Reference Site for Islamic Banknotes
Items that made News in 2003
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A new variety of the Pakistani 100-rupee note with Urdu Line A (No.36) has been discovered. On the earlier notes of this variety, the line of Urdu text was printed by lithographic (or offset) printing. On the later varieties it was printed by intaglio printing.
[Submitted by Sejin Ahn -- December 2003]
There is a report that Somaliland has issued a 2002 dated 500-shilling note. The note has a silvery, windowed security thread. This would appear to be part of a new release of notes, with the 1999 dated 100-shilling note being reported a short time ago.
[Submitted by Nazir Rahemtulla -- November 2003]
Bangladesh has now issued the 500-, 100-, 50-, 20, and 10-taka notes with the date of 2003. Only the 2-taka note is yet to be issued with the new date.
[Submitted by Mohammed Islam & Sejin Ahn -- November 2003]
A new 20,000-rial note is to be issued by Iran in December 2003.
[Submitted by Claudio Marana -- November 2003]
Saudi Arabia has issued a modified 100-riyal note. The modifications are very similar to the modifcations made to the 500-riyal note earlier in the year. The notice on SAMA's website states:
Press Release by Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency
An amended banknote of the denomination of One Hundred Saudi Riyals will be put into circulation on Saturday 15/8/1424 H. corresponding to 11/10/2003 G. In accordance with Article 4 of the Saudi Currency Law, SAMA has recommended to the Council of Ministers reprinting of the 100-riyal denomination which is expected to run out of stock, and proposed the introduction of additional security features to the note. The recommendation was approved on 18/4/1422. The proposed security features will ensure the protection of the national currency, and facilitate the use of the banknote by the public. The following are the most important security features:
In the same manner as the 500-riyal note, a further significant change is the inclusion of the year of issue on the notes. The hejeira year is printed on the front of the note as part of the intaglio printing, to the left of the Governor's signature, while on the back of the note the year '2003' appears in the bottom right, again as part of the intaglio printing.
In addition to the foregoing features, the note has the following security features since its issue:
- Optically Variable Foil -- Optically variable foil forming ornamental shape consisting of the emblem of the state and the note value that appear dynamic from certain angels.
- Optically Variable Ink -- An ornamental shape printed by optically variable ink that shifts gradually from golden colour to green colour when the note is tilted.
- Windowed Security Thread -- A metallic windowed security thread of 4 mm width with a clear text of "مؤسسة النقد العربي السعودي" and the note value "100" appear when exposing the note to light.
- Note Value Water Mark -- Represents the note value "100" that appears when exposing the note to light.
- Visually Impaired Recognition Feature -- An ornamented shape printed twice in tactile intaglio printing to help the blind and sight impaired people to recognize the value of the note when felt.
The note will be circulated along with other denominations in circulation. SAMA hopes the new additions will satisfy the public, enhance its confidence in the national currency, protect it against all forms of forgery.
- Water Mark -- Represents the portrait of King Fahd that appears when exposing the note to light.
- Tactile Intaglio Printing -- Bold tactile intaglio printing scattered over the note that adds to the note a rough texture, harmonious colours and clear design.
[Submitted by Sejin Ahn & Peter Symes -- October 2003]
A new 10-pound note has been issued by Egypt. It is an enhanced version of the previous 10-pound note, similar to the latest 5- and 20-pound notes.
[Submitted by Nazir Rahemtulla -- October 2003]
The new and much anticipated issue of notes from Iraq has been released into circulation on 15 October 2003. There are currently six notes on issue. They are in the denominations of 25,000, 10,000, 5,000, 1000, 250 and 50 dinars. (The serial number prefixes use the 'abjad' sequence of the Arabic alphabet, but the first letter, alif, is not used. This suggests that a lower denomination may yet appear, or was considered but ultimately not issued.)
The notes have bold colours but in most ways are disappointing. They use images from old series, which can be understood, but they do not exactly project a bright new future in the manner that a completely new series of designs might have done. The only new design appears on the front of the 25,000 dinar note, which shows a Kurdish farmer. This appears to be a politically brave move! Details of each note follow:
Nota Bene: Information on the banknotes and the images have been sourced from the website of the Coalition Provisional Authority. Other information on the introduction of the currency is on the website.
- 25,000 Dinar Note
- FRONT -- Kurdish farmer holding sheaf of wheat. Tractor in background.
- BACK -- King Hammurabi. Credited with writing the first code of law in human history he founded the First Dynasty of Babylon in 1700 BC, leading Babylonia into a period of great prosperity.
- 10,000 Dinar Note
- FRONT -- Abu Ali Hasan Ibn al-Haitham (known as Alhazen to medieval scholars in the West), born Basrah in 965 A.D. His most important work - although he wrote some 200 books - is held to be a seven volume series on optics Kitab al-Manazir, in which he gives the first correct explanation of vision, showing that light is reflected from an object into the eye. He is said to have ‘invented’ the camera obscura. Also, an eminent physicist and mathematician he developed analytical geometry by establishing linkage between algebra and geometry. Alhazen’s work was translated into Latin, and greatly influenced European scientific thought.
- BACK -- Hadba Minaret, at the Great Nurid Mosque, Mosul, built 1172 A.D by Nurridin Zangi, the then Turkish ruler. The 59m-high minaret leans 8 feet off the perpendicular. That is how it earned its Arabic name Al-Hadba (‘the humped’).
- 5000 Dinar Note
- FRONT -- Gully Ali Beg and its 800m waterfall. The 10km gully passes between Mount Kork and Mount Nwathnin, some 60km away from Shaqlawa.
- BACK -- The second century desert fortress of Al-Ukhether, Hejira.
- 1000 Dinar Note
- FRONT -- A gold dinar coin, used in this region until superseded by more modern coins and notes.
- BACK -- Al-Mustansirya University, Baghdad. Built in the mid-thirteenth century it was the most prominent university in the Islamic world in the Middle Ages.
- 250 Dinar Note
- FRONT -- The astrolabe. One of the earliest scientific instruments - able to measure the time of day or night and altitude and latitude - conceived by the Greeks it was further developed by medieval Arab astronomers, who used it to help determine the time for fasting during the month of Ramadan.
- BACK -- The Spiral Minaret in Samarra, built 848-849 A.D. Samarra was then the Abbasid Empire’s capital city.
- 50 Dinar Note
- FRONT -- The grain silo at Basrah. Working at full capacity the facility can off-load and process 60,000 tonnes of grain per hour.
- BACK -- Date palms. Iraq used to be the world’s largest producer and exporter of dates. Over 600 varieties are grown in-country.
[Submitted by Paul Atkinson and Peter Symes -- October 2003]
The 'country' that no-one recognizes has issued an update to its currency. A 100-shilling note from Somaliland has been seen with a date of 1999. The serial number prefix is CG and there is one new signatory. How long has this date variety actually been around? Was it issued in 1999 and remained unknown to collectors for four years? Are the other denominations also issued with the same date? Perhaps notes with a later date also exist. Unfortunately, this discovery has simply raised more questions.
[Submitted by Sejin Ahn -- October 2003]
With the 15 October looming, the new Iraqi currency has reportedly been delivered to Baghdad. In a report on Swiss television, new 10,000 and 25,000 dinar notes have been shown. It is still not clear what denominations will make up the entire series in this release.
[Submitted by Christof Zellweger -- October 2003]
The report in August, that Sudan had released a 2000-dinar note, is now confirmed. The design of the new note follows the same style as the other notes in the current series. However, this note is rich in darker colours, with an incised irridescent foil strip with holograms running down the right-hand side on the front of the note.
[Submitted by Peter Symes -- September 2003]
The current 10 rupee notes issued in Pakistan (No.39) were originally printed with intaglio and lithographic printing. On 19 March 1987 the State Bank announced that notes bearing the signature of Wasim Oun Jaffrey would be printed entirely by lithography, as opposed to the notes bearing the previous signature of A.G.N. Kazi that used the two printing processes. However, a 10-rupee note bearing the signature of A.G.N.Kazi and with serial prefix DY/2 has been found with the lithographic (or offset) printing. Notes carrying the Kazi signature and bearing later prefixes are known with the intaglio printing, so it would seem that some lithographic notes were mixed with the intaglio and lithographic notes.
[Submitted by Seijin Ahn -- August 2003]
Bangladesh has commenced issuing the 20- and 100-taka notes with the date of 2003.
[Submitted by Seijin Ahn -- August 2003]
A report has been received that Sudan has released a 2000-dinar note.
[Submitted by Claudio Marana -- August 2003]
An announcement has been made that new Iraqi banknotes will be issued on 15 October 2003. It is understood that they are being printed by De La Rue and rumour has it that a 25,000 dinar note will be included in the issue.
[Submitted by Nazir Rahemtulla -- July 2003]
Meanwhile, an inspection of the First Republican Issue of Iraq (SCWPM Nos. 51-55) indicate an obvious variety that is not recorded in the SCWPM. The notes bearing the signature of al-Zahawi have no security thread, while those bearing the signature of al-Shawaf, al-Din Haseeb or Saleh Kubba carry a solid security thread. In addition there is a significant difference between the 1-dinar notes carrying the signature of al-Zahawi and those carrying the later signatures. Detail can be viewed on this link, but the differences are ...
[Submitted by Peter Symes -- July 2003]
- The early variety has:
- a white area between the scallop pattern and the inner circle of the area containing the watermark.
- no vertical lines on the area of the watermark (the pattern is of small dots)
- light-blue lines in the scalloped pattern around the edges of the circle
- no vertical lines within the scallop pattern.
- The later variety has:
- no white area between the scallop pattern and the inner circle of the area containing the watermark.
- vertical lines through the area reserved for viewing the watermark (the lines being an extension of the pattern of vertical lines that cover the note)
- dark-blue lines are used for the scalloped lines enclosing the area reserved for viewing the watermark
- vertical lines appear within the scalloped pattern.
The Central Bank of Qatar has released a new series of banknotes. The notes are due to be placed in circulation on 15 June 2003. An overview of the issues can be found on the web-site of the Central Bank of Qatar. (Currently a new window opens, on visiting the site, which gives the overview of the notes.) The text of the overview is as follows ...
Qatar Central Bank is pleased to announce for public the issue of a new family of Qatar banknotes, The “Fourth Issue” to be issued on Sunday 15 Rabia II 1424 corresponding to 15 June 2003. The new Qatari banknotes will be put into circulation via the commercial banks operating in Qatar. The new banknotes will be in six denominations 500,100,50,10,5,1.
Various new security features and sophisticated technologies have been incorporated into the new banknotes. In accordance with article 28 of the decree law no (15) of year 1993 establishing Qatar Central Bank, and amendments it has been decided to withdraw the previous banknotes “third Issue” from circulation starting from 15.06.2003 to 24.09.2003. A legal redemption period of ten years commencing from the starting date of the withdrawal will apply.
Below are details of the most important features of the Qatari new currency:
1- Common features to all denominations:
First: Front face of the banknotes:
Second: Back face of the banknotes:
- The title of Qatar Central Bank in Arabic is shown at the top of banknotes.
- On the right side appears the logo of the State.
- Signature of H.E. The Minister of Finance, and H.E. the Governor of Qatar Central Bank appear at the lower part of the banknote.
- On the right side a reflective silver thread is shown on the left side a transparent security thread which can be seen when the banknote is held up to normal light.
- The watermark showing the Head of a falcon when the banknote is held up against a source of light, appears on the left side.
- The value of the note in Arabic appears in the center from the top and left.
- On the top left hand side of QR 500,100 appears a silver hologram containing a group of alternating images of the State Crest and the value numerals of the notes, on the banknotes of QR 50 appears a silver foil containing images of the state crest.
- The serial numbers on the denominations of QR 500, 100, 50 appears in Arabic in black horizontal on the right side at the lower part, and with red colour vertically on the left side, for the banknotes of QR 10,5,1 the serial numbers appears in Arabic with black colour horizontal on the right side, and with red colour on the left side.
- Islamic Patterns at the top, middle, base of the banknote.
2- Special features for each denomination:
- The title of Qatar Central Bank in English is shown at the top left side.
- The Value in English appears at the base on right side and the value numerals of note can be seen at the top on right side and at the lower part on left side.
[Submitted by Christof Zellweger -- June 2003]
- Size: 164 x 74 mm
- Dominant colour: Purple/ Blue
- Main motif: Royal Palace, Al-Wajbah Fort, Falcon’s Head
- Size: 158 x 72 mm
- Dominant colour: Green
- Main motif: Old Mosque, Al- Shaqab Institute
- Size: 152 x 75,50 mm
- Dominant colour: Purple /Pink
- Main motif: Qatar Central Bank Building, Oyster and Pearl Monument
- Size: 146 x 69 mm
- Dominant colour: Orange
- Main motif: Traditional Dhow, Sand Dunes – Khor Al- Udeid
- Size: 140 x 67,5 mm
- Dominant colour: Green
- Main motif: Qatar Museum, Qatar Fauna
- Size: 134 x 66mm
- Dominant colour: Brown/ Blue
- Main motif: Qatar Birds
On or about the 20th of May, Bangladesh issued a new 50-taka note. It is similar to the previous issue, but is reduced in size. It is inderstood that it has undergone similar treatment to the 20-taka note.
[Submitted by Claudio Marana -- May 2003]
The new issues from Sudan continue to throw up varieties and it is now apparent that the Sudan Currency Printing Press is printing all of Sudan's banknotes and standardizing the paper for all issues. It appears that the standardization of the notes to carry a windowed security thread (as opposed to some notes using embedded threads and planchettes) and the use of eight numerals in the serial number are due to the Sudan Currency Printing Press taking tighter control of the production af all banknotes in the Sudan.
The 1000-dinar note with eight numerals in the serial number has now been observed with the signatures of Abdullah Hassan Ahmed and Sabir Mohamed Hassan. The 50-dinar note has been seen with a prefix of PZ and this is probably the prefix for replacement notes. (See chart for 'Sudan' for the latest data.)
[Submitted by Peter Symes -- May 2003]
As forecast back in February, a new 100-Dirham note has been issued by the UAE. Dated AH1423/2003, the note is similar to previous issue but it has an added silver overprint of tower within circle at top right. There is no signature change.
[Submitted by Murray Hanewich -- May 2003]
After many years of not sighting new signature varieties on the older notes, the Central Bank of Yemen has finally isued the 50-riyal note with the signature of Aluwi Salih al-Salami. Considering that he is not the current Governor, it suggests that there are a number of notes in storage with older signatures which may come into circulation at some time in the future.
[Submitted by Murray Hanewich -- May 2003]
The issue of modified Sudanese notes is becoming a little clearer. The 1000- and 200-dinar notes can now be confirmed as following the trend of the 500- and 50-dinar notes reported earlier (see below). The 200-dinar note has been issued with a windowed security thread, as opposed to the embedded thread and planchettes of the earlier issue. The 1000-dinar note, already issued carrying the windowed security thread, now has a new signature -- Sabir Mohamed Hassan. (The original issue had the signature of Abdullah Hassan Ahmed.)
Common to these two notes is that the serial number now has two characters and 8 numerals, which meets the new standard for Sudanese notes, set previously by the 500- and 50-dinar notes.
Not yet seen are changes to the 100-, 25-, 10-, and 5-dinar notes, although the 100- and 25-dinar notes have been reported with two characters in the serial number. Are the 10- and 5-dinar notes still in circulation?
[Submitted by Peter Symes -- April 2003]
There is a report that the 500-rial note issued by Saudi Arabia has been enhanced with at least one security feature. It is understood that the security thread is wider and appears on the back of the note.
[Submitted by Nazir Rahemtulla -- April 2003]
The report of the new 500-riyal note has been confirmed through a page on SAMA's web site. The relevant page states:
On 21.1.1424H (corresponding to 24.3.2003G), the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency put in circulation the amended 500-Riyal bank note. In accordance with Article Four of the Saudi Currency Law, SAMA had proposed to the Council of Ministers reprinting this bank note in view that the available stock was about to be exhausted. It has requested the introduction of new security features. On 18.4.1422H, the proposal was approved and the inclusion of proposed security features was agreed upon to ensure protection of the national currency and facilitate its use.
The web page also confirms that the new security features are the OVD in the centre, the four stars for the visually impaired at the right, and a new watermark of '500' (as well as the existing watermark of King Abdul Aziz). There have been other significant changes to the note. The panel above the King's head has been redesigned, with the new panel being printed with Optically Variable Ink.
Of significance are the changes to the text on the note. The text in the top right has been rewritten, with the date appearing on the second line of text (instead of the first line as on previous issues). More importantly, the text for 'Five Hundred Riyals' in Arabic, below the King's portrait, has changed. It appears that the article 'al' (the) has been removed from the word for 'hundred'.
On the back of the note, the most noticeable change is the new segmented, micro-printed security thread.
A further significant change is the inclusion of the year of issue on the notes. The hejeira year is printed on the front of the note, to the left of the Governor's signature, while on the back of the note the year '2003' appears in the bottom right.
[Submitted by Sejin Ahn & Peter Symes -- April 2003]
The new variety of the 500-dinar note (identified in March) has a significant variation, other than the size of the serial numbers, which were previously identified. As well as the left-hand serial number being larger than the one on the right (which is different to previous issues), the new note has a windowed security thread and no planchettes. The previous variety had a micro-printed security thread, that was entirely embedded in the paper, and it had planchettes through the centre of the note.
The 100-dianr note has been seen with serial number prefixes of 'K' and 'L'. The serial numbers for notes with the 'K' prefix have eight (8) numerals, whilst those with the prefix of 'L' have nine (9) numerals.
[Submitted by Peter Symes -- April 2003]
The new 1-dinar note for Jordan was released into circulation on 30 March 2003. This completes the introduction of the very attractive new series.
[Submitted by Claudio Marana -- March 2003]
A new signature variety for the 20-dinar note has been reported, the new signature being for the Minister of Finance. There is no indication of who provided the signature, but it is most probably Dr. Yousuf Hamad Al-Ibrahim (who, it is believed, has recently stood down from position of Minister of Finance). The new signature is believed to commence from serial number prefix FE/41.
[Submitted by Sejin Ahn -- March 2003]
New notes are being issued in Sudan, as a continuation of the current series. They are almost the same as the notes currently in circulation, but there is a significant change, as well as a few minor changes. One of the minor changes can be seen on the 50-dinar note, which has some minor colour changes on the back of the note, where the pattern on the left has a light brown colour.
However, the significant change appears in the serial numbers. For some notes of the current issue, one serial number is larger than the other and the new notes have reversed the size of the serial numbers. For the 50-dinar note the serial number in the lower right has been in a larger font, or typeface, than the serial number in the top left. This has been changed, so that the serial number in the top left is larger than the one in the bottom right. The 50-dinar notes have started a new sequence from PA.
For the 500-dinar note the serial number in the top right has been larger than the serial number in the lower left. The new note has the larger serial number in the lower left. The serial number prefix on the 500-dinar note appears to have continued from the previous sequence.
The font used for the serial numbers on these two notes also appears to have changed. Changes to other notes are yet to be recorded.
[Submitted by Peter Symes -- March 2003]
A new 50-rufiyaa note has been placed into circulation. The note is designed in the same pattern of other notes in this series. The other denominations already issued with this design are the 500, 100, 20, 10 and 5 rufiyaa. The remaining note to be introduced is the 2 rufiyaa and this note may not be introduced with the new design, if inflation dictates that it be replaced with a coin.
[Submitted by Claudio Marana -- March 2003]
The new 20-dinar and 50-dinar notes from Jordan are now in circulation. This continues the issue that was placed in circulation from late last year.
[Submitted by Claudio Marana and Nazir Rahemtulla -- March 2003]
United Arab Emirates
There is a new date for the 10-dirham note -- 2001/1422. As well as the new date, the cartouche holding the dates has changed. It is now smaller and finer and is the same as the cartouche found on the 5 dirham note dated 2001/1422.
Rumours from the UAE suggest that a new 200-dirham note may be issued before the end of the year and that the 100-dirham note may soon be issued with enhanced security features.
[Submitted by Murray Hanewich -- February 2003]
The 25pt. note has had the signature and date printed in blue ink since the 1999 issue; although this is the first time the change from black ink to blue ink has been reported. Some notes of the 1999 issue had their date and signature printed in black ink and it is not known when the change to blue ink occurred. All other denominations have been recorded only with black ink.
[Submitted by Sejin Ahn -- February 2003]
United Arab Emirates
The use of replacement notes for the current issue has been identified for some time on the 20-dirham notes by the use of '9' as the leading character in the serial number prefix. The Arabic representation has used corresponding Arabic numerals. However, a mystery has arisen with the discovery of a replacement note for the 50-dirham notes. The western numerals follow the same pattern as for the 20-dirham note, with '9' being used as the leading numeral. However, the Arabic representation uses the Arabic letters CmS (alif, raa' and thaa'). It is uncertain what these letters represent. In their Abjad (numeric) values they represent '1, 200 and 500'. Their order in the alphabetical sequence, (1st, 10th, and 4th) also sheds no light on the corresponding numerals in the serial number with western numerals, which has '994' in the illustrated example. In assessing the conundrum, it should be noted that the first character in the Arabic serial number may be a '1' rather than an alif.
[Submitted by Armen Hovsepian -- January 2003]
Libya has finished introduce its new series of notes. Now on issue are the 20-Dinar, 10-dinar, 5-dinar, 1-dinar, half-dinar and quarter-dinar notes. The 20-dinar note is notable for the image on the back of the notes, which is a portrait of leaders from the Organization of African Unity, which met in Tripoli.
[Submitted by Sejin Ahn and Claudio Marana -- January 2003]
The 2-taka note has been released into circulation with the date 20002 on the back of the note. This is the first note of this denomination to carry a date, but continues the recent trend to date the notes.
The 10,000-dianr note from Iraq has been in circulation for some time. The reason for its issue is unclear. There is now a huge gap between the previously high denomination of 250 dianrs and the new 10,000 dinars. It is interesting to see that the note crries an iridescent secrutity strip. This is the type of security that Iraqi has been requesting to be exempt from the embargo, so they could make their money more secure.
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