$5 note wins international prize

The NZ $5 note won an international prize for the best bank note from the International BankNote Society. Twenty bank notes from around the world were nominated. They included China’s 100 yuan, Russia’s 100 ruble, Sweden’s 20 Kronor, Scotland’s 5 pound and Argentina’s 50 peso.

Here is a picture of the 20 nominations.

Last year’s winner was Trinidad & Tobago’s $50. Kazakhstan won in 2011, 2012 and 2013 with their 10,000, 5,000 and 1,000 Tenge respectively.

The prize is awarded for design and innovative technology. Innovative suggests something new, unusual and clever. Bank notes in many countries, these days, include many security features so that they cannot be copied by counterfeiters. Our $5 note includes a see-through window and a watermark of the Queen but no metal thread which is on our higher denomination notes. In fact, many high denomination notes like $100 include secret security features.

The design shows our native birds and plants. It also features our history. The $5 has Sir Edmund Hillary on it. He was famous for being the first climber, along with Sherpa Tensing, to climb Mt Everest and return alive. That was in 1953. His earlier climbing was on Mt Cook /Aoraki.

Ironically, our bank notes were designed and printed in Canada.

Also listen to April 11 2016 to hear about the next lot of bank notes which we will see in the middle of next month.


• award (n, v) – prize (n), give a prize
• nominate (v), nomination (n) – suggest a name for an award
• respectively – in the order given e.g. 2011 was 10,000 tenge
• innovate (v), innovation (n), innovative (adj) – 2nd syllable is stressed in n and v, 1st syllable in adj
• watermark – shadow picture on paper
• denomination – value of each note
• feature (n, v) – something to notice (n), shows (v)
• irony (n), ironic (adj), ironically (adv) – opposite to what you might expect, could make you smile for this reason

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