Paper Money

Regional bank note awards presented for achievements

Bank note award season is underway. Some of the competitions, such as the International Banknote Society’s Banknote of the Year award, focus on appearance and appeal to collectors, while others concentrate on technologies. The latter is as much a competition between printers as it is between countries and their central banks.

Reconnaissance International, an English firm specializing in business intelligence on currency and other security documents, sponsors High Security Printing conferences each year where it presents regional awards for the best bank notes and ID documents. Its three conferences are for Europe, Middle East and Africa; Latin America; and Asia.

The awards for the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region were presented at the High Security Print event in Abu Dhabi on March 8. Three currency awards were presented — for Best New Bank Note, Best New Bank Note Series, and Best New Commemorative Bank Note.

The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates won the Best New Bank Note award for its 1,000-dirham note. It was printed in Abu Dhabi by Oumolat Security Printing on De La Rue’s Safeguard polymer substrate.

The face of the new bank note depicts the image of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, next to a model of a space shuttle, reflecting his desire for the UAE to become a pioneer in space. The back shows the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant.

The main security feature is a partially metallized foil stripe showing an astronaut. A separate window has a portrait of the sheik. A metallic number changes color from gold to green.

The winner of the Best New Bank Note Series award was the Central Bank of Liberia, which is replacing its 2016 series with a new series. The new series includes updated designs and a note of a new high denomination, $1,000, in addition to the $20, $50, $100, and $500 notes.

Most of the designs are the same as the previous series, with the same portraits but with style changes. The only new image is on the $500 note, which now has on its face the seven women who designed the Liberian flag. The new $1,000 note shows the 16 ethnic groups of Liberia, as a symbol of the origin of the country and national unity.

All five denominations were produced by Giesecke+Devrient over a two-year period. Each note has a five-pointed star, representing Liberia as the first independent republic on the African continent. The star has a dynamic pulsing effect when the note is tilted. The presentation of the award is the lead item on the bank’s website.

The first polymer note and first commemorative note issued by the Qatar Central Bank won the Best Commemorative Bank Note category. Its 22-riyal note was issued to mark the FIFA World Cup, which was held in the country from Nov. 18 to Dec. 20. The odd denomination was chosen to symbolize the 22nd edition of the soccer competition and the year 2022. It was printed on De La Rue’s Safeguard substrate.

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