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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

08 June 2019

...Czech Republic - 2 x 100 Koruna 100th Year of Currency Commemorative 1919-2019

Ceska Republika / Czech Republic

Ceska Narodni Banka (Czech National Bank)

On 30.01.2019, Czech National Bank issued two commemorative notes of 100 Koruna (Crown) celebrating the nation's 100th year of issuing its national currency. This is the first time in the history of Czechoslovak since its creation in October 1918 or the Czech Republic, that the nation has issued commemorative banknotes. For these two notes issued, one is based on current circulating issue but with silver colour commemorative text overprint on the front and the other one has a completely new design and is sold as a numismatic product at a premium. Both notes are legal tender.

The two notes are measured as followed: -
Overprint Note - 70mm x 141mm
New Design - 85mm x 195mm

The design of the first note is very similar to the current circulating 100 Koruna note but with the commemorative text printed on the left hand side of the note - "CNB 1919 100 LET Kč 2019" (Czech National Bank 1919 100 Years Krone 2019). The note features the effigy of Karel IV (Charles IV 1316-1378) on the front and the Seal of Charles University in Prague on the back. Karel IV was the King of Bohemia and King of the Romans (1346-1378); and Holy Roman Emperor, King of Italy from 1355 until his death in 1378. This note is dated 2018.

A total of 200,000 pieces have been issued and distributed by 6 Czech National Bank branches throughout the country. Each person was restricted to 3 pieces at a time. This note is issued at face value and is meant for general circulation.

The other note has a completely new design. This is also a very large note in size. The front of this note features the portrait of the Czechoslovak first Minister of Finance Alois Rasin (b. 1867-1923) and the building of the Czech National Bank in Prague. On the back, it has the facade of the building of the State Printing Works of Securities in Prague, former headquarters of the Banking Office of the Ministry of Finance and the National Bank of Czechoslovakia. This note is printed with the year date 2019 on the front. On the back, it is also printed with the year dates 1919-2019. Whilst only 20,000 sets were printed, it has been reported that at least 8 prefixes have been printed (RB01, RH02, RI03, RC04, TG01, TE02, TD03 & TF04). It is not sure why or if any of the prefixes have any significant meanings. However, I can see that the second letters are printed with B, C, D, E, F, G, H and I and followed by 2 numerals, like 01, 02, 03 & 04. It should also be noted that not all prefixes are printed with 01, 02, 03 or 04 i.e. RB01 but not with RB02 or RB03 or RB04. This note has the watermark of Alois Rasin.

As the quantity issued for this note is only 20,000, one would assume that each prefix would have printed up to 2,500 sets each (2,500 x 8 = 20,000). Unfortunately this is not the case as I have seen notes with nos 00077x and 0038xx for sales. My assumption is based on all serial number commences from 000001 onward. I guess we will never know unless we can get confirmation from the central bank. This note is sold in a folder at an official issue price of 1,000 Koruna. This is a large note measuring 85mm x 195mm. This note is printed predominately in yellowish-orange colour, on both front and back.

The signatures on both notes belong to the central bank governor Jiri Rusnok. He was appointed to the position on 01.07.2016. Prior to that, he was the 10th Prime Minister of the Czech Republic briefly between 10.07.2013 to 29.01.2014.

The planning for this Alois Rasin note started in October 2017, when the Czech National Bank requested the public to submit designs for this new commemorative note. Fifteen artists submitted a total of 17 designs. The designs were then narrowed down to 8 and then further reduced to 3 to choose from. The winning design went to the artist Eva Haskova. I believe Eva Haskova, an award winning artist, was born in 1946 and is a Czech living in Prague. Her name is also printed on the bottom edge of the note. This note is printed by Statni Tiskarna Cenin, Statni Podnik in Praha (Prague).

According to my Internet searches, Alois Rasin's first appointment as the Finance Minister in 1918 was not an easy position for him as he had to implement unpopular and tough policy in stabilizing the currency in order to avoid high inflation in the country. This led to strong hostility among the people against him. His Finance Minister position only lasted for a year and ended in 1919. In 1922, he was again appointed as the Finance Minister under the new government led by Antonin Svehla to tackle the country's high inflation and high unemployment crises. However, on 05.01.1923, he was shot by Josef Soupal (b.1903-1959), a young anarchist and died after a long period of suffering on 18.02.1923. He was only 56 years old.

The Koruna currency was first established well before 1919. After the fall of the Austria-Hungary empire in 1918 (08.06.1867-11.11.1918), only Czechoslovakia retained the use of the Koruna currency. Following the Velvet Revolution (aka Gentle Revolution) in 1989, Czechoslovakia then split into two sovereign states of the Czech Republic (also commonly known as Czechia) and Slovakia in 1993. Since then, both nations retained the Koruna as their own currency and on 01.05.2004, both nations joined the European Union. In 2009, Slovakia adopted the Euro currency.

Whilst the Czech Republic has been a member of the EU community since 2004, it has yet to adopt the Euro currency. It seems that the population of the republic is still not ready to give up their own identity to embrace the new image of Europe. The last opinion poll conducted has indicated that only 20% of the Czechs are willing to give up the Koruna currency.

One Hundred Koruna (Overprint Commemorative)
Dated 2018/2019
One Hundred Koruna (New Design)
Dated 2019, size 85mm x 195mm
Reverse - S/N RC04 001480
Reverse - S/N TF04 002790
Folder Front Cover
Inside Folder
Booklet Front Cover
I have posted two of the new commemorative notes here. I bought the first note back in February 2019 and I thought it was lost in the mail. I went on and purchased another one in April 2019 and within a week of my second purchase, the first one arrived. Now I ended up with two of these beautiful notes in my collection.

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