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24 juillet 2012 2 24 /07 /juillet /2012 07:40

 

The International Bank Note Society (IBNS) is proud to announce the winner of the 2007 IBNS Bank 

Note of the Year, awarded to the finest banknote issued in 2006. This year’s award goes to the 1,000-

franc note issued by the Banque Centrale des Comores, the central bank of the Comoros, an 

archipelago located between Madagascar and the east coast of southern Africa. Commendations go 

to the 10,000-tenge note from Kazakhstan and 100-dollar note from the Solomon Islands. 

         The IBNS Bank Note of the Year is awarded to the banknote which, in the eyes of the judges, 

has a high level of artistic merit, an imaginative design, and features that present the best of modern 

security printing (taking into account the value of the note). The Comoran 1,000-franc note impressed 

the judges with innovative design, well-balanced color, and sensible use of modern security features. 

         The front of the 1,000-franc note is dominated by a coelacanth, a pre-historic fish long thought to 

be extinct, that was found living in the waters off the Comoros in recent years. Its discovery put the 

Comoros at the centre of the scientific world for a short time and remains one of the small country’s 

claims to fame. Below the piscine curiosity is an aerial view of several islands that make up the 

country. Predominantly blue, there are red and green elements to the design on the front of the note. 

 

        Poetry is common to the entire series of notes to which the 1,000 franc belongs, with a verse 

appearing on the front and the back of each note. The verse on the front of the 1,000-franc note can 

be translated from French as:  

 

                    From our feelings, what you expect I understood  

                    For it is a love that is so absolutely exclusive  

                    That, not to lose you, I hereby consent.  

                    Truthfully, it will be a love  

                    That our times have never seen. 

 

        Continued on the back of the note is a further verse which translates as: 

                    I claim these different names which are ours  

                    and if I speak the rainbow  

                    It is to better greet our Indian Ocean sea-mother  

                    whose waves of pleasures brings  

                    to insularity abundance and joy  

 

        The final line below the verse identifies the author, Mab Elhad, and the book in which his verse 

appears: Kaulu la Mwando (meaning First Word in the Comoran language). The book was published 

in 2004 and the verses of the author, a Comoran policeman, celebrate his Comoran life and 

nationality.  

         The back of the award-winning note is dominated by a Comoran man in a canoe, surrounded by 

red and blue designs of differing character. While the name of the issuing authority is in Arabic on the 

back of the note, the warning to counterfeiters is in French (reflecting the nation’s French past).   

        Despite a low face value (approximately US$2.70 at current exchange rates), the 1,000-franc 

note sports an impressive array of security features. Portions of the design are printed with the intaglio 

process, imparting a tactile element to the raised ink, along with the latent image created by the BCC

embossed above the signatures. Counterfeiting is made more difficult through the use of microtext, 

incorporation of a perfect-registration device, and the inclusion of Omron rings. The paper contains an 

embedded security strip that fluoresces under UV light, and a watermark of a crescent moon, four 

stars, and the letters BCC. Finally there is an iridescent band on the front of the note that can be seen 

only when tilting the note at an angle to the light. 

         While the elements of the design, the security features, and the production of the note are not 

unusual as individual elements, it is the sum of the whole that lifts the note above the ordinary and 

which made this note a clear winner as the IBNS Bank Note of the Year. 

         Every nation should strive to create individual masterpieces for their paper money; unfortunately 

this is not always the case. However, with the issue of the new series by the Comoros, it is pleasing to 

see that at least one issuing authority is successful in meeting the expectations of banknote 

enthusiasts around the world. The IBNS congratulates the Banque Centrale des Comores and the 

designers of its 1,000-franc note. 

For a report on the award ceremony held at the Bank of France on 15 October 2007 click here - the 

report is in French 

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