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The Color of Money: Recoloring of Banknotes

Paper money, whether currently in circulation or older issues, represent the customs, economy, history, and culture of nations both present and past, and so more often than not a lot of work has gone into their careful design. The issues of security and durability add an extra layer of complexity, and the politics represented are typically things that are to be cared for, but the banknotes themselves should be also easy distinguishable by those who use them, and the criteria for this stipulation is not so easy to define.

The color on the banknotes is one of the most prominent factors for the recognition of a note by an user, and throughout the world quite often people start using the slang word for some denomination based on its color. For example, in the former Yugoslavia the notes P-80 and P-90 were simply called "crvena" -- the red one. At the same time, none of other notes from the same series had a nickname based on color.

The course of history sometimes determines the need to quickly replace a banknote by another of the same denomination, and the simplest way to do so is to recolor the banknote. One example of recoloring due to war a event is described in the article "Malaya Paper Money Issues: 1940-1941". Yugoslavian notes P-105, P-106 and P-107 were analogously recolored into P-108, P-109 and P-110 respectively because of the declaration of independence of Slovenia and Croatia, with a small but significant change of the inscriptions on the back.


Yugoslavia p105: 100 Dinara from 1990 Yugoslavia p106: 500 Dinara from 1990 Yugoslavia p107: 1000 Dinara from 1990
"Original Yugoslavian banknotes p105, p106, and p107".

Yugoslavia p108: 100 Dinara from 1991 Yugoslavia p109: 500 Dinara from 1991 Yugoslavia p110: 1000 Dinara from 1991
"Recolored Yugoslavian banknotes p108, p109, and p110".

But there need not to be a war to warrant the re-coloring of a banknote. The dissolution of a country or peace accords and the introduction of a new constitution can also provide cause for recoloring as demonstrated by the Democratic Republic of Congo banknotes P-87, P-88, P-89 and P-90, which were replaced by identical designs but different colored notes P-91, P-92, P-93 and P-94.


Congo Democratic Republic p87: 10 Francs from 1997 Congo Democratic Republic p88: 20 Francs from 1997 Congo Democratic Republic p89: 50 Francs from 1997 Congo Democratic Republic p90: 100 Francs from 1997
"Original paper money from the Congo Democratic Republic, including p87, p88A, p89, and p90".

Congo Democratic Republic p93: 10 Francs from 2003 Congo Democratic Republic p94: 20 Francs from 2003 Congo Democratic Republic p91: 50 Francs from 2000 Congo Democratic Republic p92: 100 Francs from 2000
"Original paper money from the Congo Democratic Republic, including, from left to right, p93, p94, p91, and p92".

In a separate instance, in order to distinguish the notes of different value the Turkish 5 lira note P-222 was recolored from yellow to dark yellow after two years in use. As it turned out, it was too alike to the 50 Lira note P-225 of the same series.

But what was the reason to change the color of the Croatian 10 Kuna P-29 note into P-36, after just one short year in circulation? It was then a newly introduced issue with a clear color distinction between the values of Turkish banknotes, there was no forgery case; furthermore it was next one to the smallest denominations in circulation (approximately 3 German marks, which is 1.5 Euro today). The reason was not in Croatia itself, but in Germany instead. The Croatian P-29 banknote was too similar to the German 10 Mark note p38a and the German Mark was widely used as reserve currency in Croatia, as well as in the other Yugoslavian successor states. Since it was easy to mistakenly replace a 10 Kuna banknote with a 10 Mark note, the Croatian paper money was recolored to a brown color, and it has remained brown (P-36 and similar P-38 and P-43) up to this date.


Croatia p29: 10 Kuna from 1993 Croatia p36: 10 Kuna from 1995
"Original Croatian 10 Kuna banknote from 1993 p29a at left, with its recolored counterpart p36a from 1995".

German Federal Republic p38: 10 Deutsch Mark from 1989
"The German Federal Republic banknote (p38a) which prompted the recoloring of Croatia p29a".

It is interesting to think of the reasoning behind the original design of banknotes, and perhaps even more interesting to consider their recoloring. With cases such as these, it is easy to imagine the countless number of considerations that have to be taken into account every time a banknote is designed.

More Information About akaardvark387
By akaardvark387 on 2015-02-07

Of Scientists and Mountains: Hideyo Noguchi

Todays discussion is in regards to the 2004 1000 Yen banknote from Japan, pick numbers 104a, 104b and 104c.

This banknote, which was issued by the Bank of Japan (aka the Nippon Ginko), prominently features the bacteriologist Hideyo Noguchi on its front and a scene of the great Mount Fuji on its reverse.

Noguchi was born on November 24, 1876 in Inawashiro, Fushima in the Empire of Japan and at a young age of 1 1/2 years old found himself in the fireplace which lead to the disfigurement of one of his hands. Not letting this stop him, he later graduated from Saisei Gakusha, modern day Nippon Medical School and with a degree in hand he moved to the United States in 1900. Originally working with Dr. Simon Flexner at the University of Pennsylvania, Noguchi eventually found himself working for the Rockefeller Institute of Medical Research.

Nominated for the Nobel prize for both Physiology and Medicine, Noguchi was seen as a rising star but modern historians have called into question this glowing review. For example, in 1911 Noguchi was accused of inoculating orphan children with syphilis. Although acquitted at the time, contemporary 20th century lawyers use this specific case as an early instance of unethical human experimentation. Despite these transgressions, in 1913 Noguchi discovered that the bacteria Treponema pallidum, a relative of the bacteria which causes syphilis, was present in patients who suffered from progressive paralysis and his discovery would be used to ultimately lead to the treatment of syphilis itself.

Noguchi spent the rest of his life in British Ghana attempting to develop a cure for Yellow Fever. Despite his best attempts Noguchi instead developed a treatment for leptospirosis, which although having many of the same symptoms, was miscorrectly labeled as Yellow Fever by Noguchi. Ironically, in his search of a cure he died of the very illness he sought to cure dying in Accra on May 21, 1928 at the age of 51. Noguchi is seen as a very controversial figure in modern medicine, and is know for his discovery of the cure for syphilis and leptospirosis, and his innovation of using snake venom in vaccines. He is equally well know for his reckless experimentation practices and his love of working in isolation. However you see him, he is indeed noteworthy.

Most people who have heard of Japan have probably also heard of Mount Fuji. This mammoth stratovolcano stands at a staggering 3776m (12 389ft) making it Japan's largest mountain. One of the three Holy mountains, along with Mount Tale and Mount Haku, Mount Fuji has one of the most notorious forests in the world, Aokigahara, more commonly referred to as the Suicide Forest which is the preferred place of death for many Japanese people looking to end their own life. The amount of sucides in this place is so high that officials have plastered the forest with signs urging suicidal visitors to seek help and to not kill themselves, and listing local suicide hotline numbers.

Interestingly, the summit of Mount Fuji was actually forbidden to women until the Meji Era. The gaint still pierces through the Tokyo skyline and has been a UNESCO cultural heritage site since 2013. The designation of a cultural hertiage site rather then a natural hertitage site is tied to the mountains inspiration, which is reflected by many artists and poets over the centuries. Indeed these artists have carved Mount Fuji into the hearts and minds of the Japanese population, as well as many others from abroad. This makes the man, mountain, and money truly noteworthy!

More Information About benuminister
By benuminister on 2014-11-28

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