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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

05 December 2019

Macau Banco Nasional Ultramarino - 20 Patacas Commemorative Note 2019 20th Year of Return to China

Macau Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China

大西洋銀行 / Banco Nacional Ultramarino

This is a commemorative 20 patacas banknote issued on 22.10.2019, celebrating 20th year of Macau's returned back to China 1999-2019. This is a joint issue with the Banco da China celebrating this special occasion. A total quantity of 5.0 million pieces issued but is limited to 5 pieces per person. It is believed that this note is not intended for general circulation.

The design of this note features a golden Shengshi lotus flower on the front. The lotus flower is the national flower of Macau. On the left is the main building of the Banco Nacional Ultramarino tower at Av. de Almeida Ribeiro. The note is printed with the date of 1 de Abril de 2019 (01/04/2019).

On the back, it features the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge and tunnel (HZMB), linking Hong Kong, Zhuhai China (珠海市中国) and Macau. This is the longest ocean crossing bridge ever built in the world. It involves three man made islands and also the world longest undersea tunnel crossing of 6.7km. The entire crossing is 55km long and it took 8 years to complete at a cost of USD18+ billion. The bridge is built with 3 spans running from left (Macau), Jiuzhoua channel bridge (two-sail shape towers), Jianghai channel bridge (3-sail shape towers) and Qingzhou channel bridge (as the main image on the back of the note). Like all mega project, the construction of this bridge was delayed by more than a year with cost overruns, human casualties and not to mention the environment impact on those white dolphins living around the areas. The HZMB was completed in early 2018 and opened to traffic in October 2018. The crossing takes about 45 minutes by car from end to end, reducing the journey from 4.5 hours if one has to drive inland between Hong Kong and Macao via China. This bridge is built to withstand a super typhoon or an earthquake of 8.0 on Richter magnitude scale. Seriously do you want to risk this, really? I believe the view on the back of this note heading from Hong Kong on the left to Macau/China on the right.

The road systems in China is that all cars drive on the right hand side of the road whilst both Hong Kong and Macau are the opposite. The entire crossing follows the China road systems but with crossover when reaching both Hong Kong and Macau territories. When the bridge was first completed and for one who wants to use this bridge, one has to apply for the daily quota permit limited to 10,000, pay a significant fee, have adequate insurance and also a special driving license too (not sure if this is still the case). There are further restriction once in Macau as it only allows up to 300 foreign cars entering this enclave daily.

The value of 20 patacas represents the 20th year anniversary. This is the 10th commemorative note issued by the Banco Nacional Ultramarino since 1984.

Twenty Patacas
Dated 2019
The design of this note (front and back) are identical to the one issued by Banco Da China, except the issuing bank's respective brand, logo, head office building and signature/title.

Buyer's Beware
It is believe that there are no official folders issued for this series. If you have bought any of the notes in folders, then these folders are "home-made" and not sanctioned by the two issuing banks. To me, this is the simplest way to tell the differences; -

-Macau use traditional Chinese writing and the name MACAU is written as "澳門";
-in China, the simplified Chinese writing for Macau is "澳门";
-the difference between these two is the second character "" vs "" (meaning Door/Gate in English);
-whilst the note is printed with the traditional Chinese character, the folder is not;
-like Hong Kong and Taiwan, Macau have not switched over to the simplified Chinese writing since it was first started in mainland China in the 1930s;
-of course, there are other writings on the folder and on the note have the same meaning but written differently (traditional vs simplified).

Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge and tunnel (HZMB)

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