To most people, banknotes are just a kind of tools for trading. However, is there anyone noticing their design? If wanting appreciating notes for an artistic way, The Most Beautiful Banknote Award held by International Bank Note Society (IBNS) might be a good choice for a beginning to take a peek to foreign design of banknotes.
According to the latest news from IBNS, Swiss 10-francs note continued to win the title of the most beautiful banknote in 2017. The pattern of an orchestra conductor holding a baton is printed on one side of this banknote, and on the other side, there is a pattern of watch components above a railway tunnel, which represents the accuracy and punctuality of the of the Swiss railway system. In addition to beauty, IBNS also admired it for achieving “the latest anti-counterfeit level of security.”
This banknote is designed by the Graphic designer Manuela Pfrunder, and it is also the one of the first new design of banknote series of the Swiss National Bank in 20 years. However, this bill selected as the most beautiful banknote won the second prize of the design competition in Switzerland at the first in 2005, and the winner was the design of the theme of viruses, embryos and solar system. Yet, winner’s design later received a lot of public negative judgments, so the National Bank compromise on the second one.
The members of IBNS vote for the most beautiful banknote every year. As long as the banknotes are current in the year, they will be eligible for nomination. They do not have to be a new issue of the year, but among 170 new issues last year around the world, one third of the banknotes got the chance for nomination. In 2016, the most beautiful banknote was also won by Swiss 10-francs note. In 2014 and 2015, the winner was respectively Trinidad & Tobago’s 50-dollars note and New Zealand 5-dollar note.
Besides, this year the notes winning the second prize include below.
Fiji 7-dollar note
It is rare to issue a 7-dollar in the world, and the Fuji government issued this note in particular to commemorate that Fuji national rugby team won the gold medal in Rugby sevens of 2016 Olympics. On one side, there is the photo of the Fuji national rugby team winning the gold medal, with Fuji’s Prime Mister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama on the back, and on the other side of the note, there are the portraits of team leader Osea Kolinisau and the coach Ben Ryan.
Norwegian 100-krone note
On one side of the note, there is the image of a Gokstad Ship, the largest remaining Viking ancient warship, and on the other side, there is the image of a containership. The theme of this banknote pays tribute to the Norwegian maritime tradition. “Vikings were not just pirates and predators but also great ship builders and skilled helmsmen. They traveled through the sea around the world and reached out to other cultures to establish a reputation for Norway as European leading maritime forces,” the Norges Bank noted when issuing this note.
Djiboutian 40-franc note
On one side of the note issued by Djibouti in Eastern Africa, the image of Whale shark swimming over coral reefs is printed in order to pay tribute to the natural ecology of the country. The theme of the other side is the Djibouti’s shipping industry. Toward the Red Sea which is regarded as global trade gateway and with the population lower than one million people, Djibouti takes the shipping industry as the lifeblood of economy.
10-pound note issued by The Royal Bank of Scotland
On one side of the note, the portrait of Scotland Mathematician and Astronomer Mary Somerville, the first female member of Royal Astronomical Society, is printed, and image of two otters and an excerpt from Scottish poet Norman MacCaig’s poem Moorings are printed.
Canadian 10-dollar note
In order to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Canadian Federation, the portraits of Sir James A. Macdonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir George-Étienne Cartier, the father of Canada’s federal system, Agnes Macphail, the first woman MP of Parliament of Canada, and James Gladstone (Akay-na-muka), the first Native American MP are printed, and on the other side, there is the image of astonishing natural scenery in Canada. “The banknote simulates our imagination, and we get proud of being a part of the nation for those on the note,” Stephen Poloz, the Governor of the Central Bank of Canada, described the design.