Paper Money

Aruba 100-florin note named Banknote of the Year for 2019

Aruba’s new 100-florin note was named Banknote of the Year for 2019 by the voting membership of the International Bank Note Society.

Original images courtesy of Central Bank of Aruba.

Aruba’s new 100-florin note was named Banknote of the Year for 2019 by the voting membership of the International Bank Note Society. The winner bested 21 other contenders selected from among the over 100 new notes issued last year. The finalists were the only ones considered new enough in design to be considered for the award.

The IBNS said that Aruba’s entry led almost from the start of balloting. While every nominee received at least some votes, immediately behind Aruba were the Eastern Caribbean States $10 bank note with multiple motifs, the Ulster Bank of Northern Ireland’s £5 note showing flying geese with people on the shoreline, and Switzerland’s 1,000-franc bank note with human hands in the main design. Norway’s 1,000-kroner note with a cascading wave design was in fifth place.

The IBNS competition began in 2004, but this was Aruba’s first entry.

Canada’s $10 bank note won for 2018, breaking a two-year run by Switzerland with its 10- and 50-franc notes.

Aruba issued a new five-note series of 1-, 5-, 10-, 25-, 100- and 200-florin notes at one time on June 30, 2019. (The florin is pegged to the U.S. dollar at a rate of 1.79:1.)

The series, called the “Stars of Aruba,” was the first redesign in 30 years. Their vertical format draws on artistic elements from Aruba’s culture, flora, and fauna. They were jointly developed with Crane Currency, who also did the printing. Given Aruba’s small population of 120,000, the central bank needed to balance anti-counterfeit technology with production costs, and did so utilizing high-relief printing, watermarks, color-changing ink, the Omron Rings, and Motion Surface, Crane’s 3D moving stripe with miniaturized micro-optics.

The face of the 100-florin note is predominantly emerald green in color with a large iguana in its center and an indigenous lizard, the striped anole (Anolis lineatus) on the left. The green and blue back features women in native dress dancing and leaves from the aloe plant, an economic mainstay.

Jane Semeleer, president of the Central Bank of Aruba, said, “It is very clear that we have managed to create a beautiful family of bank notes. We have one of the most innovative and modern banknote series in the world. And we’re very proud that our vision — to make Arubans proud of their country and to show the world the rich life of Aruba — has led to an award winning 100 florin banknote.”

Semeleer added, “We had to present a better product that the public could fall in love with — and we succeeded. The reactions since the launch have been very positive. Shortly after the co-circulation started, 80 percent of the old banknotes where exchanged.”

About the award

Among the criteria for the nominated notes, according to the IBNS, “Banknotes nominated must have been issued to the public (specimens and non-circulating currencies are inelligble) for the first time during the year of the award, and must have artistic merit and/or innovative security features, and be in general circulation.”

Notes were judged and “the winner [was] decided by a vote of the IBNS, who will consider the artistic merit, design, use of colour, contrast, balance, and security features of each nomination,” according to the IBNS. 

“The IBNS Banknote of the Year award is an initiative of the IBNS to recognize an exceptional banknote issued each year,” according to the organization.

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