And the IBNS 2016 Banknote of the Year Award goes to ...

International Bank Note Society names the winner of its annual contest
By , Special to Coin World
Published : 05/08/17
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Switzerland’s 50-franc note wins the 2016 “Bank Note of the Year Award” as voted by the membership of the International Bank Note Society. Runners-up in tight voting were the Maldive Islands 1,000-rufiyaa note depicting a tortoise and whale shark, Argentina’s 500-peso note featuring a jaguar, and the Royal Bank of Scotland’s polymer £5 note. 


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Almost 120 new bank notes were released worldwide during 2016, and over half were of sufficiently new design to be eligible for nomination. The 19 finalists represented four continents (Europe, Australia, South America and Asia), and included notes from two Middle East countries and four island nations. 

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The Switzerland 50-franc note is the country’s first new design in 20 years. Printed by Orell Fussli Security Printing Ltd., it is the first in the Swiss National Bank’s new (ninth) bank note series and focuses on wind and national experiences. Its substrate is a three-layer composition called Durasafe, consisting of two layers of cotton paper sandwiching a polymer core, and it incorporates a litany of 15 of the latest technological security standards. The bright green vertical note is slightly smaller in size than U.S. paper money and depicts dandelion seeds, a paraglider aloft in the mountains, and a playful human hand. Future denominations in the series will feature the themes of time, light, water, matter, and language. The 50-franc note is the third polymer note in a row to win the award. 

The IBNS has more than 2,000 members worldwide. Its objectives are to promote, stimulate and advance the study, collection and dissemination of information related to paper money. Past “Bank Note of the Year” winners include New Zealand (2015), Trinidad & Tobago (2014), Kazakhstan (2013, 2012, 2011), Uganda (2010), Bermuda (2009), Samoa (2008), Scotland (2007), Comoros (2006), Faeroe Islands (2005) and Canada (2004).

Images of the winner and other nominated notes are on the IBNS website. The IBNS is open to membership from interested persons in any country. Details concerning all IBNS activities are available here.

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