New Zealand’s new Edmund Hillary polymer $5 note is the winner of the
International Bank Note Society’s 2015 Banknote of the Year Award. The
note was selected in a vote by the membership of the IBNS where it
prevailed over competitors selected from among nearly 150 new releases
The IBNS membership nominated notes from a record 20 countries.
Candidates were from four continents (Europe, Asia, South America, and
Africa), four Middle East countries, and four island nations. In what
the society called a close contest, the runners up were Sweden’s
20-krona note depicting children’s author Astrid Lindgren, Russia’s
100-ruble note commemorating the Russian putsch, Kazakhstan’s
20,000-tenge note and Clydesdale Bank of Scotland’s £5 polymer note.
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The winner was one of the most popular bank notes issued in 2015, in
part because its face features the legendary New Zealand mountain
climber Sir Edmund Hillary, who along with his Sherpa guide Tenzing
Norgay, became one of the first two men to conquer Mount Everest. Also
prominent on the note is South Island’s Mount Cook (Aoraki). A color
changing yellow-eyed or hoiho penguin, a rare species native to New
Zealand, is the third image in the face design. A different image of
the penguin dominates the note’s back. The polymer window contains a
map of New Zealand, the outline of a penguin, and the numeral 5.
The note was printed by Canadian Bank Note Co. in Ottawa.
This is the first time a winner hails from New Zealand. Past winners
include Trinidad & Tobago (2014), Kazakhstan (2013, 2012, 2011),
Uganda (2010), Bermuda (2009), Samoa (2008), Scotland (2007), Comoros
(2006), Faeroe Islands (2005) and Canada (2004).
Nominations are already being submitted for the 2016 award. Already
nominated are Maldives’ 1,000-rufiyaa, Switzerland’s 50-franc, the
Royal Bank of Scotland’s £5 and New Zealand’s $50 notes.