue banknotes, provided the value of the circulating currency is backed up by Bank of England notes of a similar value.

This can lead to some confusion for those visiting the country, and a source of irritation to Scots who find that their banknotes are not recognised by traders south of the border or elsewhere.

But it may come as a pleasant surprise to those who have had a Scottish banknote turned down by a shopkeeper south of the border to discover that notes issued by the Bank of England note are not legal tender in Scotland. Bank of England notes are recognised as legal tender in England and Wales only. Needless to say, Scottish banknotes are not legal tender in England and Wales, and a trader would be perfecly entitled to turn down a Scottish banknote.

However, Scottish notes - while the recognised currency in Scotland - are not actually legal tender in Scotland either. It is of course worth bearing in mind that some other means of payment such as cheques, credit cards or debit cards do not constitute legal tender either.

Of course, banknotes do not actually have to be classed as legal tender for them to be acceptable for a transaction. For example, a shop may accept Euros or US or Canadian Dollars despite these not being legal tender in the UK.

In Scotland, no notes are actually legal tender. Coins are the only actual legal tender.

The term 'legal tender' is key to the currency issue, as it only actually refers to a narrow definition of what is acceptable for the settlement of a debt, and does not carry any real practical meaning in everyday life. Just because a note (or other means of payment) is not legal tender does not mean that it is illegal or unacceptable.

In short, the notes are legal to use in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK, but traders may refuse to accept them, in the same way that they can refuse to accept cheques or turn down an offer of payment for a small item with a large note.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Guatemala to Issue 200 Quetzal Banknote

August 5, 2010

The Bank of Guatemala will issue a new 200 Quetzal note on August 10, 2010. The originally scheduled release was November 2009, then delayed to March 2010 and further postponded until now.

This note honors three prominent Guatemalans, Sebastian Hurtado, Mariano Valverde and Germán Alcántara. It also includes many enhanced security features.

August 19, 2010 Update: Delayed again. New issue date is now August 23, 2010.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Costa Rica to Issue New Series of Banknotes

August 4, 2010

The Central Bank of Costa Rica will issue a new 20,000 Colon note on August 11, 2010. This is the first denomination in an entirely new series of banknotes that will replace the existing issues. Other denominations as shown below will be released on later dates.

The front of each note depicts a portrait of a famous Costa Rican, and the back features flora and fauna from the six ecosystems that exist in the country.

Different denominations in the new series will have different sizes to help blind or vision impaired people to distinguish them better.

Maria Isabel Carvajal (January 1888 - May 13, 1949) was a Costa Rican writer and teacher. She was born in San Jose, Costa Rica. Carvajal wrote using the name Carmen Lyra.

Braulio Evaristo Carrillo Colina (March 20, 1800 – May 15, 1845) was the Head of State of Costa Rica (the title as it was known before the reform of 1848) during two periods: the first between 1835 to 1837, and the de facto between 1838 and 1842.

Mauro Fernández Acuña (December 19, 1843 – July 16, 1905) was a Costa Rican politician and lawyer.

Alfredo González Flores (July 15, 1877 - December 28, 1962) served as President of Costa Rica from 1914 to 1917.

José María Hipólito Figueres Ferrer (September 25, 1906 – June 8, 1990), served as President of Costa Rica on three occasions: 1948–1949, 1953–1958, and 1970–1974.

Ricardo Jiménez Oreamuno (February 6, 1859 - January 4, 1945) served as president of Costa Rica on three separate occasions: 1910 to 1914, 1924 to 1928, and 1932 to 1936.