Founded in 1961, the International Bank Note Society (IBNS) is a non-profit group dedicated to the collection and study of banknotes and other forms of paper money issued around the world. And since 2005, the Society’s thousands of members in numerous countries around the world have selected a new banknote released in the previous year as its Bank Note of the Year award winner.
The prestigious award is frequently toted by the banks and banknote manufacturers who win, and this year, the award goes to Aruba and the Central Bank for their 100 Florin note.
The 100 Florin was selected out of a field of 22 candidate notes drawn from over 100 new banknotes issued in 2019. Along with a handful of other notes–the Eastern Caribbean States $10, the Northern Ireland Ulster Bank 5 Pound, the Swiss 1,000 Franc, and the Norwegian 1,000 Kroner–the Aruba 100 Florin was an immediate favorite with the membership. The note is part of the Central Bank of Aruba’s “Stars of Aruba” series, a monetary redesign long in the making that was inaugurated in 2019. Like several contemporary notes, the new 100 Florin is printed vertically and incorporates many modern security features. These include color-changing inks, microprinting, and 3D effects developed by the note’s manufacturer, Crane Currency.
Of course, native Aruban birds, plants, and culture figure prominently on the new design as well, with an iguana on the front and women performing an island dance on the back.
Because new Aruban notes had not been released in over three decades, this was the first time out for Aruba in the IBNS contest.
How to Nominate a Banknote
Each voting member in good standing of the International Bank Note Society is able to nominate a banknote issued in the previous year for the award. Simply email the Banknote of the Year co-ordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org to make your nomination. All nominees must be circulating notes newly issued to the public during the course of the year in question. Serious nominations that exhibit aesthetic merit or include innovative new features only. When possible, please email images of the front and back of the bill. The nomination process runs through January 31 of the award year.
The winning banknote is then selected by a vote of the IBNS membership and announced at the first Society board meeting later that respective year.