Paper Money

Hungary to issue upgraded 500-forint note in 2019

The National Bank of Hungary (Magyar Nemzeti Bank) announced that an upgraded 500-forint bank note became legal tender on July 4, although it will not be publicly available until Feb. 1, 2019.

The gap, according to the bank, is to allow affected private and public parties time to “make the existing banknote accepting and processing machines and ATMs able to handle the new note.”

The 154- by 70-millimeter (6 inches by 2.76 inches) note resembles its predecessor in outward appearance with a portrait of King Ferenc Rákóczi II on the face and the castle in Sárospatak that was at one time owned by the Rákóczi family on the back.

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Setting the new note apart are its additional and improved security features. Holographic foil, iridescent printing, a moving hidden image, and a tactile feature are added for the first time.

The note is fully Hungarian. It is printed by the Hungarian Banknote Printing Co., wholly owned by the Magyar Nemzeti Bank, on cotton security paper manufactured by the Diósgyor Papermill, a subsidiary of the printing company. 

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The new note is worth approximately $1.81 in U.S. funds and will circulate alongside the one that was first issued in 1998 and upgraded in 2007, until Oct. 31, 2019. After that, the old ones will be withdrawn from circulation, but will be able to be exchanged for another 20 years.

The new 500-forint note joins the previously issued 1,000-, 2,000-, 5,000-, 10,000-, and 20,000-forint bank notes, and completes the upgraded series begun in 2014.

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