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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

15 July 2021

..Solomon Islands - $40 Dated 2018 Polymer Specimen 40th Year of Independence 1978-2018

Solomon Islands

Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI)
(since 1983)
Currency - Dollar (SBD)

Posted here is the $40 polymer specimen note celebrating the nation's 40th year of independence. Independence day is celebrated on July the 7th. The commemorating circulating note was issued on 05.07.2018. 

Brief history of the Solomon Islands;
The name Solomon Islands (Islas Solomon) was given by a Spanish explorer Alvaro De Mandana (b.1542-1595) when he first visited the archipelago in 1568. Then came the British and between 29.09.1893 to 21.06.1975, the country was known as the British Solomon Islands Protectorate. On 22.06.1975, it was renamed Solomon Islands and then became a self-governing colony on 02.01.1976. On 07.07.1976, the British granted its independence and in 1977, Solomon Islands issued its first banknotes of $2, $5 and $10. The $20 was added later in 1981. Prior to 1977 the Australia dollars were circulating in the country. Following the issue of the Solomon Islands dollar, the exchange rate was at par with the Australian dollar. It should be noted that despite the Australian dollars were once circulating in the country including the Australia $1 note, Solomon Islands has never issued a $1 note since gaining independent.

Despite being an independent nation since 1976, Solomon Islands retains the British monarch as their Head of State and Queen Elizabeth the Second is represented by a Governor-General (currently is Sir David Vugani since 2009) residing in the country. Having the British monarch as the Head of State, the last time a banknote printed with the Queen's portrait was the 1984 series. Since then all banknotes issued are printed with the Coat of Arms on the front. The national flag was later also added to the designs. 

This $40 polymer note is a very unusual denomination but Solomon Islands is not the first country to issue a banknote with the value of forty. Other countries like Bangladesh and Djibouti have also issued commemorative banknotes with the value of 40 earlier too.
Apart from the banknote itself, CBSI also released a folder but without containing the banknote. It was reported that only 100 folders were issued and all sold out very quickly. The folder itself was sold at S$75 each, of course without the banknote, and needless to say, the empty folder is more expensive than the banknote face value. 

Forty Dollars Specimen
Dated 2018, man blowing conch shell, map of Solomon Islands
Governor - Denton Hehenoro Rarawa (tenure 2008-2019)
Secretary, Ministry of Finance - Harry Kuma (2015?)
Imprinter - De La Rue (De La Rue's Safeguard polymer substrate)
Dimension - 146mm x 67mm
Reverse - young girls on canoe, turtle, fish, man on canoe, flag of Solomon Islands

Note: According to a website, it says that the signature for the Secretary to the Minister of Finance on this note belongs to Fred Fakari'i. According to another source, it said that he was appointed to the post of Permanent Secretary to the Minister of Finance and Treasury in 2014. However, it is not sure if he still holds that position now or has he been removed or moved to another position since then. Whilst I have not sighted the image of Fred Fakari'i's signature before, the signature on this note does not look any resemblance to his name. I also understand that signing of a personal signature can come in all shapes and styles, however, I have now confirmed that the signature belongs to Harry Kuma. However, I have no information as to when he was appointed or when he left as Harry Kuma is now the Minister for Finance of Solomon Islands.

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