Paper Money

Bank of China notes will celebrate Olympics

The People’s Bank of China issuing a two-piece set of commemorative bank notes celebrating the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing.

Images courtesy of the People’s Bank of China.

Three separate Bank of China entities will mark the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing (Feb. 4 to 20) with four commemorative bank notes. They will be issued by the main bank and its branches in Hong Kong and Macau.

The People’s Bank of China, Xinhua, reported on Dec. 5 that it will issue a set of two notes on Dec. 21. The set will feature both a polymer note and a paper one, each with a denomination of 20 yuan (about $3.14).

The face of both will display the official emblem of the 24th Winter Olympics.

In addition, the face of the polymer version will feature a pair of figure skaters and the structure known as the “Ice Cube” on the back. In 2008 the same building hosted aquatic events for the 2008 Summer Olympics and was then known as the “Water Cube.”

The paper note for the Games features a freestyle skier on the face and the National Ski Jumping Center in Zhangjiakou city, locally known as the “Snow Ruyi,” on the back.

The statement said that a total of 200 million sets of commemorative bank notes will be issued.

The Bank of China Hong Kong branch says that the proceeds from the sale of its $20 note (worth the equivalent of $2.57 U.S.) will be used for local community projects and charitable causes after deducting all relevant costs. The branch claims that this will demonstrate its commitment to fulfill its corporate social responsibilities.

Its theme is based on a line in a classic Chinese poem, “From Far Away You Share This Moment With Me.” This is supposed to reflect “fondness” for both the Games and the motherland.

The face has the emblem of the Games and the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong with snowflakes symbolic of the event.

The back is vertically oriented and illustrates the Great Wall of China set against a silhouette of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbor under the moonlight. A skier and skater are traversing the tracks and ski runs between the two landmarks. 

In total, 2 million Hong Kong notes have already been issued at prices much higher than face value. They are packed as single notes (1,570,000 sets), four-note uncut sheets (20,000 sets) and 35-note uncut sheets (10,000 sets), with a total of 1.6 million sets available. The bank advises that these are not meant to circulate and they will be redeemed for only their face value.

The Banco da China, as the branch in Macau is known, will issue a new 20-patacas note ($2.49 U.S.) on Jan. 10. The horizontal face will also feature the games emblem, but with the Banco da China Macau Branch Building, and a stylized snowflake.

The vertical back shows short track speed skaters and the newly built National Speed Skating Oval against a backdrop of part of a short track speed skating runway and the Ruins of St. Paul’s, the remains of a 17th-century Portuguese church in Macau. Macao residents could register from Dec. 1 to 23 to exchange two notes.

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