Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Never Issued Canada $10 and $20 Banknotes by Giori

In 1963, the Bank of Canada was considering the issue of a new series of bank notes to counteract the expanded counterfeiting of notes from the 1954 series. Several security printing firms were invited to submit designs. Giori, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, submitted both a $10 and a $20 model depicting Queen Elizabeth on the face and a landscape scene on the back. Although both models were rejected by the Bank of Canada, their design marked a significant departure from the more traditional look of the 1954 series. New graphic elements and security features were proposed to reduce counterfeiting.

Bank of Canada, $10 face and back model from Giori (1964)
Bank of Canada, $20 face and back model from Giori (1964)

Friday, September 28, 2012

The £50 note that's worth £820

By Simon Ward

A £50 note that sold for £820 was among the highlights of a Bank of England banknote auction that raised more than £50,000 for charity.

The reason for the high price tag for a seemingly ordinary banknote? It had the serial number AA01 000888. Early serial numbers are highly prized among notaphilists (paper money collectors). And the number eight is considered lucky in much of Asia, which is where many collectors live.

The £50 note was one of the recent 2011 designs featuring entrepreneur Matthew Bolton and engineer James Watt. It was also the first to feature the signature of new Bank of England Chief Cashier Chris Salmon.

Another £50 note with the serial number AA01 000013 sold for £700, while AA01 000018 went for £660.

Two uncut sheets of 35 £50 notes (pictured left) sold for £5,500 and £3,900 respectively. The value of the notes on the sheets was £1,750. The Bank of England deliberately holds back other notes with low serial numbers for sales such as this one.

The first issues of all banknotes ending with 01 are presented to the Queen, with 02 going to the Duke of Edinburgh and 03 to the Prime Minister. The proceeds from the auction will be split between UK charities the British Association for Adoption & Fostering and the Kids Company.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

More counterfeit banknotes in Guanacaste

Inside Costa Rica

GUANACASTE – September 27th, 2012 – The Fuerza Publica seized approximately 727,000 in “new” fake banknotes this past weekend, all of which were found in the province of Guanacaste.

The first to be found was a bill very similar to the new 50,000 colones banknote that a merchant in Bagaces received on Friday.

On Saturday, thanks to tipsters who assisted the police, the authorities were able to recover 727,000 colones worth of counterfeit banknotes in 20 thousand, 10 thousand, 5 thousand and 2 thousand denominations. All of the bills were modeled after the new style of banknotes that hit the streets just a few weeks ago.

The police were also able to arrest two subjects by the last names Carrera Fonseca and Perez Arrieta, At the time of their arrest in Tamarindo, the men were carrying the counterfeit money in their underwear, according to the Regional director of the Fuerza Publica in Guanacaste, Rafael Angel Araya.

According to information from Araya, counterfeit bills began circulating in the area some six months ago.

Banknotes Reflect Glory of Nation State

Posted by Ian Black
Thursday 27 September 2012 11.44 EDT

Rare auction of Arab world currencies provides rich pictorial display of region's turbulent modern history.

King Hussein of Jordan looks out, in youthful profile, on one side, with Jerusalem's Dome of the Rock on the other. Saudi Arabia's founder, King Abdel-Aziz Ibn Saud, glowers against a background of the grand mosque at Mecca. Old British protectorates in the Gulf mark advertise their independence with timeless images of dhows and palm trees - and the oil derricks that gave them enormous wealth. Palestine's transformation into Israel is marked out in paper money.

Banknotes – sometimes dubbed the "calling cards of nation" - reflect changing political and economic fortunes across a century and a half of Middle Eastern history, the collapse of empires, war, revolution and unrest. Hundreds of them that make up the collection of George Kanaan, a Lebanese banker, are being auctioned in London next week in the biggest sale of its kind to take place in Britain. It is worth an estimated £500.000.

Money famously has no smell, yet hard currency showcases the public face of power and prestige and captures dramatic stories: items under the hammer include banknotes from the final decades of the declining Ottoman empire, their elaborate Arabic script replaced within a few years by the newly-Europeanised Turkish alphabet of the nationalist moderniser Kemal Ataturk.

Paper currency from independent Iraq traces the evolution of the Hashemite monarchy installed by the British in the 1920s until its overthrow in 1958 – when King Faisal II was murdered. Later in the republican era there appear the first pictures of Saddam Hussein, first in uniform and then in a dark suit. Since his overthrow in the wake of the 2003 US-led invasion, Iraqi banknotes have reflected enduring themes from the country's history – minarets, Assyrian carvings and fortresses. For the first time the Kurdish language is to be incorporated into new notes being issued next year.

The 30 years of British rule in Palestine are represented by banknotes issued in English, Arabic and Hebrew as Jewish immigration gradually changed the balance of power. Israel issued its own notes after its war of independence and the Palestinian "nakbah" in 1948 – with themes ranging from pioneering to science and Galilean landscapes as well as a grandmotherly-looking Golda Meir.

Offerings from the Gulf reflect the dizzying pace of change in the 20th century. Kings and mosques dominate Saudi notes. Emirati designs feature coffee pots sparrowhawks and falcons – reminders of desert traditions. And who could have predicted that the currency issued by the Qatar monetary authority would help build one of the world's richest countries? Yemen's divisions are represented in banknotes from north and south, now united into one poor and unstable country.

Kanaan's collection is not comprehensive: Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt are significant gaps – as are the countries of the Maghreb.

Recent events there are a reminder of the role banknotes can play at times of change. Last year £1bn worth of Libyan currency that had been printed in Britain was confiscated in line with a UN freeze on state assets. It was later handed to the rebels who overthrew Muammar Gaddafi. Since then dinar notes with Gaddafi's flamboyant picture on them have been withdrawn by the central bank in Tripoli.

Neighbouring Tunisia, which experienced the first of the revolutions of the Arab spring, has destroyed banknotes with any images linked to the overthrown President Zein el-Abidine Ben Ali. Egypt seems likely to reflect the end of Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule in the design of its future currency.

De la Rue, the British security printer, reportedly hailed the Arab uprisings as a source of possible new business – of the kind it found in eastern Europe after the collapse of communism. It provided the currency for the new state of South Sudan but refuses to say who, if any, its new Middle Eastern customers are.

Syria has experienced problems with its banknotes because the Austrian firm which used to print them stopped when EU sanctions were imposed over the Assad regime's violent crackdown on protests. Russia is said to have taken over, though the central bank in Damascus denied this, insisting that it was business as usual. All will doubtless be clarified in future catalogues and auctions.

Old Prince Edward Island Bank Notes

CBC News Posted: Sep 27, 2012 1:49 PM AT

A New Brunswick man is looking to cash in on some old currency from Prince Edward Island.

Geoff Bell is from Shediac, N.B. and has taken some very old P.E.I. bank notes to the Toronto Coin Expo. Bell has four rare bank notes that are expected to fetch a big price at a Toronto auction this weekend. The bills were issued by the Summerside Bank in the 1800's.

Bell's collection includes a pair of one of a kind bank notes, including a $4 bill from 1866.

"They're very difficult to find," said Bell. "Any Summerside notes are difficult to find, but to find two unique ones and then two of such great condition, well it's unheard of really."

Bell says the starting bid for the rare $4 bank note is $25,000.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Potential New Australian Banknotes

The Australian
September 27, 2012 12:00AM

The Reserve Bank has been working on a top-secret project for five years to issue a new series of polymer bank notes for Australia at a cost so far of $9.3 million.

The Australian can reveal that the project, dubbed Next Generation Bank Note, has been mired in power struggles within the bank relating to cost overruns and delays that have left the currency upgrade more than two years behind schedule.

The project began with ambitions of breathing new life into the currency after Reserve Bank research had shown that the majority of Australians could not name the faces on the national currency. The Australian has obtained a full set of concept ...

The design brief for the Reserve Bank’s new generation $5 bank note did not initially include the Queen. Instead Father of Federation Sir Henry Parkes was to be the star.
Australia’s first female political candidate Catherine Helen Spence featured on a special commemorative $5 note back in 2001 and was set to return with a new portrait in Gerry Emery’s NGB design.
RBA research shows most Australians cannot name the faces on our money. The lyrics to Waltzing Matilda help identify AB 'Banjo' Paterson instantly.
Poets and writers feature heavily on Australian bank notes. The typewritten verse of poet and journalist Dame Mary Gilmore brings a haunting sense of authenticity to Garry Emery's NGB design for the tenner.
Englishwoman Mary Reibey was transported to Australia as a convict but went on to become a successful businesswoman in Sydney. The RBA removed biography captions early on in the NGB project to avoid lecturing the public.
The NGB design brief called for the expression of 'Australian characteristics'. The Reverend John Flynn, who founded what became the Royal Flying Doctor Service, is rendered before a dramatic outback scene.
Allan 'Chirpy' Campbell the great-nephew of Aboriginal inventor and author David Unaipon has vowed to sue the Reserve Bank for $30 million over the 'unauthorised' use of Unaipon in the present $50 note. But he loves this new image.
The new portrait of teacher Edith Cowan with outback kids captured a youthful spirit the design brief called for before the Reserve Bank returned to safer territory in later versions.
Legendary diva Dame Nellie Melba was set for a spectacular return to her heyday in the new portrait commissioned but we're staying with the older stodgy image of today's $100 note.
Sir John Monash, Australia's greatest general, knocked polar explorer Douglas Mawson off the $100 when our biggest note changed from paper to plastic in 1996.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Civil War and the National Banking System – The Birth of National Bank Notes

By Kevin Foley on September 21, 2012 5:36 PM

On the eve of the Civil War in 1861, the financial and banking system in the United States bore little resemblance to current institutions and practices. There was no central bank. The Federal Reserve System had yet to come into existence. Banking was largely a state regulated function. Money consisted of a myriad of private bank issues of paper money, as well as merchant scrip and, at the core of the monetary system, coins issued by the federal government whose value in commerce was predicated on and closely related to its inherent metallic value.

Unlike today, when the Federal Reserve System can increase or decrease the money supply in response to perceived economic needs through such mechanisms as changes to mandatory bank reserve requirements or changes in interest rate policies, there was little to no central management or intervention possible through techniques that while today subject to vigorous political debate, are nonetheless largely accepted practice in our political and economic system.

Wars are expensive. The take money to wage successfully and require a marshaling of resources to defend the political system under armed attack. Weapons and munitions need to be purchased in large quantities. Naval forces need to be augmented. Such seemingly mundane actions as clothing and feeding large numbers of men enlisted for the defense effort need to be attended to. All these activities and functions take a considerable amount of money.

The monetary system in effect on the eve of the Civil War simply failed to provide the necessary elasticity in the money supply to accommodate these needs.

Indeed, with the system of banks chartered and/or supervised by state banking departments that applied immediately prior to the Civil War, one couldn’t even be certain that the privately issued bank notes in circulation would or even could be redeemed by the issuing institution as promised on its printed obligations.

One of the responses of the federal government to the financing needs of the Civil War was to undertake a radical transformation of the banking and money issuing system that had applied prior to the outbreak of the war. While the Confederacy resorted largely to printing paper currency that amounted to little more than fiat money to finance its operations – with the result being substantial price inflation in the states in rebellion during the war, the Union undertook a more measured approach.

On February 25, 1863, President Lincoln signed what was known as the National Currency Act. Under its provisions a system was established under which the federal government issued charters – essentially a grant of authority to operate under the newly established national bank system — to banks that agreed to meet certain capital and other regulatory requirements. But just how does this relate to the needs of the government to finance its war operations? One of the central features of the National Currency Act was a provision under which federally charted banks participating in the system were able to purchase federal government bonds – as actually any individual or institution could – but the federally chartered banks could then issue their own money, what we call National Bank Notes, that constituted obligations of the federal government and would be redeemed by the government itself in the event of a bank failure. The security for this pledge was the value of the federal bonds purchased by the issuing bank, which was authorized to print National Bank Notes up to 90% of the value of the federal securities left on deposit with the government as security to back the bank issues.

While the right to issue such notes was discretionary with the bank, rather than mandatory, a federal charter was quite literally a license to create wealth and money from nothing. At the same time, the issuing privilege had the effect of creating new money that hadn’t existed before, i.e. it made possible an increase in the money supply to finance war needs. Moreover, it prevented a contraction of local money supplies that might have resulted from capital flowing to Washington to finance the war and being removed from availability for the needs of local area commerce and in addition enabled bankers to collect interest on the same money twice, providing a considerable incentive to actually issue National Bank Notes.

The system was quite simple. A federally chartered bank would purchase federal government bonds and leave them on deposit with the Treasury Department. This resulted in a temporary decrease in local area capital in the area of the bank and an increase in capital available for the federal government. Money that had yesterday been available to finance commercial needs in Omaha or Schenectady was now in Washington, D.C. The chartered bank, however, now collecting interest on the money it had sent to Washington, could immediately issue National Bank Notes up to 90% of the value of the bonds it had purchased and left on deposit, loan the money represented by those notes out in its local community and begin collecting interest on those loans. Where before the bank had $100,000 to loan out, it now had $190,000, the original value of the bonds it had purchased, plus the $90,000 in new money it was able to create virtually out of thin air, now collecting interest on its original money as well as its newly issued National Bank Notes.

As an adjunct to this system was a tax was placed on the banknote issues by other institutions outside the system, effectively operating as a death blow to the continuation of such issues. While they were not actually prohibited, there no longer remained any economic sense in a bank issuing paper currency that it would then be required to pay a tax or fee to issue that did not apply to the issuance of National Bank Notes.

The federal government reaped a considerable benefit from this newly formed system insofar as it created a virtually guaranteed customer base to purchase the bonds it needed to sell in order to finance its war operations. Likewise, the chartered banks benefitted because they could collect interest twice on the same money. In the process, the money supply was almost doubled.

Under the system originally established by the 1863 Act, 14,348 charter numbers were issued to qualifying banks. Although the system was statutorily modified from time to time, the essential element, i.e. a money issuing privilege granted to participating institutions related to the value of their underlying purchases of federal debt obligations remained largely unchanged. One significant modification was the Aldrich-Vreeland Act of May 30, 1908, which permitted banks to issue on the basis of other securities left on deposit in addition to federal government debt obligations. This modification was occasioned by needs to increase the money supply in response to the economic contraction attendant on the Panic of 1907. The “other securities” privilege expired in 1915.

In excess of 12,000 individual banks took advantage of the issuing privilege prior to the end of the National Bank Note era on August 1, 1935, when the last bonds authorized to support the issue of what are called “Nationals” by collectors, were called for redemption.

As with any collectable, some Nationals are quite abundant and worth little more than face value, while other issuer’s notes are extremely rare and when available command prices well into the five figure range. Largely collected on the basis on issuing institution, with condition a secondary consideration, Nationals also enjoy a base of those who acquire on the basis of major design type, with condition for such buyers typically being a more important factor in their acquisition decisions.

Having introduced you to the general field and why “Nationals” exist at all, our next feature will focus on the notes themselves and especially discuss the major design types.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Why is money green?

By Brian Griffin

Paper money has been used in the United States since the American Civil War. Unfortunately, during that time nobody took very good notes on why some of the choices about how money looks were made.

Green is a very common color for money. While we are unsure why it was picked originally, we do know why it was kept. Dollar bills used to be much larger, but in 1929 bills were made smaller, the size they are now. At that time, someone did take good notes!

The green ink was kept because it was easily available in large amounts, so lots of money could be printed. The ink itself was strong. It doesn’t rub off easily, which makes it a good choice because people are always touching it!

The ink that makes green ink is actually made of several different color inks. The special combination is kept secret, so that people can’t counterfeit the bills. Counterfeiting means making fake money, which is a serious crime. It’s not fair for some people to have to work for their money, if others just make fake copies.

The biggest reason dollar bills are still green is tradition. Money has been green for so long, it’s hard to imagine major changes to it. The nickname for the U.S. dollar is actually “greenback” because of the green ink used to print them.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Turkmenistan 2012 Banknote Series

The Central Bank of Turkmenistan has issued revised 1, 5, 10 and 20 manat banknotes. The notes are similar to the 2009 series except with new signatures, new security stripe and dated 2012.

Friday, September 7, 2012

South Africa Unveils New Mandela Banknotes

South Africa's central bank on Wednesday unveiled a new series of bank notes featuring the face of anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela which should be in use by year-end.

The five notes will show a smiling Mandela on the front and South Africa's big five animals -- lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant -- on the back set amid Bushmen paintings and locally used traditional patterns.

"We are pleased to issue this new series of banknotes which reflects South Africa's pride as a nation and pays tribute to a much-loved world icon," said Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus.

The notes are the latest monument to the 94-year-old Nobel Peace Prize-winner, known as one of the world's greatest statesmen after becoming president after 27 years in an apartheid jail.

Not seen in public since July 2010, he is living out his retirement in his childhood rural village of Qunu.

"We are very thankful for the recognition of Tata [Mandela] in this manner," said his former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who attended the launch, the Sapa news agency reported.

"We think it is the best birthday present he ever received on his 94th birthday." The announcement of the new notes in February -- on the 22nd anniversary of Mandela's prison release -- was billed as an "announcement of national importance" with the secrecy sending the rand and stock markets on a downward spike.