Saturday, December 24, 2011

Bangladesh 40 Taka Commemorative banknote

Bangladesh Bank will issue a new 40 Taka note to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the country's victory in the War of Liberation on December 26, 2011.

Front: Mujibur Rahman (1920-1975), President of Bangladesh in absentia 1971-1972, Prime Minister of Bangladesh 1972-1975, President of Bangladesh 1975

Back: Six Freedom Fighters

Info and pictures courtesy Claudio Marana

Friday, December 23, 2011

New Serbia 2000 Dinar Banknote

The National Bank of Serbia introduced a new 2000 dinar banknote to bridge the denomination gap between 1000 and 5000 dinar banknotes. The new banknote will be placed in circulation on 30 December 2011. The note, designed in line with the latest world standards, contains contemporary anti-counterfeit security features.

The 2000 dinar banknote is the first new banknote put in circulation after more than seven years. Its front features the portrait of Milutin Milanković, a world famous Serbian scientist, and the back contains the figure of Milutin Milanković with stylised presentation of his works.

Info and pictures courtesy of cleo phas.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Santa Claus as Depicted on Obsolete Bank Notes

By Kathy Lawrence
Heritage Auctions
December 22, 2011

Many countries have versions of St. Nicholas. The American version came to us by means of the early Dutch settlers in New York (then known as New Amsterdam). That version of Santa Claus was a much thinner man than what we're accustomed to today. The poem, "The Night Before Christmas," (originally published as "A Visit From St. Nicholas") by Clement Clarke Moore in 1823 forever altered our view of the man and led to an increased popularity of Santa. Moore wrote the Christmas poem for his children, but it was later widely published along with a representation of Santa that was painted by newspaper artist Thomas Nast in 1870 based on Moore's poem.

A number of Northern states designated Christmas as a state holiday in the mid 1800s. Since banks often chose vignettes that would lead customers to have faith in the bank, it is not surprising that Santa Claus vignettes were chosen by some banks to help acquire confidence and goodwill. The banks may have also hoped that customers would set a lower denomination note aside as a keepsake due to the Santa vignette as well. The vignettes found in this collection portray both the thinner Dutch version of Sinterklaas as well as the more Americanized version.

Heritage Currency is pleased to present The Roger H. Durand Santa Claus Notes Collection as part of our FUN Signature Currency Auction being held in Orlando from January 5 thru 8. Given the fact that most of the notes with Santa Claus vignettes are scarce to extremely rare, this is indeed a fabulous and noteworthy collection. Roger's initial purchase that began this collection took place in 1960 at a cost of $17 — several multiples of what most Obsoletes cost at that time. At that time, there was only one reference on the subject — a five page monograph by John A. Muscalus, Ph.D. published in 1959. That work was followed in 1973 by a publication from Larry L. Ruehlen that ignited the interest of collectors.

There were far fewer notes than there was demand for and the notes are generally prized and closely held, so building a collection was quite the challenge. Although that is still the case, the sale of the American Bank Note Company archives in 1990 did add more material to the marketplace along with Part VI of the Ford sale in October 2004, although the Ford sale consisted primarily of material he purchased at the 1990 sale. The continued interest in the Santa Claus vignettes is evidenced by the fact they took the number 23 spot on the list of The 100 Greatest American Currency Notes list, and the recent auction sale of a circulated Santa Claus note for over $40,000, an amazing price indeed for any obsolete banknote.

May your eyes twinkle and your dimples be merry this holiday season.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Malaysia Unveiled New Series of Banknotes

The Bank of Malaysia unveiled a new series of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 Ringitt banknotes.

Commemorative sets of the new notes will be sold at a premium over face value beginning 22 December 2011. Notes for general circulation will be released by mid-2012.

The latest series of Malaysian banknotes draws its inspiration from elements which distinctively define the country's diverse culture, heritage and nature. Themed 'Distinctively Malaysia', the fourth series of Malaysian banknotes features traditional expressions in the art and craft, natural wonders, flora and fauna, economy and tradition.

On the obverse side, all banknote denominations in the new series retain the portrait of the first Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Abdul Rahman ibni Tuanku Muhammad, the national flower Rosa-sinensis hibiscus (known locally as the 'Bunga Raya') and patterns of traditional woven fabric - the 'songket'.

The reverse side of each banknote denomination features different elements of nature, tradition, culture, flora, fauna and the economy that are distinctively Malaysian.

RM1 polymer banknote
Traditional Sport

Kite-flying is a popular traditional sport in Malaysia especially in Kelantan and Terengganu. Kite-flying is also traditionally a celebration of a good harvest which brings together the local communities in these states.

Amongst the best-known and most iconic Malaysian kites is the 'Wau Bulan' or Moon Kite which is featured on the new RM1.

The Wau Bulan, which is hand crafted from bamboo and paper, is also a popular decorative item that adorns the walls of Malaysian homes.

RM5 polymer banknote

Featured on the new RM5 polymer banknote is the Rhinoceros Hornbill (Buceros rhinoceros), one of the largest and most magnificent hornbill species in the world.

Found in low densities throughout various rainforests in the country, this beautiful, broad-winged and long-tailed forest bird plays an important role in the customs and traditional ceremonies in Sarawak which is known as 'Bumi Kenyalang' or 'Land of Hornbills'.

Hornbill is also seen as a symbol of strength and courage by the native communities of Sarawak.

RM10 banknote

Malaysia's lush tropical jungle, which is one of the world's oldest living rainforest, is home to a spectacular variety of flowering plants. Most iconic amongst them is the Rafflesia, the world's largest flower.

The Rafflesia Azlanii species featured on the new RM10 banknote is indigenous to Peninsular Malaysia and was first discovered in the Royal Belum Forest Reserve of the state of Perak in 2003.

To commemorate its discovery, this majestic flower was named after the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Yusuff Izzuddin Shah Ghafarullahu-Lah.

RM20 banknote
Marine Life

As ambassadors of the rich and colourful marine life found in our tropical waters, two of the most well-known species of sea turtles endemic to Malaysian waters are on the new RM20 banknote - the Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) and Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea).

The Hawksbill is easily identified by its curved beak and scaly shell while the Leatherback has a leathery skin and seven ridges on its shell.

These gentle turtles are a reminder that their existence rests in the delicate balance of human activity and marine life conservation.

RM50 banknote
Agriculture and Technology

Oil palm and biotechnology are featured on the RM50 banknote as Malaysia's thriving economy icons. Oil palm has become the country's most valuable agricultural crop as Malaysia is one of the largest producer and exporter of palm oil in the world.

Biotechnology continues to drive this commodity up the value chain, supporting the nation's economic transformation towards higher value-added activities in the agriculture, manufacturing and services sectors of the economy.

Crude palm oil is also used as the underlying commodity to facilitate Islamic financing.

RM100 banknote
Natural Wonders

The magnificent beauty of Malaysia's two prominent natural wonders, declared 'World Heritage Sites' by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) are portrayed on the RM100 banknote.

These are the Kinabalu Park in Sabah, home to the majestic Mount Kinabalu (the highest mountain in Southeast Asia) and the spectacular limestone pinnacle rock formations of Gunung Api valley, found within the Mulu National Park in Sarawak.

Together, they represent the many natural wonders of Malaysia that provides visitors a unique experience.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mauritius New 200, 500 and 1,000 Rupee Banknotes

The Bank of Mauritius has issued new 200, 500 and 1,000 Rupee banknotes. The notes, dated 2010 (issued in 2011) are similar to previous issues but with different colors and new Multi Image Hologram security features.

The Multi Image Hologram appears on the design of the dodo and the face value of the 200 Rupee note, on the deer and the face value of the 500 Rupee note, and on the key and face value of the 1,000 Rupee note.

Scans courtesy of Claudio Marana

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Patra Maharaj Thai Banknotes

Bank of Thailand exhibition "Patra Maharaj Thai Banknotes", organised for the King's 84th birthday until January 13, showcases the Kingdom's history and development of paper currency from 1902 that well depicts the King's hard work for Thai people's happiness.

The exhibition is at the Somdej Residence at the Bang Khun Prom Palace. The Currency Museum is in the adjacent building.

Achara Deboonme
The Nation
December 13, 2011 1:00 am

Thai kings' portraits first appeared on banknotes in 1934 - several decades after paper money was introduced here - and that royal presence continues today.

While the monarch has ever since taken pride of place on the notes, the surrounding patterns and notation is constantly in flux, as is the imagery on the bill's reverse, which usually features architecture, landscapes or scenes of cultural interest. His Majesty's personal projects have been depicted since 1992, illustrating his effort to improve people's wellbeing.

This deep connection between the monarchy and our paper money is evident in the Bank of Thailand exhibition "Patra Maharaj Thai Banknotes", organised for the King's birthday and continuing through January 13.

"The main concept is 'The Sustainable Happiness of Thai People Originated from Behind the Picture'," says Amara Sripayak, the Planning and Budget Office's deputy governor.

"Viewers will appreciate the great mercy of the King, who has worked very hard to build real happiness for Thai people."

The exhibition has four zones.

"From His Heart to the People" includes a large mirror engraved with the same portrait of His Majesty that appeared on banknotes commemorating his 84th birthday. Along the side are passages from his 2008 speech to BOT executives, when he instructed them "to manage the national fund and not spend all of it".

In "The Unique Banknotes of the Ninth Reign" you can view an archive of royal projects as depicted on bills of various denominations, including one that showed in detail how a commemorative banknote was printed.

The third zone, Bank of Thailand Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul points out, offers a wider view of the King's efforts during his 65 years on the throne, from water management and soil conservation to protecting the environment in other ways.

A note issued on June 3, 1987, represented a new initiative to honour the King on his 60th birthday. It's 15.9 centimetres square: The "1" represents the first banknote ever created, the "5" is for the fifth birthday cycle, and the "9" stands for King Rama IX.

Similarly, in 1996, a banknote marking the 50th anniversary of His Majesty's accession to the throne was 9.1cm wide, the "9" for Rama IX and the "1" to signify the first Thai king to have reigned so long.

The Bt1,000 note in the 14th series, issued on June 30, 1992, honoured the King for his benevolence to citizens. It depicts the King and Her Majesty the Queen surveying a reservoir in Narathiwat.

The Bt1,000 note in the current series, the 15th, which came out on September 1, 1999, featured images of the King with a camera around his neck, one of his farming innovations and the Pasak Jolasit Dam.

Other royal projects illustrated on the bills have included a plan for diverting freshwater from Narathiwat's Khlong Sungaipadee and the Pasak Cholasit Dam.

The illustrations are doubly impressive considering the craftsmanship required in modifying photos and artwork for use on counterfeitresistant paper currency. Drawings must now be blended with computer graphics, rather than on printing machine as in the old days.

Artist Prasit Chanitrapirak says each piece takes him nearly four months to complete, but the achievement leaves him quite proud. "It's hard keeping my hand so steady all the time, but I have no intention of making a mistake!"

The prototypes for each series, normally kept in a vault, are on display in Zone 2, while Prasit demonstrates his technique in Zone 4.

Nearby him are specimens of banknotes along with rare pieces, such as notes bearing the "lucky number" 9. You won't often see so many different types of circulated notes with just 9s in the serial number. The Bank of Thailand had commercial banks withdraw these notes for safekeeping.

The fourth zone is a double treat for collectors. Also on view are banknotes bearing the signatures of various finance ministers and Bank of Thailand governors, and if they were in office just a short time, those notes are worth far more than the face value.

Collectors hunt them down, along with the signatures of renowned figures, such as Puey Ungpakorn, one of the most successful BOT governors, who served for 12 years.

My favourite item in the exhibition is a Bt1,000 note issued more than half a century ago. That was a lot of money back then, when a bowl of noodles cost less than Bt10. Thailand had never seen such a high denomination.

The Finance Ministry ordered these notes in 1949 and 500,000 were printed by 1952 - only for authorities to balk at the risk of inflation and have the whole shipment incinerated. Except for this miraculous survivor.

In the end, Bt1,000 notes didn't appear until 1996.

The show further reveals that, despite Thailand having paper currency since 1902 and having gone through 15 series, the Bank of Thailand only established its own printing house in 1969. Before that, all of the printing was done in England, Japan and the US, and then later by the Royal Thai Army's mapprinting unit.

Without the keen enthusiasm of a collector, I was able to tour the exhibition in half an hour, but even in that short period I learned a great deal about the inseparable connection between kings and banknotes.

And I came away with a deeper appreciation for the bit of paper we toss around with so little thought every single day.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lao Issues New 2000 Kip Banknotes on December 1, 2011

The Bank of the Lao PDR issues new 2,000 Kip banknotes on December 1, 2011. The release of the new banknotes marks the 36th anniversary of the founding of the Lao People's Democratic Republic and the birthday of the late President Kaysone Phomvihane.

Front: The late President Kaysone Phomvihane; Xiengthong temple, one of the oldest temples in Luang Prapang

Back: Seset 2 Hydropower Plant