Cash is King as the old saying goes.
But in reality, cash is dying out.
I’m all for the convenience of Apple Pay or whatever, but if you’ve been around the world a bit you know that cash is beautiful!
Let’s have a look at the most stunning banknotes that caught our eye from around the world.
New Zealand $5 (2015)
The bright colored money features Sir Edmund Hillary in the foreground, with the beautiful Mt. Cook of South Island in the background.
Those Kiwi’s really are crazy. Hillary was the first man to summit Mt. Everest.
The penguin has color changing feathers, and includes yellow eyes. The back of the note has the rare penguin looking at something in the distance, with the local flora featured next to it.
Canadian $20 Note (2004)
Though it is no longer in use, the Canadian $20 note is quite remarkable.
A spry-looking Queen Elizabeth the II is on the front. She’s no stranger to banknotes and appears to be looking out with hope and curiosity. Lizzy is just there, silently judging you for whatever you’re wasting that cash on.
On the back, the Haida people of Canada are in a homemade raft. They are decked out in their traditional garb, which can look intimidating if you’re not expecting them. Also, they may be coming in for dinner or to pillage. Who knows? You might want to be prepared.
Faroe Islands 1000-Kronur Note (2005)
Ah, the Faroes!
Always the first place to come to mind when you mention, well, almost anything.
Ok, maybe not but as part of Denmark, this tiny archipelago in the North Atlantic knows how to design currency. In 2005, they won the award for the top banknote, and there is a good reason why. The detail on the purple sandpiper makes this a wonderful note to admire. The light purple color accents the black color of the bird, allowing it to stand out. For a beautiful view, the back of the note depicts the vista from the island of Sandoy. The water color markings are what sets the kronur note from other countries.
Comoros 1000-Franc Bill (2006)
This tiny nation located between the giants that are Africa and Madagascar won the bank note award in 2006. A coelacanth is pictured on the front of the note, just swimming along, minding its business. What’s exciting about this fish, is that they were thought to be extinct, until they were rediscovered in 1938 near Comoros. Talk about making a comeback with a splash!
On the back of the note, a lone Comoran man is settled into a canoe. What sets this note apart from other notes, is that the front is in French, while the back is in Arabic. So, good luck counterfeiting this banknote.
Bank of Scotland 50-Pound Note (2007)
Freeeeeeeeedom! Oh come on, don’t tell me you don’t shout that every time you meet a Scottish person (even if Mel Gibson is a tad “problematic” these days).
Not only known for William Wallace fighting for independence, Scotland’s 50-pound note won the bank note’s award in 2007.
The emerald tint includes script, giving it a unique feature that some notes don’t incorporate. Sir Walter Scott, doing a ghostly impression (and killing it!), is on the front of the note.
On the back, the note includes the Falkirk Wheel. It’s not a Ferris wheel, but a design for boats. It connects two canals, and the Falkirk Wheel has become quite the attraction for Scotland, quickly taking on Scotch’s reign of things to do/see in the country.
And that is impressive cause that place has Castles!
Samoa 20-Tala Bill (2008)
Right, I’m going to Samoa. See ya!
If you love bright, visual colors, this is the banknote for you. A cascade with a waterfall is featured on the front, which captures your attention. White water rafters and nature lovers can get on board with this bank note.
On the back, you will find the Manumea, Samoa’s national bird. It is in the foreground, while the national flower, the Teuila is on the back. Samoa had been protected by Germany from 1900 to WWI. They had their own independence, and often went by the name of “Western Samoa”. In 1997, they got kinda big time and decided to go their own way.
Since then they have simply gone by “Samoa”. Someone needs to remind these people that they’re not Beyonce.
Bermuda $2 Note (2009)
I love vertical banknotes! I don’t know what it is but they just look great!
You’re killin’ it Bermuda!
The Bermuda bluebird covers most of the front of the bank note. If you love those games where you need to search the background for images, you’ll find Queen Elizabeth II (yep, her again) hiding in the background. She’s on there because Bermuda is still a part of Britain as a British overseas territory.
On the back of the note, the Royal Naval Dockyard is watched over by a statue of Neptune. This blue tinted currency gives it a refreshing look you won’t find anywhere.
Uganda 50000-Shilling Note (2010)
For 50000 shillings, Uganda went all out for this note. On the front are a family of three celebrating Uganda’s independence in October 1962. There are a lot of watermarks, colors, and outlines.
The back of the note features an outline of Uganda, with a mark for the equator, doubling as a map, if you know where you are. The beautiful silverback gorillas adorn the back of the note, which may feel intimidating if you’re looking at it the wrong way.
While it may be difficult to make sense of everything on the note, you can still pick out a lot of Ugandan symbols, giving it a lot of pride.
The best part definitely is the sick gorillas though.
Kazakhstan 10000-Tenge Note (2011)
Kazakhstan are mixing it up, vertical and horizontal! Well played!
Aside from the Borat movie, Kazakhstan isn’t well known to Westerners.
In 2011, Kazakhstan had been independent for 20 years. They released this banknote to celebrate that independence. The Kazak Eli monument is featured on the front, and set vertically. A few doves are on the lower part of the note, giving it a unique look. The presidential palace, located in Astana, has been the capital since 1997, is on the back of the note.
While Kazakhstan is no longer part of the former Soviet Union, they have a touch of Russian, stating how much the note is worth. Interesting choice, but hey, old habits die hard.
Kazakhstan 5000-Tenge Note (2012)
Well, that was unexpected!
For a country that is slowly becoming an economic powerhouse, they’re keeping the awesome banknotes rolling out. Two years in a row, take that Sacha Baron-Cohen.
It is similar to their previous victorious banknote, they kept the same type of pictures, but included a panther that is pouncing, cause, why not? They also changed the color from blue to a red hue, giving it a different look.
The back is completely different from the previous years, which include mountains and an outline of the country. Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan, is featured with the independence monument, the façade of the Kazakhstan hotel, and more Russian writing.
Sweden 20 Kronor Note (2015)
Those that appreciate children’s books will love this bank note. It features Astrid Lindgren, the famous Swedish children’s book author on the front. The kind look on her face makes you smile and feel all warm and tingly inside. The opposite feeling you get with most money.
The back features a branch of floral, and the outline of Sweden is shown in pure white. The blue and purple hues give this banknote a pleasantly serene appearance. Maybe instead of using the green color other countries use, more should invest in more blue and purple ink for their bank notes.
South Africa 20-Rand Note (2012)
As a powerful animal, what else can better capture the power of money than an elephant? How about multiple elephants on the front of a bank note? The 20 rand note of South Africa shows the face of an elephant looking disappointed you’re about to spend the note on something you don’t need while on the front the great Nelson Mandela reassures you that all will be fine.
Yes, nothing related to South Africa would be complete without the great man himself and this note doesn’t disappoint. I feel inspired to be a more understanding person just looking at it.
Norway Kroner Note (2015)
Okay, Norway has multiple bank notes, and it’s difficult to find one that sticks out. Obviously, the number on the note is what most people care about, but when you look at these bank notes, you want to frame them, not spend them.
The 50 kroner note has a lighthouse that takes it’s image from the Utavaer lighthouse in Solund.
The 100 kroner note features the Gotskund, the largest preserved Viking ship in Norway.
The 200 kroner note features a large cod, with herring and a fishing net on the note.
Basically, for 2015, Norway decided to showcase their connections with the sea, and they did a wonderful job of capturing that bond. If you’re a sea lover, there is no way you cannot look at these notes, and not be pleased with how they came up with the idea.
Celebrate Your Cash
Your country’s cash is an opportunity to show the world what is so great about your nation. To celebrate the great achievements or wonderful landscapes and wildlife. It’s a rare opportunity to be a little bit nationalistic while not causing anyone any harm.
Put the credit card away and celebrate your cash!