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Total commemorative banknotes issued is under 1,500 pieces. If you have achieved any figures close to this, then you are doing extremely well, as many of the older commemorative notes are hard to find even in poor conditions.

Opinion: Many collectors of commemorative banknotes would have come across with those Somaliland sets overprinted with gold and silver texts with the following wordings - 5th Anniversary of Independence 18 May 1996 [Sanad Gurade 5ee Gobanimadda 18 May 1996]. I believe these are "home made" (or fake) and not authorised by the central bank. My argument is simple. No central bank would have issued an overprint commemorative banknote that the texts are so large that it would cover the two signatures on the note as well as part of the serial numbers. Even if these are genuine notes, then these could be issued as souvenir sheets and not as legal tender. As I said before, this is my opinion. If you have paid top dollars for these, please think about my argument. There is always a sucker around the corner, including me of course!

All comments are most welcome but it has to be subjects related to banknotes or banknotes collection. If not, it will not be approved. Thanks

01 March 2024

...Solomon Islands - 10 Dollars Commemorative Polymer Note 2023 XVll Pacific Games

  Solomon Islands

Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) (est.1983)
Currency - Dollar (SBD)
This is a commemorative polymer note of 10 dollars issued on 27.10.2023 to celebrate the 17th Pacific Games held in the capital city of Honiara in Solomon Islands. The sporting tournament was held from 19.11.2023 to 02.12.2023. There were 24* nations competing in this tournament.
Final Medals Tally
1st New Caledonia - 197 medals (G82; S57: B58);
2nd Tahiti - 160 medals (G57; S53; B50); and
3rd Australia - 84 medals (G50; S24; B10).
The host nation, Solomon Islands finished 7th place with 80 medals (G12; S37; B31). Tokelau is the only nation without winning a single medal. 
The Pacific Games first started in 1963 when Fiji staged the tournament in Suva. The Games were then known as the South Pacific Games. In 2007, it then changed the name to Pacific Games. The Pacific Games is a multi-sporting event that is held every four years. Since its inception, only six nations have held the games, namely Fiji (1963, 1979 & 2003); New Caledonia (1966, 1987 & 2011), Papua New Guinea (1969, 1991 & 2015), Samoa (1983, 2007 & 2019), French Polynesia (1971 & 1995, and scheduled to host the games in 2027), and Guam (1975 & 1999). This is the first time Solomon Islands has hosted this event.
It should be noted that the Pacific Games is not the same as the Pacific Mini Games (PMG). The PMG is a scaled down version of the main Pacific Games, and its purpose is to allow smaller nations in the Pacific region to host this tournament. The PMG first started in 1981 and was hosted by Solomon Islands. In 2017, Vanuatu hosted the PMG and issued a 500 vatu commemorative note celebrating this event.
Since 1963, only three nations have issued commemorative banknotes celebrating the events, namely Papua New Guinea (1991, 2007 & 2015), Samoa (2019) and Solomon Islands (2023). Despite hosting the event three times, neither Fiji nor New Caledonia had issued any banknote to celebrate these occasions.
As expected, the design for this new note is completely new, and it retains the predominantly red colour as the current $10 paper note. This commemorative note is printed by De La Rue on SAFEGUARD® polymer substrate. A total of 1,000,000 pieces have been issued. All notes are printed with a special prefix of SI/23 (Solomon Islands/2023), and for the replacement notes, they are printed with the prefix of X/23.

Ten Dollars
Sanfords sea eagle head, billowing flag, Coat of Arms

Replacement Prefix X/23 031 031 (Repeater)
Sanfords sea eagle head, billowing flag, Coat of Arms

Front - A Sanford's sea eagle head (Solomon eagle) is printed on the left, which is traditionally the watermark for paper banknotes issued in the Solomon Islands. The Sanford's sea eagle is a native bird of Solomon Islands. The tournament logo illustrates the year 2023, a billowing Solomon Islands flag in the middle. To the right is the Coat of Arms.

Governor - Dr Luke Forau
Secretary, Minister of Finance - McKinie P Dentana
Watermark - Electrotype CBSI
Dimensions - 137mm x 68mm

Back - Various sporting events, depicting from left to right: man running with a rugby ball in his right hand, two men playing in a basketball game, woman lifting weight, footballer, athlete and bodybuilder posing for a front double biceps pose.

Six sports - soccer, weight lifting, marathon, bodybuilding, rugby and basketball

In addition to the notes, the bank also released a folder (dimensions 211mm x 149mm) for this commemorative series. It is not sure how many of these were issued or if they were presented to the participants who attended the games. This folder is sold separately without the banknote. Inside the folder, it printed with the following text:
"The Central Bank of Solomon Islands is issuing a commemorative banknote printed on Safeguard polymer substrate. Our new $10 Dollar Note has been produced to commemorate the XVll South Pacific Games 2023 which are being held in Solomon Islands for the first time in November 2023.
Signed Governor Dr Luke Forau"
And the inside back folder, it printed with the text of: -
"The design of the newly vibrant commemorative banknote celebrates the Solomon Islands first historical hosting of the South Pacific Games and its sporting progress and success. 
Front: The image depicts the Solomon Islands flag and coat of arms as seen in all circulating banknotes 
Back: Participation in this South Pacific Games in both team and individual sports are depicted in soccer, weight lifting, marathon, body building, rugby and basketball inviting all to remain united in SPORTS. 
2023 Pacific Games 
Solomon Islands"
Folder front
Medal Tally
New Caledonia - 197 (G82; S57; B58), 
Tahiti - 160 (G57; S53; B50),
Australia - 84 (G50; S24; B10), 
Samoa - 76 (G34; S21; B21),
Papua New Guinea - 105 (G29; S37; B39),
Fiji - 91 (G21; S30; B40), 
Host - Solomon Islands - 80 (G12; S37; B31),
New Zealand - 35 (G10; S13; B12),
Nauru - 28 (G10; S12; B6),
Guam - 17 (G7; S4; B6),
Cook Islands - 18 (G5; S3; B10),
Marshall Islands - 10 (G5; S3; B2),  
Northern Mariana Islands - 12 (G5; S1; B6),
Wallis and Futuna - 15 (G3; S6; B6),
Vanuatu - 19 (G3; S5; B11), 
Kiribati - 11 (G3; S2; B6),
Federated States of Micronesia - 4 (G3; S1; B0),
Tonga - 19 (G2; S8; B9),
Niue - 2 (G1; S0; B1),
Tuvalu - 5 (G0; S5; B0),
American Samoa - 6 (G0; S3; B3),
Palau - 3 (G0; S0; B3), 
Norfolk Island - 1 (G0; S0; B1),
Tokelau - 0. 

17 February 2024

...Bangladesh - 50 Taka 2023 Commemorative The Inauguration Of The Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel

গণপ্রজাতন্ত্রী বাংলাদেশ
(Peoples' Republic of Bangladesh)
বাংলাদেশ ব্যাংক
(Bangladesh Bank)
Currency : Taka (BDT)
This is another Father and Daughter theme commemorative banknote.
This is a commemorative note of 50 taka issued on 20.10.2023. This note is issued to celebrate the inauguration of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel (বঙ্গবন্ধু শেখ মুজিবুর রহমান টানেল), aka Bangabandhu Tunnel. The tunnel is situated in the southern port city of Chittagong, and is an underwater expressway tunnel built under the Karnaphuli river. This is a toll paying tunnel and it is just over 9+ kilometers in length. This was a joint venture between the Bangladesh and Chinese governments and it cost about US$1.1B to construct. This tunnel, no doubt will improve the traffic flows between the capital city Dhaka and the southern city of Chittagong.

With this tunnel now in operation, the authority is expecting 17,000+ vehicles will use this tunnel daily, and the theme for this tunnel is Connectivity Creates Opportunities.

Fifty Taka
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (b.1920-1972), Sheikh Hasina Wazed, entrance to the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel
Front - Front - On the front it features the late Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (b.1920-1972), who was the first Prime Minister of Bangladesh, and next him is Sheikh Hasina Wazed, who is the current Prime Minister of Bangladesh. She is also the eldest daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The portraits designs are almost identical to the 100 taka commemorative issued in 2022. Printed in the center is the entrance to the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel and in the background is the view of the Karnaphuli river.
Governor - Abdur Rouf Talukder (since 04.07.2022)
Watermark - Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and electrotype 50
Dimensions - 130.5mm x 60mm

Back - A view inside the two-lane tunnel. The text on the back are all printed in English, with the year date of 2023.

A view inside the two-lane tunnel

09 February 2024

...China - 20 Yuan 龙(龍)年 Commemorative Year of the Dragon 2024

(Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó)
(People's Republic of China)

中国人民银行 (中國人民銀行)
(Zhōngguó Rénmín Yínháng / People's Bank of China)
Currency : Renminbi 人民币 (CNY)
10 February 2024 to 28 January 2025 (353 days)
The Year of the Loong! The last time a dragon banknote design was issued in modern China was in 2000. In that year, China released a commemorative 100 yuan polymer note to celebrate the Millennium year 2000, and also the Year of the Dragon龙(). The design for the 2000 note on the front featured an Imperial Dragon with a fireball. In December 2023, the bank announced the release of a twenty yuan 贰拾圓 commemorative note to celebrate Chinese Zodiac 2024 The Year of the Dragon. This banknote also features an Imperial Dragon on the front. A total of 100 million pieces have been issued.
The Year of the Dragon celebration begins on 10.02.2024 and will end on 28.01.2025. It is reported that the Chinese central bank intends to release a full 12 cycle of the Chinese Zodiac animals series with the first note for the Dragon year. The remaining eleven notes will be progressively issued over the next 11 years with one zodiac animal each, just like those issued by the two commercial banks in Macau from 2012 to 2023.
In the 12 Chinese Zodiacs, the Dragon is positioned 5th in the animal signs cycle. Among the 12 animals, the Dragon is the most powerful creature, and it symbolises power, good luck, strength and health. It is also a fact that more babies are usually being born during the year of the Dragon, than any other animal signs. Well, at least this is according to the Chinese. If you were born in the Year of the Dragon, get yourself this banknote as a souvenir. You would be either 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72 or 84 years old or even older.
Online applications for pre-orders for these notes were opened from 03.01.2024 and each is restricted to 20 pieces per application at face value. If the entire prints were up for grabs, and with a population of 1.4 billion people, this equates to 5,000,000 applicants, assuming each applicant submitted for 20 pieces of notes each. Of course, this was not the case. Due to high demand, several banks' websites were inaccessible and causing issues such as lag, delay in delivery of security verification codes and others.  These notes were then released to the public on 09.01.2024. It would be fair to say that these new notes are expected to be used as red package (hong pao/紅包) for the Chinese New Year. No doubt many will keep them as souvenirs as the New Year Dragon notes are always popular among the Chinese people. I am sure many of these notes will end up as 'hong pao' too. In addition to this banknote, 120 million pieces of 10 yuan bimetallic copper alloy were also released.
It should be noted that whilst this note was issued as a commemorative banknote, there is nothing printed on the note to indicate this, nor any wordings or logo, except the single letter prefix of 'J'. The letter 'J' prefix has been used for all commemorative notes issued since the 2000 Year of the Dragon and Millennium polymer note. This note is printed in a vertical format on both front and back, and like the 2000 commemorative note, it is also printed on polymer substrate material. The colours selected for this note are predominantly red and reddish, as these are the auspicious colours to the Chinese. Like all modern Chinese banknotes there are no signatures printed, but only the usual square Central Bank seal. 

This is the 7th commemorative banknote issued by the People's Bank of China and the second commemorative banknote for the Year of the Loong. Previous commemorative issues were - 

1999 - 50 yuan 50th Anniversary of the Chinese Communist Revolution 1949-1999;
2000 - 100 yuan Year of the Dragon/Millennium polymer;
2008 - 10 yuan 2008 XXIX Beijing Summer Olympics;
2015 - 100 yuan Aerospace and Science Technology;
2022 - 20 yuan 2022 XXIV Beijing Winter Olympics;
2022 - 20 yuan 2022 XXIV Beijing Winter Olympic polymer;
2024 - 20 yuan Year of the Dragon polymer.

Twenty Yuan
Imperial dragon

Front - A Chinese Imperial writhing dragon (with five claws) in green and gold colours. The writhing dragon is facing east. Unlike the 2000 100 yuan note, this one did not have the fireball printed in the design. The dragon is surrounded by Chinese stylised  clouds. The Coat of Arms of China is printed on the top left-hand corner. At the bottom is an ancient Chinese writing of 'Fu' (福/Luck), and is written/designed in such a way that it can be seen on either side of the note.

Signature - N/A
Quantity - 100 million pieces
Dimensions - 71mm x 146mm

Back - Three children playing a lantern dance together, with one holding a paper dragon lantern. Another little girl is holding a resemblance of a ball (fireball) lantern and a little boy is holding a paper drum shaped lantern with his left hand. The background depicts Beijing quadrangle courtyards with tree surroundings. This note looks a bit like those Chinese red packets used during new years.

Children playing a lantern dance

rat  ox  tiger  rabbit  DRAGON  snake  horse  goat  monkey  rooster  dog  pig
...Facts; -
Why does Chinese New Year not fall on the first of January or on a fixed day, like the Gregorian calendar? Chinese New Year is based on the lunisolar calendar. Like the Gregorian calendar, there are also 12 months in a year. However, the number of days in a month is based on the cycle of the Moon and that can vary between 29 and 30 days and for a normal year, it can be 353, 354 or 355 days. In the event of a leap year, a full month is added to the calendar. This is usually added every three years. In the past 19 years, an extra month was added seven times. For a leap year, the total number of days in a year is between 383 to 385 days.
The Chinese New Year is celebrated on the second new moon after the Winter Solstice (冬至 Dongzhi festival) on December 21 (22nd or 23rd) and the Chinese New Year can fall between the fourth week of January and on the last week of February on the Gregorian Calendar. I do not believe any Chinese New Year has ever come before January 21st or later that February 20th.

04 February 2024

...Transnistria - One Ruble 2007(2021) Commemorative 30 Years Of Ihe PMR Financial System

Република Молдовеняскэ Нистрянэ
Приднестровская Молдавская Республика
(Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic)

Transnistrian Republican Bank
Currency : Ruble (RUP)
This is another one ruble overprint commemorative banknote released on 18.05.2021, for the celebration of 30 years of the PMR financial system in Transnistria.
This is an overprint commemorative on the current 1 ruble design similar to the 2012 (2007) modified series. A total quantity of 2,510 pieces printed with 2,500 notes sold in booklets/folders.
The commemorative text/logo is printed to the right side of the note where the usual watermarks are. The design consists of two numerals and a Transnistria billowing flag. The following text are also printed on the note: 
30 лет финансовой системе ПМР
 (30 years of the PMR financial system [in three lines])

 One Ruble
Russian General Alexander Vassilyevich Suvorov (b.1730-1800)

A portrait of the Russian General Alexander Vassilyevich Suvorov (b.1730-1800) in military uniform. General Suvorav was a Russian born military hero holding the rank of Field Marshal Generalissimo. He was the fourth Generalissimo of Russia; To the far right is the commemorative logo.

Signature - n/a
Watermarks - General Alexander Vassilyevich Suvorov and electrotype bank logo
Dimensions - 130.5mm x 56.5mm

Back - Kitskansk Bridgehead memorial or Chiţcani monument in Chitcani. This monument was built in 1972 (opened 09.05.1972) to commemorate victory against the German invasion during the Second World War in 1944. Chitcani is situated north of Tiraspol, the capital city of Transnistria.
Kitskansk Bridgehead memorial or Chiţcani monument in Chitcani

Front Cover

1) Transnistria is an unrecognised state. However, it is recognised by three other unrecognised states, like Abkhazia (Georgia) Artsakh (Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh), and South Ossetia (Georgia).
2) Independence or secession from Moldova was declared on 02.09.1990.
3) The Government of Transnistria controls a narrow strip of land (4,463 square kilometers) situated between the Dniester river and the Moldova-Ukraine border.
4) Internationally, Transnistria is recognised as part of Moldova.
5) Transnistria first introduced it's own currency on 22.08.1994. 
6) The Transnistria ruble is a non recognised currency outside its territory and as such it is not possible to exchange it into Moldovan lei or any other currencies.
7) Transnistria has a population of less than half a million people, and most people speak the Russian language.

01 February 2024

...Cayman Islands - $70 2022 Queen Elizabeth The Second First Anniversary of Her Death

Cayman Islands
(British Overseas Territory)

Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (est. 1997)
Currency : Dollar (KYD)
Remembering Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Second
This is a commemorative note of $70 released on 12.10.2023. This note was issued to celebrate the first anniversary of the death of Queen Elizabeth the Second 1926-2022, and also her Platinum Jubilee (70 years) to the British throne. Queen Elizabeth was born on 21.04.1926 and died on 08.09.2022. She was 96 years old.
Queen Elizabeth ascended to the throne on 06.02.1952, following the death of her father, King George Vl. Queen Elizabeth was born in Mayfair London and died in Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
When Queen Elizabeth ascended to the British throne in 1952, she was the Head of State for 33 nations (including Rhodesia and Tanganyika) around the world, and by the time of her passing, this was reduced to 15 nations. From 1952 to 2022, the Queen had appointed 15 United Kingdom's Prime Ministers. The first British Prime Minister she appointed was Anthony Eden (b.1897-1977) in 1955 and the last was Liz Truss. The longest serving Prime Minister that had served under her reign was Margaret Thatcher (b.1925-2013) from 1979 to 1990 and the shortest was Liz Truss (only 43 days - from 06.09.2022 to 25.10.2022 resigned). The Queen died two days after Liz Truss was appointed as the British Prime Minister.
The face value for this banknote represents the 70 years of her reign as the Queen of the United Kingdom, and as the Head of States of the Commonwealth. This is a limited edition, with only 10,000 pieces printed and were restricted to 10 pieces per customer. Payment for the purchase can be in CI$70 or in USD$85.89. It is expected that this commemorative banknote will be kept as a souvenir by the beholders as none of the notes have been released to the public as circulation notes in the Cayman Islands.  

Seventy Dollars
Queen Elizabeth The Second (b.1926-2022)

Front - The portrait of Queen Elizabeth. This portrait was taken in 1999 by Mark Lawrence and has been used for the Cayman Islands banknotes series since 2010. The Queen was 73 years old when this portrait was taken. Since the accession to the British throne, 31 portraits of the Queen have been used on various banknotes issued around the Commonwealth issued during her 70 years reign, including those issued in Scotland. 
Minister of Finance - Gurney Wayne Panton* (since 2021)
Managing Director - Cindy Scotland (since 2002)
Watermark - a turtle and electrotype CIMA
Quantity - 10,000 pieces
Prefix - Q/1
Dimensions - 157mm x 66.5mm

Back - Two portraits of Queen Elizabeth. The one on the left was taken in 1960 by Anthony Buckley when the Queen was 34 years old. This portrait was used for banknotes issued from 1971 to 1974. The portrait next to it was taken in 1977 (aged 51) by Peter Grugeon. This portrait was used for her Silver Jubilee celebration in 1977. This portrait was also used for Cayman Islands banknotes issued from 1991 to 1998. To the right is an image of the Queen during her first one day official visit to Cayman Islands on 16.02.1983. During her lifetime as the Queen, she only visited the Cayman Islands twice. The other time was in February 1994.
Queen Elizabeth The Second (b.1926-2022)

Footnote *
Also the Premier of Cayman Islands since 21.04.2021