Friday, February 26, 2016

Money Talks

NEW POUND SIGN, 2015. Paper money mounted on stainless steel


NEW YUAN SIGN, 2015. Paper money mounted on stainless steel


NEW DOLLAR SIGN, 2015. Paper money mounted on stainless steel


Expended view of bills rolled and stacked to form money signs


Money Talks by contemporary Colombian artist, Santiago Montoya, is on exhibit at Halcyon Gallery, London from February 16 to March 13, 2016, This brand new body of work is part of an ongoing exploration into currency, history and socio-political issues. Combining the pop vocabulary of Warhol and a multitude of international banknotes, Montoya uses the world’s leading currencies as his aesthetic arena.

Montoya began working with currency as his medium of choice in 2007 – viewing paper currency as ready-made works of art, Montoya set about cutting, stretching and altering the bills to push the boundaries of art in both a new and unexpected way. Montoya reinterprets paper currency as both a canvas as well as a raw material, exploring the added value beyond its very surface.

The aesthetic aspect of the artwork is created by manipulating multiple international currencies and their patterns to create an original visual language. Having only previously worked with the dollar motif, an iconic symbol of capitalist desire, Montoya now introduces currencies such as the pound, yuan, rupee and euro. The use of these bank notes alongside cliché titles add an element of humour to Montoya’s works, ensuring the often complex subject matter is more accessible and encouraging lively conversation and debate.

By transforming the currency in a defamiliarising way, Montoya explores the multifaceted and multi-layered economic system. With the infinite repetition of the bills, a sense of both wonder and anguish arises which also reflects the emotions relating to the frailty and limited understanding of the financial system. Montoya expands upon monetary ethics and in doing so, highlights capitalism’s global force.

Montoya’s use of money as an artistic medium, also opens a dialogue on the void between state propaganda and reality itself. A plethora of national ideas and socio-political ideologies are embedded in banknotes through their design and iconography and by bringing these scenes to the forefront, Montoya raises questions about systems of value and how they shape individuals and nations.

Courtesy Halcyon Gallery

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Lesotho to introduce new 200 Maloti banknotes in April 2016

The Central Bank of Lesotho will introduce a new 200 Maloti banknote in April as part of the current family of banknotes featuring the portraits of the three generations of the Basotho kings which was first launched in 2010. The new banknote is recognizable by, among other things, enhanced security features that will render it very difficult for counterfeiters to replicate.

“The old M200 banknote featuring the portrait of the founding father of the nation, King Moshoeshoe I alone, shall continue to be legal tender alongside the new one until its stocks are completely depleted.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Mirror, mirror on the wall, which is the best banknote of the world?

The International Bank Note Society (IBNS) Banknote of the Year award is an initiative of the IBNS to recognize an exceptional banknote issued each year.

IBNS members nominate and vote on the best banknote issued during the previous year based on artistic merit, design, use of color, contrast, balance and innovative security features. The winner will be announced in April.

There are 20 nominees for the 2015 bank Note of the Year. Banknote of 2015 Nominations.

I've narrowed down to my top three:

China 100 Yuan

Russia 100 Rubles

Lebanon 50,000 Livres

Friday, February 19, 2016

Social media rumors of new Indonesia 200,000 Rupiah note a hoax

Images of Indonesia 200,000 Rupiah notes went viral recently on social media.

The note features a couple of polo riders on the front. This seems rather odd since traditionally rupiah notes usually feature at least one historical figure on the front.

It turns out that the viral image was indeed just a hoax, as clarified by Bank Indonesia, the country’s central bank.

The lone-wolf counterfeiter: Czeslaw Bojarski

One of the most successful counterfeiters of the 20th century was Czeslaw Bojarski and he preferred to work alone.

We have many prefabricated images in our heads of counterfeit operations; massive mafia printing operations in some dingy cellar in the city, massive rogue government operations, or even an evil corporation. These images, generated mainly by Hollywood, make for some great entertainment but are usually far from the truth in depicting successful counterfeiting operations.

One of the most successful and famous counterfeiters of the 20th century was Czeslaw Bojarski. Not in association with any organized crime, Bojarski successfully printed hundreds of millions in French currency for over 14 years in the 1950s-60s. The reason for his success? Yes, his notes were impeccable, but the fact that he ran the operation from the basement of his home, alone, in the suburbs of Paris was the key to his success. For fear of detection he made everything on his own, the paper, the plates, printing presses and the ink. Bojarski, being incredibly gifted, created notes that were of higher quality than those produced by the Banque de France.

Bojarski’s most famous counterfeit note was the 100 Nouveaux Francs Bonaparte.

Left: Genuine Right: Bojarski's Counterfeit

Bojarski handcrafted this note like the finest French cheese and wine, nearly impossible to differentiate from the legitimate bank issue. The only difference between the two was probably intentional on Bojarski’s behalf; a slight alteration of a flower petal in the upper corner. That’s it. Almost impossible to see with the naked eye, and unless one was searching for it, this difference was totally invisible.

No counterfeiting operation to date has been able produce the same quality counterfeits that Bojarski had. He acted alone, that’s why he was able to avoid being detected. I do not doubt that the French police and the Banque de France were disappointed when they opened up his basement and found a rather low-key and low-budget operation. I’m sure that they were expecting to uncover a high-powered crime ring.

His downfall? Czeslaw decided that he needed two more people to sell counterfeit tickets as he produced them, as he could not do both at once. Shortly after he enlisted their services they turned him in to the authorities. He was arrested and sentenced to 20 years and served 13. Upon his arrest Bojarski was plastered all over the French media; and strangely enough the French people took a special pride in him as an artist.

Today Bojarski is still viewed as the ultimate resource for counterfeit special investigators around the world. His counterfeits are worth considerably more to collectors than the bank issued notes and they make a beautiful conversation piece in any collection.

Courtesy Ethan Bickford, PMG Researcher

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Confederate Currency: The Color of Money

Following the money led South Carolina artist John W. Jones, a descendant of slaves, to see art where he least expected it — the currency of the Old South.

By transferring these monetary vignettes onto canvas, Mr. Jones aims to show how human bondage fueled the economy of the Confederacy and to discredit the idea that the Civil War was fought over states' rights alone.

Mr. Jones will present “The Color of Money” this Saturday at 4 pm at the Angell College Center Ballroom at SUNY Plattsburgh.

The following are some of the paintings from his “Color of Money” collection.

Alabama Slaves

Female Slave and Overseer

House Slave and Field Slaves

Slaves Loading Sugarcane

Slave at the Farm

Slaves in the Cotton Field II

Slaves Taking a Lunch Break

Slaves Hauling Cotton

Enslaved Family Picking Cotton

Slaves Weeding Cotton

You can view more of John W. Jones Color of Money collection at Gallery Chuma

"Where's Scotland?" a store cashier in England asked when presented with Scottish banknotes

A Scot who regularly travels to England was paying for a purchase in a TK Maxx shop in Milton Keynes with a Scottish note.

But he almost didn't get his shopping, as the cashier told him she had "never seen foreign money before".

She then asked him: "Where’s Scotland?”

Apparently some people in England never learned geography in school.

So are Scottish notes Legal tender?

Technically Scottish notes and notes from Northern Irish Banks are not legal tender in the UK. But since they must be accepted by banks, the notes are accepted at the discretion of recipients in England and Wales.

Bank Of Ghana Denies Issuing Gh¢100 and Gh¢200


Ghana’s central bank denies issuing new notes.

This followed reports on social media suggesting that the Bank of Ghana (BoG) had commenced issuing the new denominations.

“The Bank of Ghana has not issued and has no plans of issuing any new denominations of the Ghana Cedi and categorically states that the stories circulating on social media to the effect that the bank is issuing denominations of GH¢100.00 and GH¢200.00 are false,” said a release from the bank. This is the second time in less than a year that the bank is reacting to such claims. Pictures of the new denominations purported to have been issued by the BoG surfaced on social media last year.

The Central Bank noted that it always precedes issuance of new denominations with intensive sensitization and public education, adding that the only notes in circulation and are legal tender remain: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cedi notes.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Poland releases a new 200 zlotych note


Poland releases into circulation today a new 200 Złotych note. The note, dated 30 March 2015, is similar to previous issues, but with slight redesign and improved anti-counterfeiting features.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

New Australia $5 Note to Arrive in September

The Reserve Bank of Australia will feature the native wattle as the new design of the five dollar note. It will be introduced on September 1, 2016, the National Wattle Day.

This is the first of the nation’s next generation of banknotes. The new AUD$5 will have new security features. Different species of Australian wattle will also be portrayed on each denomination.

The banknotes, however, will have the same color, size, and people currently featured on each denomination. The new series will also include a "tactile" feature to help the vision-impaired community distinguish between different denominations of banknotes.

The verdict is in: Mary Somerville to be on the new Royal Bank of Scotland £10 polymer note

A pioneering female scientist whose work in the field of astronomy led to the discovery of Neptune is to become the first woman other than the Queen to appear on a Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) banknote, after winning a public poll which was almost derailed amid claims of vote rigging.

The competition, which was organised through the RBS Facebook page and invited users to “like” the image of their preferred historical figure, looked set to be won by Somerville as the week-long ballot drew to a close on Sunday. But a sudden surge in votes for Thomas Telford, the civil engineer dubbed “the Colossus of roads” for his remarkable contribution to British infrastructure, saw him start to mount a challenge.

In the space of a few hours, Telford had overtaken both Somerville and James Clerk Maxwell, the celebrated physicist who was the other shortlisted contender, to apparently claim victory. Facebook users immediately spotted the strange voting pattern and cried foul, forcing RBS to delay the announcement of the winner while it investigated whether the last minute likes were genuine.

The bank found that only 700 of the more than 5,000 votes cast for Telford were made by UK Facebook users, with most coming from accounts registered in places such as Vietnam, India and Iraq. Many of the profiles also appeared to be lacking in normal social media activity, suggesting they may have been controlled by a “likebot”, automated software which can take control of bogus profiles and instruct them to like certain things.

“We don’t know the cause of it, but looking at a variety of factors it seems highly like that there was something happening that was not legitimate,” said an RBS source. Precisely why anyone would want to ensure that Telford’s face appeared on the new banknote is likely to remain a mystery.

“I was overwhelmed by the response to this initiative and would like to thank all those who took the time to vote. Having the opportunity to choose the face of our new £10 notes obviously meant a great deal to a great number of people,” a relieved Malcolm Buchanan, chair of the bank’s Scottish board, said.

“Any of our final nominees would have been worthy winners and we wanted to make sure that our choice properly reflected the wishes of those who took part. Mary Somerville’s immense contribution to science and her determination to succeed against all the odds clearly resonate as much today as they did during her lifetime.”

Dr Alice Prochaska, the principal of the University of Oxford’s Somerville College which was named after the female scientist, previously said she deserved to win. Describing her as “one of the greatest science writers of the 19th century”, she argued that Somerville was a “fantastic role model” for young female scientists.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

World's high denomination banknotes


Left: Switzerland 1,000 Francs   Right: Bank of England 50 Pounds



Left: United States 100 Dollars   Right: European Monetary Authority 500 Euro



Left: Japan 10000 Yen   Right: Australia 100 Dollars



Left: Canada 1000 Dollars   Right: Singapore 10000 Dollars



Left: Russia 5000 Rubles   Right: Bank of Scotland 100 Pounds



Left: China 100 Yuan   Right: India 1000 Rupees



Left: Saudi Arabia 500 Riyals   Right: Sweden 1000 Kronor/p>

Noway and Denmark also have 1000 Kroner notes