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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 November 2020

.Fiji - $50 Dated 2020 50th Year of Independence Golden Jubilee 1970-2020

 Republic of Fiji
(since 1987)

Reserve Bank of Fiji
Currency : Dollar (FJD)

This is a $50 polymer note, which was released on 08.10.2020 for the celebration of the country's 50th independence anniversary 1970-2020. This note was launched by the Prime Minister Ratu Josala Voreqe Bainimarama on the 07/10/2020. The planning for these commemorative notes and coins commenced in November 2017.

Fiji was once a colony of the United Kingdom from 1874 to 1970. On 10/10/2020, after 96 years of British rule, independence was granted and was then known as the Dominion of Fiji. The independence ceremony in 1970 was attended by Prince Charles who represented Queen Elizabeth the Second. Following gaining independence, the British monarch remained the head of state and her position was represented by a Governor-General based in Fiji. However, after two successful political coups in the 1980s, Fiji became a republic on 06/10/1987. Since becoming a republic, the British monarch was replaced by a President. Despite being a republic, the Reserve Bank of Fiji continued issuing banknotes with the portrait of the British monarch. However this also changed when a new series of banknotes were issued in 2013. The last series of banknotes issued with the portrait of the British Monarch was the 2007 series.

Following gaining independence, Fiji became the 127th member of the United Nations.

In addition to the normal note, the central bank also issued this note in a folder at a small premium. An uncut sheet of 15-in-one was also made available to the public. In addition to the banknote, a fifty cents coloured coin was also minted for this celebration with all primary one to secondary year 13 students receiving one in a presentation pack for free. This coin was selling at F$1 each.  

Front - Flag raising ceremony at Albert Park in Suva on the day of independence in 1970 witnessed by Prince Charles (not shown) who was representing Queen Elizabeth the Second, shield-of-arms, a see-through round window with the image of a clock chiming at ten o'clock from a government building.
Back - Six children of various ethnicity backgrounds all carrying the national flag running forward. A see through shield-of-arms and movement parts of a clock on the round window with the numeral 50.

Despite becoming a republic in 1987, the country's national flag still retains the image of the Union Jack. Discussions for the removal of the Union Jack and redesign of the flag were made in the past but such calls were later abandoned. It is not sure if this was due to the public losing interest in this topic or some other reasons. Even the shield-of-arms on the flag looks very British too. If the flag had successfully changed then this flag raising ceremony may not have been used for the design of this note. Apart from Australia and New Zealand, Fiji is one of the remaining two pacific nations that still have the Union Jack on its flag. The other nation is Tuvalu (Independence 01.10.1978). Tuvalu is a very tiny nation with a population of less than 12,000. The Tuvaluan issue their own coins but use Australia banknotes instead.

Independent ceremony started at 10.00 am on the 10th of October 1970 and as such the time on the clock is shown. The image of this clock came from a government building in 1970. The design on the independence flag raising ceremony was also previously printed on the $50, first issued in 1996 and then in 2002 series. This was discontinued in the 2007 series. 

The note is also printed with the text - '50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE 1970-2020'

Governor  - Faizul Ariff Ali (appointed 11.09.2017)
Dimensions - 151mm x 67mm
Imprinter - De La Rue (banknotes)
Coins - Royal Canadian Mint

This is the first banknote bearing the signature of Faizul Ariff Ali since he was appointed in 2017 as the Governor of the Bank. The term for the Governor is for 5 years. Faizul Ali was previously the Deputy Bank Governor and then Acting Governor in May 2017, following the expiry of the term of the previous Bank Governor Barry Whiteside.

According to the bank governor, this is a limited issue but it is not sure how many of these are printed. It appears that only one prefix has been issued with the FAI prefix and one replacement prefix ZZA too. In addition to these, specimen notes are also printed too. The letters FAI stand for 'Fiftieth Anniversary of Independence'. I have posted both the notes here.

Fifty Dollars Normal Prefix
Dated 2020, Independence Flag Raising ceremony 1970

Reverse - Fijian children
Fifty Dollars Replacement Prefix ZZA
Dated 2020, Independence Flag Raising ceremony 1970

Reverse - Fijian children

I believe the image of the flag raising ceremony depicted on the note may have been altered from the original photo taken in 1970. I have been looking through the Internet briefly to confirm this and the one that I found has the flag rising behind the flag pole. As for this note, the flag is positioning in front of the pole. I am unable to post an image here due to copyright issues. However, this flag raising ceremony scene was previously printed on the 1996 issue of the $50 issued. Please see the scan below for comparison.
check out the position of the flag and pole

Fiji commemorative notes issued:-
2000 $2 Millennium issue;
2000 $2000 Millennium issue;
2017 $7 Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games Gold Medal issue.

Fiji is one of the few countries that have issued banknotes printed on paper, polymer and hybrid materials. Other nations in the Pacific region that have also done this are Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Samoa. This is the second polymer note and the fourth commemorative banknote released in Fiji.

Information sheet

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