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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

04 December 2020

.Fiji - 2000 Y2K Millennium Commemorative Specimen Notes, s. Ratu Jone Yavala Kubuabola

Republic of Fiji
(since 1987)

Reserve Bank of Fiji
Currency : Dollar (FJD)

The Reserve Bank of Fiji issued two commemorative notes of $2 and $2000 in 2000 to celebrate the millennium year 2000. I believe this is the first time in the history of Fiji that commemorative banknotes were issued by the central bank. Here I have posted the two specimen notes of $2 and $2000. Only 18 countries around the world had issued new or overprinted banknotes in 2000 to celebrate the new millennium year and not all of them were issued for general circulation. Here, I have discounted those notes issued in 2000 unless it was specifically stated for the 2000 millennium year celebration or with specific or special prefixes. As for these two notes, it is interesting to see that on the back, the words "Fiji Islands" are printed on the top left hand corner. Previous issues, since the 1930s (I believe) were all printed either with the words "Government of Fiji" and later just a single word "Fiji".

Also in the history of Fijian banknotes issued since 1934, this was the first time that these notes were printed without the portrait of a British monarch. Instead, the two notes of $2 and $2000 were printed with the portraits of the country first and second Presidents respectively. 

Both notes are printed with the following commemorative text -


Signature - Ratu Jone Yavala Kubuabola (tenure 1988-2000)
Imprinter - De La Rue
Dimensions - $2 (156mm x 67mm)
Dimensions - $2000 (201mm x 110mm)

Like all specimen notes issued, these are also printed with the word "Specimen" on the front and back. However, the font size and the format printed on the notes are not the same. The word Specimen on the note for the $2 is measured at 50mm across whilst the size for the $2000 is only measured at 45mm. Also the word Specimen is printed rising steadily from left to right for the $2 and opposite for the $2000 piece.

The size for the $2000 note is considered as a large banknote but not the largest banknote ever printed if you compare to those commemorative notes issued by, say Malaysia (600 ringgit), the Philippines (100000 piso) or Thailand (500000 baht) etc. It is not sure how many specimen notes for this series were printed. A million pieces were issued for the $2 circulating note and only 2000 pieces were printed for the $2000 note. Whilst the $2 notes went into circulation, the $2000 notes were sold at a premium and therefore many locals in Fiji may not even be aware of such notes if one is not a collector. The $2000 commemorative notes were also sold in a very nice wooden presentation box too. In view of this, one would assume that they would have printed more specimens for the $2 than the $2000 note. However, I believe this may not be the case. The $2000 specimen notes are all printed with a tiny control number on the left hand side bottom of the note and none for the $2 specimen note. Judging by what I have observed so far, I would say about 500 pieces printed for the $2000 note, which is quite a lot given the low quantity of notes printed. Yes, I do agree that this is strange as to why so many of the $2000 specimen notes printed especially only 2000 pieces printed for the actual note. I just wonder if they initially intended to have this presented as a gift to special VIPs in Fiji. Well, as usual, I could be wrong in this and it would not be the first time either! In my opinion, about 100 to 200 pieces of the $2 specimen were printed for this series.

No replacement prefixes have been sighted for either of the two circulating notes. 

Two Dollars Specimen
Dated 2000, the late Ratu Sir Penaia Kanatabatu Ganilau (b.1918-1993), First President of Fiji (tenure 1987-1993), P102s
Reverse - sun, Fijians of all races, map, turtle

Here is the interesting fact about this specimen note. The prefix for this $2 specimen note is printed with "Y2K" (Year 2000). However the actual notes released to the public for circulation are all printed with the prefix of "2K" only, i.e.without the letter "Y" in front. See circulating note below for comparison.

Two Dollars Circulating note
Circulating note

Two Thousand Dollars Specimen
Ratu Sir Kamisese Kapaiwai Tuimacilai Mara (b.1920-2004), First Prime Minister of Fiji (tenure 1970-1987); Second President of Fiji (tenure 1994-2000), P103s
Reverse - view of earth from space, sun, map of Fiji, sea shells, 180० Meridian line

From the above, you can see that I have the specimen no 153. To some people this is not a desirable no. It's not my day today 😞.

Footnote ⇛
If any visitors have any information regarding the quantity printed for the specimen notes, please feel free to post your comment here. 

View all year 2000 millennium banknotes issued

| belarus | china | dominican republic | fiji | gibraltar | great britain | guernsey | honduras | hungary | japan | macedonia | malta | new zealand | northern bank (northern ireland) | papua new guinea | clydesdale bank (scotland) | singapore | slovakia | the united states of america |

Appreciate it if you please let me know if you find any broken links. Some of the images here were scanned with 100 dpi. These were done a long time ago, however I am not going to redo them again. Those latest scans are all done with 300 dpi.

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