New Zealand $5 note wins IBNS Banknote of the Year Award

IBNS membership nominated notes from a record 20 countries
By , Special to Coin World
Published : 05/07/16
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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 last year. 

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.

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