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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

10 June 2024

...Philippines - 20 Piso 2023 Central Bank 30th Anniversary 1993 - 2023

 Republika ng Pilipinas
(Republic of The Philippines)

Bango Sentral ng Pilipinas
(Central Bank of The Philippines, Est.1949)
Currency - Piso (PHP)
Below is a twenty piso commemorative note issued in 2023 for the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Central Bank of The Philippines (Bango Sentral ng Pilippinas) 1993 - 2023. The Philippines's central bank was first established on 03.01.1949. In 1993 (3rd July), it reestablished itself under the New Central Bank Act.
The design for this note is the same as the 2010 series but with a commemorative logo added on around the watermark area. This note is printed with a special prefix of BSP (Bango Sentral ng Pilipinas).
Twenty Piso
Manuel Luis Quezon y Molina (b.1878-1944)

Front - The portrait of Manuel Luis Quezon y Molina (b.1878-1944) in the center left. Manuel Quezon was the President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines from 1935 until his death in 1944. As the Japanese Imperial Army occupied the Philippines from 1942 to 1945, he set up his Government in exile in the US (Washington D.C.) and he died in office on 01.08.1944, almost one year before the end of the Second World War in August 1945. To the left is a scene of the people gathering together during the proclamation of Filipino as national language in 1935. In the center is the Malacanang palace, the official residence and office of the President of the Philippines.
Pangulo ng Pilipinas (President) - Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Romualdez Marcos Jr (tenure 30.06.2022-30.06.2028)
Tagapangasiwa ng Bangko Sentral (Governor) - Felipe Manguiat Medalla* (tenure 2022-2023)
Date - 2023
Watermarks - Manuel Luis Quezon and electrotype 20
Dimensions - 161mm x 66mm

* Felipe Manguiat Medalla has only served as the Central Bank governor for a year when the term of the position expired. He took over the role on 30.06.2022 when the new President appointed the previous governor as the new Secretary of Finance under the new Marcos's administration. Medalla was appointed to the Bank Governor on 04.03.2019. He only lasted for one and a half years as the Secretary of Finance and was replaced by Ralph Gonzalez Recto in early 2024.

Back - To the left is the outline map of the Philippines. In the center is an Asian palm civet and in the background is the Banaue Rice terraces, an UNESCO World Heritage site. The Banaue Rice Terraces is located on the northern part of Luzon island. You can see the location of these Banaue Rice Terraces on the map printed on the left side of the note. The location is highlighted with a dot on the island of Luzon.

Map of the Philippines, Asian palm civet, Banaue Rice terraces

08 June 2024

...Ukraine - 50 Hryven 2024 Commemorative Second Anniversray of Russian Invasion 2022-2024


Національний банк України
(National Bank of Ukraine, est 1991)
Currency - Hryven (UAH)
This is a commemorative note of 50 hryven, released on 23.02.2024 on the eve of the second anniversary of the Russian invasion. Russia invaded Ukraine on 24.02.2022. This is the second commemorative note issued commemorating the war against Russia. On 24.02.2023, a banknote of 20 hryven was issued to remember the first anniversary of the unwanted war with Russia.
The theme for this commemorative note is 'Unity saves the world'. This is a numismatic product with 300,000 pieces printed and sold together in a simple card folder. The serial numbers range for this series are from EC 0000001 to 0300000. As this is a non-circulating banknote and sold at a premium, it is very unlikely you will find them in circulation. This note is printed in a vertical format on both front and back and is dated with a year date of 2024.

Fifty Hryven
Map of Ukraine including Crimea, 17 hearts
Front - Map of Ukraine including Crimea, 17 hearts with veins look alike spreading out toward the west and south. A shadow of a girl wearing a military helmet facing left.

Governor (Голова) - Andriy Pyshnyy (Pyshnyi) (since 07.10.2022)
Watermark - Clasped hands
Dimensions - 81mm x 166mm
Issue price - 245 hryven

Back - Eight pair of clasped hands symbolising cooperation, mutual assistance and partnership. The Ukraine Coat of Arms (Ukrainian trident) printed in the background.

Eight pair of clasped hands

06 June 2024

...Mauritius - 50 Ouguiya 2023 Hybrid Commemorating 50th Years of the Ouguiya Currency 1973-2023

 .الجمهورية الإسلامية الموريتانية
(The Islamic Republic of Mauritania)
البنك المركزي الموريتاني
 (Central Bank of Mauritania, Est.1973)
Currency - Ouguiya (MRU)
To me, this is an usual release - One design but with three substrates!
Here are the three commemorative banknotes of 50 ouguiya all released on 18.06.2023. The designs for these three notes are all the same except that the banknote materials printed on are not all manufactured the same. I believe this is the first time a central bank has issued the same note design but printed on three different substrates - Hybrid x 2 and Paper. 
The three type of materials (substrates) printed for this series are; -

Type l - Durasafe®, a polymer center between paper (Prefix AA, Suffix L);
Type ll - Paper with sisal (Prefix BA, Suffix V); and
Type lll - Hybrid ADDvance®, paper center between polymer (Prefix CA, Suffix G)
The above three substrates are manufactured by Landqart, Oberthur and Louisenthal respectively. According to the central bank, the purpose of the three substrates for the same note is to see which one would fare better in terms of durability over a reasonable period, and from there it will then select the one that is most adaptable to Mauritania's environment and climate. As the country has adopted polymer banknotes since 2017, it is not sure if this outcome will have any impact on the current polymer series.

The above Types I and III are considered as hybrid banknotes, but I believe Type II is not. A paper banknote can be manufactured with cotton base, hemp, flax and sisal materials. These materials can provide good resistant cellulose with exceptional strength to the banknotes. 
These commemorative notes were released to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Ouguiya, the currency name first adopted on 18.06.1973. Prior to that, the country was using the West African CFA francs. The word Ouguiya came from the Hassaniya Arabic language meaning "Ounce". Mauritania was occupied by the French in 1904 and independence was achieved in 1960.
These notes are all printed with the bank's anniversary date of 18.06.2023.
The selling price for these three notes are very inconsistent. It appears that the C series is the most common type and followed by the A series. The B series seems to be the most expensive, or perhaps depending on who you are buying it from, both the A and B series can be seen as equally expensive. The selling price for the A and B series are well above the face value of this note, some selling as much as 60+ times above it's value.
Fifty Ouguiya Hybrid (Series A - polymer center between paper)
Central Bank of Mauritania

Traditional teapot, traditional musical instrument, wind turbines and solar panels

Fifty Ouguiya (Series B - paper with sisal)
Traditional teapot, traditional musical instrument, wind turbines and solar panels

Fifty Ouguiya Hybrid (Series C - paper center between polymer)
Central Bank of Mauritania
Front - The building of the Central Bank of Mauritania located in Nouakchott. To the center right is the Ibn Abass mosque also located in Nouakchott.
Treasurer General - Unknown
Governor - Mohamed Lemine Ould Dhehby (March 2022-)
Watermark - Image of a bearded old man and electrotype 50
Dimensions - 131mm x 66.5mm
Back -Traditional metal teapot, traditional musical instrument, green energies in Mauritania with wind turbines and solar panels.
Traditional teapot, traditional musical instrument, wind turbines and solar panels

10 May 2024

...Mynamar - 20000 Kyats ND2023 Commemorative

ပြည်ထောင်စု သမ္မတ မြန်မာနိုင်ငံတော်‌
(Republic of the Union of Myanmar)
Central Bank of Myanmar est.1948
Currency : Kyat (MMK)
This is the largest denomination of banknote issued in this country. This note was reportedly issued on 31.07.2023, to celebrate the first birthday of the Royal White Elephant called Ratha Mandaka, and also the completion of an 81 feet statue of a sitting Maravijaya Buddha in the capital city of Naypyidaw. The giant Buddha statue was unveiled on 01.08.2023 by General Min Aung Hlaing and is reportedly the world's highest sitting marble Buddha statue. This marble Buddha weighs 1,700 ton and cost US$27.6 million (58 billion kyat) to build. The white elephant, Ratha Nandaka was born on 23.07.2022.
It is common that giant Buddha statues are built in Myanmar as the majority of the people in Myanmar are Buddhist. Whilst this is a commemorative note, only a white elephant is depicted on the front of the note and not the Buddha statue.

No official reason was given as to why this high denomination 20,000 kyats banknote is issued. Since the military ousted the democratically elected government on 01.02.2021, economic boycotts and sanctions imposed by many western nations have hurt the country's economy severely. Obviously, with such a high denomination note issued, there is always a risk of high inflation too. According to a local report, this is a limited edition, and the banknotes are only issued via exchanging of damaged lower denomination of notes with the same value at the central bank branches in Naypyidaw, Yangon and Mandalay. Each person is limited to 3 notes against the same value of unfit banknotes. It is not sure if this is still the condition imposed now for those who want to get them as more and more are popping up for sale. Unless you are a collector, it would be unlikely anyone in Myanmar would exchange for this note, unless you are living in the above-mentioned three cities or getting one out of curiosity. Despite this being a limited edition, in my opinion, it is way overpriced for a banknote that is worth less than US$10 face value. It is not known how many pieces were printed. Without knowing the quantity printed, it is hard to gauge if the current asking price is fair or reasonable.
Twenty Thousand Kyats
White elephant - Ratha Mandaka

Front - Ratha Mandaka, a Yadana white elephant (precious white elephant). In Myanmar (and in Thailand too) cultures, albino white elephant is related to a sacred animal and is considered a good omen. It is believed to be auspicious and divine and it also symbolises wealth and prosperity too. It is also believed that an albino white elephant will bring success in business and life as well.

Signature - N/A
Watermark - Head of Yadana white elephant and electrotype 20000
Dimensions - 152mm x 71mm
Back - Images of the Ava (Sagaing/Inwa/Ava) bridge and Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) bridge. Both run across the Irrawaddy river. The Ava bridge was built in 1934 and was destroyed by the British during the Second World War. The bridge was then rebuilt in 1954 and was then the only bridge that was built across the Irrawaddy River until 2008. The Ayeyarwady bridge was completed and opened in 2008. It has a total length of 1,711 meters. Both bridges link the two cities of Sagaing and Mandalay.
Ava and Ayeyarwady bridges

07 May 2024

...Transnistria - 1 Ruble 2007(2023) 100th Anniversary of Gold Chervonets

  Република Молдовеняскэ Нистрянэ
Приднестровская Молдавская Республика
(Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic)

Transnistrian Republican Bank
Currency : Ruble (RUP)
This is a 1 ruble commemorative overprint banknote issued on 07.09.2023 for the celebration of the 100th Year of Gold Chervonets. The word Chervonets is a Russian name for large foreign and local gold coins. As the word Chervonets is a Russian word, it means 'Red' or 'Rose Gold'. 
The minting of the Russian Gold Chervonets was first started in 1923 and 1925. These Gold Chervonets were not sold overseas and most of them were held and retained by the government. Very few of these survive since then as most of them were recast into bars or used for other purposes. The Gold Chervonets when first minted have the face value of 10 Russian roubles. The gold coin has a weight of 8.60 grams and a pure gold content of 7.74 grams. Because of its scarcity, one of these gold coins can fetch around US$7,000+ in today's market.
The design of this note is similar to the 1 ruble dated 2007 (released 2012) and with the commemorative logo added to the design on the front. As this is a commemorative limited edition banknote, only 2,500 pieces of these commemorative notes have been printed with 2,490 pieces packed and sold in a simple booklet as numismatic products.

One Ruble
Russian General Alexander Vassilyevich Suvorov (b.1730-1800)

Front  - A portrait of the Russian General Alexander Vassilyevich Suvorov (b.1730-1800) in military uniform. General Suvorav was a Russian born military hero holding the rank of Field Marshal Generalissimo. He was the fourth Generalissimo of Russia. To the far right is an image of one Gold Chervonets printed on the watermark area. The image of the one Gold Chervonets is showing the reverse side of the coin, with a peasant spreading seeds on the ground (on the obverse side is the Coat of Arms of Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic - RSFSR). On top of the coin is printed with the Russian words - 'ЗОЛОТОМУ ЧЕРВОНЦУ' (Golden Chervonets), and on the bottom '100 ЛЕТ' (100 Years).

Signature - n/a
Watermarks - General Alexander Vassilyevich Suvorov and electrotype bank logo
Dimensions - 130mm x 56.5mm

Back - Kitskansk Bridgehead memorial or Chiţcani monument in Chitcani. This monument was built in 1972 (opened 09.05.1972) to commemorate victory against the German invasion during the Second World War in 1944. Chitcani is situated north of Tiraspol, the capital city of Transnistria.
Kitskansk Bridgehead memorial or Chiţcani monument in Chitcani

Front Cover
1) Transnistria is an unrecognised state. However, it is recognised by three other unrecognised states, like Abkhazia (Georgia) Artsakh (Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh), and South Ossetia (Georgia).
2) Independence or secession from Moldova was declared on 02.09.1990.
3) The Government of Transnistria controls a narrow strip of land (4,463 square kilometers) situated between the Dniester river and the Moldova-Ukraine border.
4) Internationally, Transnistria is recognised as part of Moldova.
5) Transnistria first introduced it's own currency on 22.08.1994. 
6) The Transnistria ruble is a non recognised currency outside its territory and as such it is not possible to exchange it into Moldovan lei or any other currencies.
7) Transnistria has a population of less than half a million people, and most people speak the Russian language.