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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 February 2020

...Singapore - $20 Dated 2019 Bicentennial Commemorative 1819-2019 Polymer

Republic of Singapore
Republik Singapura / 新加坡共和国  / சிங்கப்பூர் குடியரசு

Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)
Currency : Dollar (SGD)

This $20 polymer commemorative note was launched by the President of Singapore Ms Halimah binti Yacob on 05.06.2019 and was released on 10.06.2019 by nine major retail banks throughout Singapore. A total of 2 million pieces in folders were issued at face value. Each person was allowed to have 20 pieces at a time. In addition to this, a 3-in-1 uncut sheet (5,000 sets) were also included in this issue. These uncut sheet were sold via a tendering system limited to one sheet per application at a cost of S$280. As expected, these uncut sheets were over subscribed.

This note celebrates Singapore 200 years (Bicentennial celebration 1819-2019) of journey to nationhood since the first arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles on the island on 29.01.1819. The banknote pays tribute to eight individuals who laid the foundations for modern Singapore.

Front - Singapore's first president Yusof Ishak (1910-1970), the former Supreme Court and City Hall (now the National Gallery of Singapore). The golden logo of SG 1819-2019 is printed on the left as well as the golden arms of Singapore. This note is only printed with the single word “SINGAPORE” on both front and back, instead of the usual four major languages in Malay, Chinese, Tamil and English;
Back - backdrop of old Singapore River flowing into the modern day of Singapore, eight pioneering individuals who had made significant contributions to Singapore during their life time.

Like the previous $50 commemorative issued in 2018, there are no tiny symbol printed on the back of this note. There are also no text descriptions on the back except the names of those eight individuals.

The eight individuals honoured on this note are;
Top row (L-R)
*Henry Nicholas Ridley (English b.1855-1956) - first director of the Singapore Botanic gardens;
*P Govindasamy Pillai (Indian b.1887-1980) - Philanthropist;
*Alice Edith Wilhelmina Pennefather (Singaporean b.1903-1983) - Badminton and Tennis champion;
Front row (L-R)
*Munshi Abdullah (Dutch Malaccan b.1796-1854) - Raffles's secretary and interpreter;
*Tan Kah Kee (Chinese b.1874-1961) - Philanthropist;
*Teresa Hsu Chih (Chinese b.1896-2011) - Social worker;
*Adnan Saidi (Malayan b.1915-1942) - soldier and World War ll hero; and
*Ruth Wong Hie King (Singaporean b.1918-1982) - Institute of Education's founding director.

This note celebrates eight people of all races that made significant contributions to the nation in various fields during their life time, but not all of them were born in Singapore. To give you an example, Tan Kah Kee was born in China and he made his fortune in Singapore. However he was not allowed to return back to Singapore by the British after the last World War because he was more sympathetic to the communist led by Mao ZeDong than to the Nationalist Kuomintang led by Generalissimo Chiang Kai Shek at the time. He died in Beijing China in 1961, aged 86 and was given a State funeral by the Chinese government. It appears that Tan was a very generous person during his life time. Today, there is a train station in Singapore that named after him, including houses at schools, memorial museum in China, Foundation and even an asteroid (2963 Chen Jiageng) too.

This issue was so successful that some of the bank branches ran out of stock on the first day and the entire issue was all distributed within 5 days. On 14.06.2019, MAS announced a further 2.0M pieces will be printed and issued on 03.11.2019. Later it was reported that only 1.8 million pieces printed with more than 200,000 applications submitted for the second prints. The second batch of release restricted to Singapore citizen and permanent resident and each applicant can apply up to 10 notes. Application was opened on 16.09.2019 for 4 weeks until 13.10.2019.

I believe the cost for the folders were covered by the nine major banks and as such the folders were issued at face value. This is also benefited collectors around the world as one do not have to pay for the cost of the folder. 

The prefixes printed for this series are: -
Initial Issue - AA, AB, AC, AD and AE;
Reprint - AF, AG, AH and AJ (no AI)

First print prefixes are AA to AE and the second prints are AF to AJ but no AI (not confirmed yet)

First Print
Twenty Dollars
Dated 2019, Prefix AB
Dated 2019, Prefix AC
Twenty Dollars
Dated 2019, Prefix AD
Dated 2019 - Prefix AE
Second Prints
Twenty Dollars
Dated 2019, Prefix AF
Twenty Dollars
Dated 2019, Prefix AG
Twenty Dollars
Dated 2019, Prefix AH
Twenty Dollars
Dated 2019, Prefix AJ
Folder Front Cover
No past or present politicians or even Sir Stamford Raffles himself are featured in the designs. Not even the watermark (if any). The portrait of Yusof bin Ishak is expected due to the current portrait series.

The above posts are all my personal opinions only. If you think that it is not correct, please feel free to let me know. I will correct it if I need to. Just remember that no one is perfect.

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