Paper Money

Latest Lebanon note features ‘Cinema’ security feature

A new version of Lebanon’s 100,000-pound bank note went into circulation on Dec. 7, commemorating the centennial of the establishment of Greater Lebanon.

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A new version of Lebanon’s 100,000-pound bank note went into circulation on Dec. 7. It commemorates last September’s centennial of the establishment of Greater Lebanon and is being touted by its developer as the first bank note to contain the revolutionary security feature called Cinema, which adds “a new dimension to the barriers against counterfeiting.”

Cinema was developed by CCL Secure, the manufacture of the Guardian polymer material used on nearly all money made of that substance. It creates 3D and moving image effects within the polymer before the addition of any other features or the printing itself. The effect on this note is a sense of depth and movement in the way the 1920–2020 dates in the background of the note change. It was developed in collaboration with Rolling Optics, a Swedish company specializing in 3D imagery.

CCL Secure was responsible for the manufacturing and development process, with the printing executed by the Polish Security Printing Works. Before the contract with the Lebanese Central Bank was signed, PWPW and CCL tested the feasibility of printing on polymer with Cinema embedded. The result was the Charlie Chaplin promotional house note publicized by the two firms without further explanation last September, coincidentally at the time PWPW began printing the Lebanese note.

The face of the Lebanon note has a view of the 1930s era tower with a four-faced Rolex clock in central Beirut’s Nejmeh Square, the site of Lebanon’s Parliament. The Maronite Monastery of Saint John Marcus in Jbeil is at the left, while the right half has a clear window with a cedar tree in the center. Another CCL creation, Vivid, changes the tree from white to full color under ultraviolet light.

The back has pictures of a Phoenician ship and the Rock of Raouche, also known as Pigeons’ Rock, the two-part large rock formation at Beirut’s westernmost tip. The rocks are called by some guidebooks “gigantic sentinels to the city.”

The note is predominantly of a greenish hue and 147 by 82 millimeters. As with all current bank notes in Lebanon, text on the obverse is in Arabic, and on the reverse, in French. It is worth the U.S. equivalent of $66.

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