Monday, July 25, 2011

Design Error Forces Recall of New Hong Kong $100 Banknotes

Voice of America
July 25, 2011

A leading Hong Kong bank is apologizing for a design error in a new bank note that will force the notes to be destroyed and replaced.

The bank notes, worth 100 Hong Kong dollars or about 13 American dollars, bear a likeness of the territory's five-petaled bauhinia flower emblem with the petals pointing in the wrong direction. The notes had been reviewed by Hong Kong's monetary authority and reviewed by the government before being unveiled to the public on Friday.

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation is one of three Hong Kong banks that are authorized to issue bank notes. In a joint statement with the government, HSBC apologized for the error and said it will pay the costs of redesigning and reissuing the notes, which are expected to go into circulation early next year.

A bank spokeswoman also apologized for the “embarrassment caused to all parties concerned.”

Friday, July 22, 2011

2010 Series Hong Kong Banknotes

The 2010 Series Hong Kong Banknotes are issued by the three note-issuing banks in Hong Kong (Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited and Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited).

The new $1,000 and $500 notes are already in circulation, and notes of the remaining denominations of $100, $50 and $20 will go into circulation starting from late 2011.

All existing banknotes remain legal tender and will continue to circulate along with the 2010 Series.

Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited

Info courtesy of cleo phas.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Brunei Issues New $1, $5 and $10 Polymer Banknotes

Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam will issue new $1, $5 dan $10 polymer notes on the 18 July 2011 (16 Syaaban 1432). These new polymer notes will circulate side by side with present notes, which all will remain legal tender in Brunei Darussalam and in countries which accept them.

The issuance of the new polymer notes is in conjunction with the 65th Birthday of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan Negara Brunei Darussalam.

These new polymer notes contain the following security features:-

A. Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien mosque and the ceremonial barge form the complex clear window design incorporating a shadow image and vignette of ‘1’ numeral.

Lapau (Royal Cermonial Hall) forms the complex clear window design incorporating a shadow image and vignette of ‘5’ numeral.

Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah mosque forms the complex clear window design incorporating a shadow image and vignette of ‘10’ numeral.

B. His Majesty’s portrait, initials ‘HB’ and a section of the mosque or Lapau design will appear when the banknote is raised to the light.

C. Dynamic optical feature alternates between gold and blue when viewed at varying angles.

D. A flower design is formed through the combination of front and back printing in perfect registration when the note is held up to the light.

E. Complex fine line background security patterns in multiple rainbow print with fluorescing elements illuminate under ultra violet light.

F. Multicolour raised fine line printing of His Majesty’s portrait, red Crest of Brunei Darussalam, the flower design and surrounding text.

G. Raised printing of the Braille ‘1’, ‘5’ & ‘10’ for the visually impaired.

H. Vertical and horizontal serial numbers on the front are printed in varying sizes fluoresce yellow/green under ultra violet light.

Info courtesy of cleo phas.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

South Sudan Pound to be released by Monday

Government of South Sudan
JUBA, 12 July 2011

The South Sudan Pound (SSP), the new currency of the Republic of South Sudan, will be released into the market by Monday 18 July 2011, Mr. Elijah Malok the head of the Central Bank of South Sudan has said.

Addressing the media at the bank’s premises this morning, Mr. Malok also announced that the new currency will exchange 1:1 to the Sudan Pound (SDG) in the meantime but added that the value may change in the coming days based on market factors.

Mr. Malok also reported that negotiations are underway with the Central Bank of Sudan to redeem the old currency from South Sudan which he estimated to be about 1.5 to 2 billion. He said the value at which the old currency will be redeemed is still being negotiated.

He also announced that the international exchange rate of the new currency is still being calculated. Nonetheless, he announced that it will be through a managed float system. He explained that the exchange rate will be determined by market forces in the region and beyond. He announced that the exchange rate will be known within a period of one week.

Mr. Malok also announced that a committee to sensitize the public about the new currency began the mobilization exercise this morning. He said that the bank will establish exchange centres to which citizens will return the old currency in exchange for the new one.

He also said that South Sudan will not ban the old currency. He explained that it may be used for cross-border trade transactions. However, he said that its continued use would depend on whether the Sudan chooses to keep it or not.

The Central Bank leader also displayed the new currency to the media. He announced that there will be six denominations – 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 – but added that lower denominations in the form of coins are still being minted.

Mr. Malok said that the Central Bank of South Sudan Bill is still before the South Sudan Legislative Assembly but expressed confidence that it will be passed in due course. He clarified that even though he signed the new currency as “governor”, he is not yet officially appointed to the new position.

He also said that the bank is not able to state the anticipated inflation levels. He explained, however, that inflation in the region, especially in Uganda and Kenya, will affect the new country in the short-term until it is able to tilt the trade balance in its favour.

The press conference was also attended by H.E. Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the minister for Information, Government of South Sudan; Mr. Mustafa Biong Majak, the Director General of Information; as well as senior officers of the bank.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Adolf Hitler's Fake British Bank Notes Expected to Fetch £2000 at Auction

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 9:16 PM on 12th July 2011

Loss leader: Adolf Hitler in 1944, still plotting to win the war

A rare set of fake bank notes Hitler had printed in a bid to ruin the British economy during World War Two are expected to fetch £2,000 at auction.

Hitler hoped the £134million of counterfeit notes he produced in 'Operation Bernhard' would force a huge hike in inflation and spark a cash crisis if introduced to wartime Britain.

He ordered millions of the notes, in £5, £10, £20 and £50 denominations to be printed in 1942. Four bank notes recovered from Lake Toplitz in Austria will be auctioned next month.
The £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes will go under the hammer at Mullock's auctioneers at Ludlow Racecourse, Shropshire on August 18.

Nazi spies had been ordered to smuggle the cash into Britain and flood the economy with the fake money.

But Hitler's plan was foiled when British spies got wind of the idea and intercepted the shipment of the notes.
The Bank of England first learned of a plot from a spy as early as 1939. It first came across the actual notes in 1943, and declared them 'the most dangerous ever seen.'

The initial plan was to destabilize the British economy by dropping the notes from aircraft, but Hermann Goering's Luftwaffe declared it did not have enough planes to deliver the forgeries, and the assets were put in the hands of SS foreign intelligence.
Many were transferred from SS headquarters to a former hotel near Meran in South Tyrol, Northern Italy, from where they were laundered and used to pay for strategic imports and German secret agents operating in the Allied countries.
As late as the 1940s every banknote issued by the Bank of England was recorded in large leather-bound ledgers, still in the Bank's archives, and clerks first recorded the counterfeits from a British bank in Tangiers.

At the war's end the mint notes still in Germany were dumped in Lake Toplitz together with the printing plates made to produce them after 'Operation Bernhard' was abandoned with just a handful of notes having made it into British circulation.
But they were enough for the Bank of England to withdraw all banknotes of £5 and over from circulation after it had designed and printed a new set of paper money.

Bullseye: Perfect forgery of a £50 note produced by expert counterfeiters in Sachsenhausen

Auctioneer Richard Westwood-Brookes said: 'These notes are extremely rare.

'They never made it into circulation and were part of the batch that were dumped in the lake in 1945.

'They were taken out of the lake by divers but have amazingly stayed in great condition.

'Due to the quality they have been kept in and the fact they are so rare I think they are likely to garner a fair bit of interest.

'They rarely come up for sale and are very rare because most were destroyed.'

Perfect crime: Karl Markovics as Jewish career criminal Saloman Sorowitsch, seated, and August Diehl as Burger in the Oscar-winning The Counterfeiters

The Nazis forced Jewish prisoners, experts in engraving and printing, held at the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp to produce the notes.

By the time Sachsenhausen was evacuated in April 1945 the printing press had produced 8,965,080 banknotes with a total value of £134,610,810.
The notes are considered among the most perfect counterfeits ever produced, being almost impossible to distinguish from the real currency.

Bank robbery: A rare set of the fake bank notes Hitler had printed in a bid to ruin the British economy

Mr Westwood Brookes added: 'It was a completely audacious plot by Hitler and if it had worked it would have been a serious blow to our economy.

'Luckily it did not and luckily for us we managed to capture their agents.

'It is a great story and these notes represent a major triumph for the British intelligence services over the Nazis.'
Treasure hunters have been drawn to Lake Toplitz ever since a group of diehard Nazis retreated to the Austrian Alps in the final months of the Second World War. With US troops closing in and Germany on the brink of collapse, they transported a set of wooden boxes to the lake by horse-drawn wagon, and sunk them.

Nobody knows exactly what was inside. Some believe they contained gold looted by German troops throughout Europe and carried back to Germany.

Others that they contain documents showing where assets confiscated from Jewish victims were hidden in Swiss bank accounts.

In 1959 a diving team financed by the German magazine Stern retrieved the forged sterling currency Operation Bernhard hidden in boxes, and a printing press.

No gold was found, although it does pop up in the James Bond movie Goldfinger, where Bond hands over an ingot from Lake Toplitz to tempt villain Auric Goldfinger.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Swaziland Issued New 10, 20, 50 and 200 Emalangeni Banknotes

The Central Bank of Swaziland released the remaining 2010 series (10, 20, 50 and 200 Emalangeni) of new banknotes into circulation this week. The new series of banknotes come with upgraded security features in line with international standards. The release of these notes together with the release of the 100 Emalangeni last September complete the entire family of new banknotes.

1. His Majesty's Portrait
The King’s Portrait is printed in Intaglio halftone. When touched, the print on the necklace, the red feathers and all hair has a rough feeling.

2. Watermark
Every denomination of the new banknotes displays a watermark portrait of His Majesty King Mswati III in various shades of gray as well as the
highlighted necklace.

3. Security Thread
The Security Thread is a metallic-looking strip positioned vertically, slightly away from the center of the banknote. When viewed from the front, the strip appears broken, but when viewed from the back, it appears continuous. The strip has “CENTRAL BANK OF SWAZILAND” printed in it, which can be seen when viewed from the back or front. For the E10 and E20, the colour is silver, for the E50, E100 and E200 the colour of the strip changes from bright green to bright pink colour when tilted.

4. See-through Register
The See-Through Register, located next to the Watermark, shows the value of the note. When the note is held up to the light, the front and back patterns of the see through marks, result in a complete image e.g. 10, 20, 50, 100 or 200.

5. Latent Image
The Latent Image is a vertical strip located on the front of the note, next to the watermark area. The strips shows the denomination of the note in figures (e.g. 10, 20, 50, 100 or 200), which appear in different shades when tilted.

6. Blind Embossing
The Blind Embossing is a security feature that is seen in the silver-printed area, which is part of the Latent Image (5). The value of the note (e.g. 10, 20, 50, 100 or 200) is embossed (pressed printing) into the banknote and can be felt when touched.

7. Optically Variable Ink
Optically Variable Ink is used to print the shield that contains the value of the note (e.g. 100 or 200). The shield is located next to the coat of arms and signatures. The colour of the ink changes from green to blue when the banknote is tilted.

8. Features for the Visually Impaired
This feature is located on the front of the note, along the left hand edge. For the E100 and E200 banknotes, these are red dots printed in intaglio (raised print). The dots have a rough feel when touched and are to help users to identify a note by touching it.

9. Numbering
There are two identical 9 character serial numbers at the back of each note. One is printed horizontally in black on the bottom left hand side of the note, and all characters of the same font size. The other is printed vertically in red, on the right hand edge of the note and the characters increase gradually in font size.

10. Intaglio Printing
Intaglio Printing is used on specific sections of the banknotes as a very effective security feature. The intaglio print feels rough, quite unlike other sections of the note, which are smooth.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Kazakhstan Issued 10,000 Tenge Commemorative Note

The National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan issued 10,000 Tenge banknotes today to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of Independence.

Front: Predominant images are vertical. The main images are the "Kazak Eli" monument on the right side of the banknote and images of flying pigeons at the bottom in the middle. The upper part shows the state symbols of the Republic of Kazakhstan: National Emblem and National Flag. The face value is placed in digits at the bottom and top left, the face value literally in Kazakh is at the bottom in the middle. The inscription "ҚАЗАҚСТАН ҰЛТТЫҚ БАНКІ" (name of the issuing authority) is placed in the top left, above there is an inscription in the Kazakh language stating that counterfeiting banknotes is against the law.

Back: The images are horizontal. The main image is the Residence of President of the Republic of Kazakhstan; the background shows the contours of the map of Kazakhstan territory. The inscription «ҚАЗАҚСТАН ТӘУЕЛСІЗДІГІНЕ ЖИЫРМА ЖЫЛ» (20 years of Independence of Kazakhstan) is at the top left, below there is the logo of Independence Day of 20-year celebration. The face value is placed in digits at the bottom on the left, at the top right and in the middle on the right, the face value literally in Russian is at the bottom in the middle. The inscription "ҚАЗАҚСТАН ҰЛТТЫҚ БАНКІ" (name of the issuing authority) is placed at the top in the middle, below there is an inscription in Russian stating that counterfeiting banknotes is against the law.