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Banknote awards

Awards formed part of the recent High Security Printing EMEA Conference in Malta, and recognise the highest levels of achievement in three categories – Best New Series, Best New Banknote and Best New Commemorative Banknote.

The Swiss National Bank won ‘Best New Banknote Series’ for its ninth banknote series, under the theme of ‘The Many Facets of Switzerland’, which the judges determined had broken new ground in terms of design and security, with many new features being used for the first time.

The new banknotes have been designed and printed by Orell Füssli Security Printing on a three-layer banknote substrate – Durasafe – provided by Landqart. The substrate consists of two outer layers of cotton paper and a polymer core for reinforcement that provides greater stability and durability than traditional banknote papers, as well as variety of transparent and semi-transparent windows.

One of the main security features is the two-colour Kinegram Volume stripe, combined with a partially metallised Kinegram provided by KURZ incorporating the denomination numbers in two colours, a map of Switzerland, its language region and the names of all the Swiss cantons. Another key device is SICPA’s optically variable SPARK feature printed as a shimmering globe. Other features include a window, two watermarks, a see-through, ultra-violet (UV) and infra-red (IR), microprint, intaglio, security thread, security fibres and Microperf. There are six notes in the new series, five of which have now in circulation, with the final note – the CHF 100 – due for issue this autumn.

The award for the Best New Banknote was made to the Bulgarian National Bank for the new 100 lev, the first note to be introduced in the country’s new currency series. It features a dynamic RollingStar Lead stripe, synchronised to a dynamic ‘rectangular checkered field’ in a RollingStar security thread (both technologies developed by Louisenthal) and to the SPARK Live feature from SICPA.

Other security features of the paper note include new tri-coloured paper embedded security fibres which can be seen in white, green and red under UV light, microprint, and a three-dimensional watermark portrait of Bulgarian writer Aleko Konstantinov that is combined with the highlight inscription ‘BNB’, visible on both sides in transmission view.

The judges considered that the project represented successful collaboration between the BNB, Oberthur Fiducuaire (majority owner of the printworks in Sofia that produced the notes), and the substrate and feature supplier Papierfabrik Lousienthal.

A third award, for the Best New Commemorative Banknote, was made to the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) for the commemorative series commissioned to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela. This is the first time a complete series of commemorative notes have been issued.

The front of the series incorporates Nelson Mandela’s portrait and watermark, colour shifting thread and a large denomination numeral in either OVI or SPARK depending on the denomination. On the reverse, there are images different scenes and accompanying themes telling the story of Mandela’s life from young boy to president, marking key passages and historic milestones.

The notes were designed by De La Rue and printed by the South African Banknote Company.


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