By Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez for Coinweek …….
The State Bank of Vietnam will honor its 65th anniversary with a commemorative banknote to be issued this year. The State Bank of Vietnam 100-dong banknote will be released on May 6, 2016. Production of the commemorative currency is being sponsored by four foreign banknote printers located in France, Switzerland, and Germany. They will cover expenses for rag paper materials, ink, and the technology necessary to manufacture the bills. Meanwhile, the printing process will be performed in Vietnam.
The commemorative 100-dong note will highlight the development of the nation’s banking center since its establishment in 1951 and is aimed to promote the country on an international level. The 100-dong note features vibrant yellow, purple, and pink colors, with primary design elements and lettering in deeper hues of red.
The obverse of the 100-dong commemorative note features a bust of the late president Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969), who looks straight upon the viewer. The note’s nominal denomination, expressed as MOT TRAM DONG 100 is seen in the lower right of the obverse, with a 1951-2016 dual dating feature above that and a large, stylized 65, representing the 65th anniversary of the State Bank, in the upper-right area of the bill. The left side features the coat of arms and the signature of Nguyen Van Binh, who serves as the State Bank of Vietnam governor.
The reverse of the commemorative banknote features the State Bank of Vietnam headquarters, folk hero Thanh Giong (Saint Giong) soaring in the background, and the Ngoc Lu bronze drum, the latter of which is a culturally-iconic artifact representative of the Bronze Age Dong Son culture of the Red River Delta region. The note’s 100-dong denominational value is emblazoned in the upper-left and lower-right corners of the bill. Floral patterns, geometric designs and cultural symbols are seen in lighter print in the background of the obverse and reverse designs.
While the souvenir banknote will not be printed for circulation, it nonetheless must be manufactured in accordance with rigorous printing and security measures. Many of these costs are being defrayed by the foreign sponsorships. The actual cost of printing the notes will not be revealed, but the 100-dong commemorative banknotes will be available for 20,000 to 25,000 dong each (90 cents to $1.12, USD).
Some in Vietnam are concerned that the new 100-dong commemorative currency is a bellwether note to test emerging currency security technologies or printing procedures, which could come at a cost for the Vietnamese. But officials with the State Bank of Vietnam have confirmed that Vietnamese currency and economy are stable, and that the commemorative banknote is merely a gesture to commemorate the bank’s anniversary.
“The only reason [for issuing the commemorative 100 Dong note] is to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the State Bank of Vietnam’s establishment,” said the bank’s vice governor, Dao Minh Tu, to the press. “We use a new kind of paper and modern technology to print 100 Dong bills, which depict iconic cultural, socio-economic, and historical values of Vietnam, contributing to the faith and pride that Vietnamese citizens have in their country’s currency.”
This is not the first time the State Bank of Vietnam has honored one of its major anniversaries. In 2001, the financial institution issued a 50-dong commemorative banknote to celebrate its 50th anniversary.