Paper Money

Bank of Mexico 50-peso note wins IBNS contest

The voting membership of the International Bank Note Society has named the Banco de Mexico the winner of its annual “Bank Note of the Year Award” for the second year in a row.

The 50-peso note, the U.S. equivalent of $2.60, topped 20 other candidates deemed of sufficiently new design to be nominated from a list of over 100 new bank notes released worldwide during 2021.

Mexico’s 100-peso note won the award for 2020.

The society described the vote between first and second place in this year’s voting process as “nip and tuck,” unlike most years when there has been a clear favorite from the start. It was only as the voting period came to a close on March 20 that the Mexican issue secured enough votes to edge out Sao Tome and Principe’s 200-dobra bill with slave leader Rei Amador, butterflies, a sunbird, and a flower.

Third-place winners

There was a dead heat for third place between Costa Rica’s 10,000-colon note featuring José Figueres Ferrer, the abolition of the army, a rain forest, flora and a sloth, and the Bank of England’s £50 note honoring Alan Turing and his World War II code-breaking computer. Rounding out the top eight were Romania’s 20-lei note (country heroine with crocus), the Royal Bank of Scotland’s £50 note (social reformer Flora Stevenson, flowers and birds), China’s 20-yuan note (2022 Winter Olympics), and the Cook Islands $3 note (Ina riding a shark, fishing canoe and carved wood statue).

Printer and issuer both

Once again, the Banco de Mexico was both the printer and issuer of the bank note, which is part of the current G Series, first introduced in 2018. The polymer note is mainly purple in color, printed in a vertical format on both sides, and is 125 by 65 millimeters in size. It made its debut on Oct. 28, 2021.

The face features a scene of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec empire from Diego Rivera’s mural, La Gran Tenochtitlan, and an eagle standing on a cactus with the “Atltlachinolli,” the Aztec symbol for war, in its beak. It is taken from a fragment of the monolith known as Teocallide la Guerra Sagrada, a monolithic pre-Columbian miniature of an Aztec temple.

All backs of Series G highlight Mexican ecosystems. In this case it is lakes and waterways with a scene of a river, a Mexican salamander (the ajolote, or axolotl in English) and a corn field in Xochimilco, Mexico City, a UNESCO world cultural heritage site.

The note was produced by the Banco de Mexico’s new printing complex located in Jalisco, which began operation just before the coronavirus pandemic. The bank claims significantly improved security features in coordination with the transition to polymer.

IBNS was founded in 1961 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to the study of bank notes.

Connect with Coin World:  
Sign up for our free eNewsletter
Access our Dealer Directory  
Like us on Facebook  
Follow us on Twitter

Community Comments