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Swiss 50 franc wins IBNS award

 Representing wind and national experiences, the 2016 Swiss 50-franc note took IBNS top honors.

Representing wind and national experiences, the 2016 Swiss 50-franc note took IBNS top honors.

The International Bank Note Society has announced that its voting membership has selected the Swiss National Bank to receive the IBNS “Bank Note of the Year Award” for 2016.

With almost 120 new bank notes released worldwide during 2016, over half were of sufficiently new design to be eligible for nomination, according to the IBNS press release. Runners up were the Maldive Islands 1,000 rufiyaa tortoise/whale shark; Argentina’s 500 peso jaguar; and the Royal Bank of Scotland’s five pound first polymer note.

From all significant newly designed and widely circulated bank notes released in 2016, the IBNS membership nominated notes from a near record 19 countries to place on the ballot. Nominees represented four continents (Europe, Australia, South America and Asia), two Middle East countries, and four island nations.

The Switzerland 50-franc note is the first new design the Swiss National Bank has released in 20 years. Printed by Orell Fussli Security Printing Ltd., this note from the new 9th series features wind and national experiences. Incorporating the latest technological security standards, future notes will depict time, light, water, matter and language.

Using three layer substrate Durasafe® technology, the bright green vertical bank note depicts dandelion seeds, a paraglider aloft in the mountains and a human hand. Slightly smaller than U.S. bank notes, this is the first hybrid note to win the IBNS bank note award.

Past “Bank Note of the Year” winners include New Zealand (2015), Trinidad & Tobago (2014), Kazakhstan (2013, 2012, 2011), Uganda (2010), Bermuda (2009), Samoa (2008), Scotland (2007), Comoros (2006), Faeroe Islands (2005), and Canada (2004).

Now in its 56th year, the IBNS has more than 2,000 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.

The IBNS is open to membership from interested persons in any country. Details concerning all IBNS activities are available at

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More Collecting Resources

• With nearly 24,000 listings and over 14,000 illustrations, the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, Modern Issues is your go-to guide for modern bank notes.

• The Standard Catalog of United States Paper Money is the only annual guide that provides complete coverage of U.S. currency with today’s market prices.