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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

09 February 2024

...China - 20 Yuan 龙(龍)年 Commemorative Year of the Dragon 2024

(Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó)
(People's Republic of China)

中国人民银行 (中國人民銀行)
(Zhōngguó Rénmín Yínháng / People's Bank of China)
Currency : Renminbi 人民币 (CNY)
10 February 2024 to 28 January 2025 (353 days)
The Year of the Loong! The last time a dragon banknote design was issued in modern China was in 2000. In that year, China released a commemorative 100 yuan polymer note to celebrate the Millennium year 2000, and also the Year of the Dragon龙(). The design for the 2000 note on the front featured an Imperial Dragon with a fireball. In December 2023, the bank announced the release of a twenty yuan 贰拾圓 commemorative note to celebrate Chinese Zodiac 2024 The Year of the Dragon. This banknote also features an Imperial Dragon on the front. A total of 100 million pieces have been issued.
The Year of the Dragon celebration begins on 10.02.2024 and will end on 28.01.2025. It is reported that the Chinese central bank intends to release a full 12 cycle of the Chinese Zodiac animals series with the first note for the Dragon year. The remaining eleven notes will be progressively issued over the next 11 years with one zodiac animal each, just like those issued by the two commercial banks in Macau from 2012 to 2023.
In the 12 Chinese Zodiacs, the Dragon is positioned 5th in the animal signs cycle. Among the 12 animals, the Dragon is the most powerful creature, and it symbolises power, good luck, strength and health. It is also a fact that more babies are usually being born during the year of the Dragon, than any other animal signs. Well, at least this is according to the Chinese. If you were born in the Year of the Dragon, get yourself this banknote as a souvenir. You would be either 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72 or 84 years old or even older.
Online applications for pre-orders for these notes were opened from 03.01.2024 and each is restricted to 20 pieces per application at face value. If the entire prints were up for grabs, and with a population of 1.4 billion people, this equates to 5,000,000 applicants, assuming each applicant submitted for 20 pieces of notes each. Of course, this was not the case. Due to high demand, several banks' websites were inaccessible and causing issues such as lag, delay in delivery of security verification codes and others.  These notes were then released to the public on 09.01.2024. It would be fair to say that these new notes are expected to be used as red package (hong pao/紅包) for the Chinese New Year. No doubt many will keep them as souvenirs as the New Year Dragon notes are always popular among the Chinese people. I am sure many of these notes will end up as 'hong pao' too. In addition to this banknote, 120 million pieces of 10 yuan bimetallic copper alloy were also released.
It should be noted that whilst this note was issued as a commemorative banknote, there is nothing printed on the note to indicate this, nor any wordings or logo, except the single letter prefix of 'J'. The letter 'J' prefix has been used for all commemorative notes issued since the 2000 Year of the Dragon and Millennium polymer note. This note is printed in a vertical format on both front and back, and like the 2000 commemorative note, it is also printed on polymer substrate material. The colours selected for this note are predominantly red and reddish, as these are the auspicious colours to the Chinese. Like all modern Chinese banknotes there are no signatures printed, but only the usual square Central Bank seal. 

This is the 7th commemorative banknote issued by the People's Bank of China and the second commemorative banknote for the Year of the Loong. Previous commemorative issues were - 

1999 - 50 yuan 50th Anniversary of the Chinese Communist Revolution 1949-1999;
2000 - 100 yuan Year of the Dragon/Millennium polymer;
2008 - 10 yuan 2008 XXIX Beijing Summer Olympics;
2015 - 100 yuan Aerospace and Science Technology;
2022 - 20 yuan 2022 XXIV Beijing Winter Olympics;
2022 - 20 yuan 2022 XXIV Beijing Winter Olympic polymer;
2024 - 20 yuan Year of the Dragon polymer.

Twenty Yuan
Imperial dragon

Front - A Chinese Imperial writhing dragon (with five claws) in green and gold colours. The writhing dragon is facing east. Unlike the 2000 100 yuan note, this one did not have the fireball printed in the design. The dragon is surrounded by Chinese stylised  clouds. The Coat of Arms of China is printed on the top left-hand corner. At the bottom is an ancient Chinese writing of 'Fu' (福/Luck), and is written/designed in such a way that it can be seen on either side of the note.

Signature - N/A
Quantity - 100 million pieces
Dimensions - 71mm x 146mm

Back - Three children playing a lantern dance together, with one holding a paper dragon lantern. Another little girl is holding a resemblance of a ball (fireball) lantern and a little boy is holding a paper drum shaped lantern with his left hand. The background depicts Beijing quadrangle courtyards with tree surroundings. This note looks a bit like those Chinese red packets used during new years.

Children playing a lantern dance

rat  ox  tiger  rabbit  DRAGON  snake  horse  goat  monkey  rooster  dog  pig
...Facts; -
Why does Chinese New Year not fall on the first of January or on a fixed day, like the Gregorian calendar? Chinese New Year is based on the lunisolar calendar. Like the Gregorian calendar, there are also 12 months in a year. However, the number of days in a month is based on the cycle of the Moon and that can vary between 29 and 30 days and for a normal year, it can be 353, 354 or 355 days. In the event of a leap year, a full month is added to the calendar. This is usually added every three years. In the past 19 years, an extra month was added seven times. For a leap year, the total number of days in a year is between 383 to 385 days.
The Chinese New Year is celebrated on the second new moon after the Winter Solstice (冬至 Dongzhi festival) on December 21 (22nd or 23rd) and the Chinese New Year can fall between the fourth week of January and on the last week of February on the Gregorian Calendar. I do not believe any Chinese New Year has ever come before January 21st or later that February 20th.

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