Football (soccer, to Americans) and 2018 Winter Olympics themes of notes

Russia and South Korea to celebrate sporting events on commemorative issues
By , Special to Coin World
Published : 01/09/17
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The commemoration of modern sporting events on money began with coins for the Helsinki Olympics in 1952. With the rise in gold and silver prices, sales are not what they once were, and commemorative paper money has been slowly assuming its own role. Two more countries recently announced bank notes that will be made as a tribute to future sporting events.

In Russia, Goznak, the state entity responsible for coins, paper money and security printing, issued a press release on Christmas Day saying that six design options have been prepared for a 100-ruble note dedicated to soccer’s World Cup in 2018. This will be the third piece of commemorative paper money in Russia’s history. The first was for the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014 and the second was for the illegal takeover of Crimea in 2015.

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A spokesman said that the new note will possibly be made of a material other than paper, either plastic or a composite. The design will show the “history of football and will emphasize the involvement of the whole country in the World Cup.” 

Printing will commence in the middle of 2017 so the note will be available before the event in June. A printing of 20 million notes is being considered.

Three days earlier, South Korea revealed the prototype of a 2,000-won note for the February 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. The note has met with far from enthusiastic reviews. Among the opinions expressed in The Korea Times were: “childish, substandard, poor and embarrassing, and a high school contest winner.” One critic said is looks North Korean, while another felt that “releasing such a poorly made banknote would send Korea’s national image to the bottom.”

The face of the prototype note is dominated by a pair of speed skaters with five other events in the background and is supposed to reflect the spirit of the Olympics. On the reverse side is a tiger, South Korea’s symbolic animal.

The note will be released in the fourth quarter of 2017.

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