Paper Money

Note design contest for excellence results in two-way tie

The vote to award the title Best New Banknote or Banknote Series in the Excellence in Currency Awards, sponsored by the International Association of Currency Affairs, resulted in a tie.

IACA members split between CCL Secure’s Series B 2,000-, 5,000-, and 20,000 colon bank notes for the Central Bank of Costa Rica and the Central Bank of Azerbaijan 50-manat note by G+D/Louisenthal.

The award was presented at the Banknote & Currency Conference in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 22.

Since IACA is a trade organization, the award is presented to both the bank and the supplier with which it worked. Votes were cast by members from a list of finalists that were selected by independent judges in each category. The other finalists were the Bank of Mexico for its recent 1,000-peso note, and the Qatar Central Bank and De la Rue for that country’s fifth series of bank notes.

Azerbaijan’s yellow 50-manat note measures 148 by 70 millimeters and has the theme “Education and the Future.” The face shows youth, a staircase symbolizing progress, the sun as a representation of force and light, and mathematical symbols representing science. A map of the country and its separate enclave of Nakhchivan is on the back along with designs from ancient Azerbaijani carpets.

The Costa Rican notes are part of the new polymer series that will replace the similar cotton paper ones. They have some of the more sophisticated security features consistent with the plastic substrate. Each face features a national personality: Mauro Fernández Acuña, a politician and lawyer on the 2,000-peso note; Alfredo González Flores, president from 1914 to 1917, on the 5,000-peso note; and María Isabel Carvajal Quesada, who under the pseudonym Carmen Lyra was the first well-known female Costa Rican writer on the 20,000-peso note. The backs of each respective note show a national ecosystem and flora and fauna: a coral reef and sea life; a mangrove swamp with a white-faced monkey, red mangrove, and sailor crab; and a paramo (alpine tundra) with a hummingbird and grasses.

The Bank of Namibia’s $30 note for the 30th anniversary of independence, made in cooperation with CCL Secure won in the Best New Commemorative or Limited Circulation Banknote category, besting the Bank of Mexico and CCL Secure 20-peso commemorative note celebrating the National Independence Bicentennial; the Bank of Guatemala and G+D/Louisenthal for the 20-quetzal commemorative note; the Bank of Indonesia’s 75 Years Independence 75,000-rupiah note; and the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s bicentennial $20 commemorative.

IACA was founded in 2004 as a nonprofit trade organization for knowledge-sharing and collaboration on currency production and distribution. Its members include central banks, issuing authorities, high security printers, currency industry suppliers, financial institutions and cash distribution organizations. Today its membership includes more than 65 organizations and close to 300 individuals.

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