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Notes celebrate Lunar New Year

For over thirty years, mints around the globe have welcomed each Lunar New Year with gold and silver coins. These lunar issues are now the largest annual numismatic program on the planet.

In recent years, coins have been joined by Lunar New Year bank notes produced by a small number of countries. Mongolia was the first, followed by two banks in Macau. More recently, the Pacific island of Niue has gotten in on the act.

With the Year of the Earth Pig set to dawn on Feb. 5, 2019, all four issuing authorities had notes available by mid-2018.

A flower-bedecked ‘Jolly Silver Pig’ features on Mongolbank’s silver foil 100 togrog that celebrates the upcoming Year of the Earth Pig. (Images courtesy & © Coin Invest Trust)

First in line was Mongolbank [Bank of Mongolia]. As in past years, it has issued a 5g silver, 70x150mm foil 100-togrog note courtesy Lichtenstein’s Coin Invest Trust. The back of the note shows a “Jolly Silver Pig” adorned with flowers. Mintage is 5,000.

Faces and backs of Macau’s Banco da China (left) and Banco Nacional Ultramarino (right) 10-pataca issues that mark the Year of the Pig. (Images courtesy Trevor Wilkin ex Autoridade Monetária de Macau)

Autoridade Monetária de Macau [Monetary Authority of Macau] has authorized two banks to issue commemorative Year of the Pig 10-pataca notes: Banco da China and Banco Nacional Ultramarino. Their designs are essentially similar with legends in Chinese and Portuguese.

The notes are colored pink with a stylized floral red pig disporting on the face. The same pig appears on the back colored gold. The primary difference in each note’s design is the building shown at left on the back. It is the headquarters of the relevant bank of issue.

The back of Niue’s 20 cents silver foil presents Mickey Mouse with a lunar pig. (Image courtesy John Mulhall ex New Zealand Mint)

For the second year in a row, the Pacific island of Niue has weighed in with a 20-cents (New Zealand) 150×70 mm, 5g .999 fine silver colored foil courtesy New Zealand Mint. Mickey Mouse struts his stuff on the note’s back, where he is accompanied by a floral lunar pig. The face bears Ian Rank-Broadley’s effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. Mintage is 50,000.


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