The International Bank Note Society (IBNS) announced that its voting membership has selected the Central Bank of Aruba to receive its annual prestigious “Bank Note of the Year Award” for 2019. With well over 100 new banknotes released worldwide during 2019, only 22 were deemed of sufficiently new design to be member nominated. Almost from the start, Aruba’s new 100 Florin bill led the voting followed by an almost virtual tie between Eastern Caribbean States ($10 with multiple motifs), Northern Ireland Ulster Bank (5 Pound flying geese with people on shoreline) and Switzerland (1000 Franc human hands). Norway’s 1000 Kroner (large wave breaking design) placed fifth but every banknote nominated received at least some votes.
The Mission of the IBNS
Now in its 59th year, the IBNS has over 2000 members worldwide. As a non-profit educational organization its objectives are to promote, stimulate and advance the study, collection and dissemination of information related to paper money. From all significant newly designed and widely circulated banknotes released in 2019, the IBNS membership nominated notes from 22 different countries to place on the ballot.
The Nominees and a Spectacular Winner
Nominees represented 4 continents (Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe) and 5 island nations, 4 of which are in the Caribbean. Past “Bank Note of the Year” winners include Canada (2018), Switzerland (2017 & 2016), New Zealand (2015), Trinidad & Tobago (2014), Kazakhstan (2013, 2012, 2011), Uganda (2010), Bermuda (2009), Samoa (2008), Bank of Scotland (2007), Comoros (2006), Faeroe Islands (2005) and Canada (2004).
When the Central Bank of Aruba released its new series of 5 banknotes on June 3, 2019, it was the culmination of 7 years of intense preparation and soul searching. This “Stars of Aruba” series was introduced to the small Caribbean Island’s 120,000 residents with both humor, public interaction and a mobile application “Aruba su florin”. The goal was a complete banknote series redesign, the first in almost 30 years. The result is quite astonishing, including a new vertical format, beautiful artistic elements from Aruban culture, flora and fauna and even a new 200 Florin denomination, which replaced the old 500 Florin. Most striking is one of the most secure banknote features available using high-relief printing, color changing ink and a 3D MOTION SURFACE ® moving stripe with miniaturized micro-optics from printer Crane Currency. The unique designs are truly eye catching and effectively balance the challenge of anti-counterfeit technology with production costs. Local schools and citizens were all engaged in this national currency transition.
As a first-time entrant into the IBNS Bank Note of the Year competition, Aruba’s award winning success may provide a template for other countries to consider in designing and promoting new banknotes. The new Aruba successful design in emerald green features an iguana on the face and dancing women with ribbons on the green and blue reverse. The 100 Florin note is longer than a 20 Euro note and slightly wider but shorter than U.S. greenbacks. The current exchange value of 100 Florin is USD $57 on the date of this announcement.
On the IBNS website, you can see full colour images of all nominated banknotes of the last decade:
The IBNS is open to membership from interested persons in any country. Details concerning all IBNS activities are available at their website.
And here you can see the new Florin Banknote Series of the Centrale Bank van Aruba.