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A magic mark for our $2 banknote

One of Bermuda’s banknotes is among the nine most beautiful in the world.

And that’s the opinion of the International Bank Note Society (IBNS), which each year names a “banknote of the year”, which for 2012 was Kazakhstan’s 5,000 Tenge Note.

Bermuda’s new $2 note was given the honour in 2009, the IBNS saying it was the “clear winner”.

It joins only eight other “banknotes of the year” named by IBNS to date.

“This one really is a beauty,” Quartz business blog said in an article Friday looking at the top nine. “A puffed up Bermuda bluebird towers over a less-than-prominent profile of Queen Elizabeth II on the front of these vertical notes. The back is more subtle, featuring the clock tower at the Royal Naval Dockyard and a famous statue of Neptune.”

The vertical banknote series was introduced in Bermuda in 2009 — the first major redesign of Bermudian banknotes for 40 years.

This year marks the last for Bermuda’s old-style horizontal bank notes, which cease to be legal tender as of January 1, 2014.

Starting this Sunday, June 30, the vertical note series will replace the “legacy” notes of $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 over the course of the year.

The BMA said members of the public can exchange them for the new vertical notes at their own bank or credit union.

IBNS noted that working from a detailed brief from the Bermuda Monetary Authority, the initial concept designs for the vertical series were created by Gene Bothwick, one of firm De La Rue’s long-serving designers, who retired in 2007 after 23 years of service.

These concepts were then developed for production by the De La Rue banknote Preliminaries Department with input and guidance from the Monetary Authority.

The members of the IBNS Board said they considered the Bermuda $2 note an example of the most attractive elements which “create interest among the ever-widening community of banknote collectors”.

They said the combination of colours were “appealing and blended well throughout all components of the design. Additionally, the range of items depicted on the note were attractively presented and allowed the eye to linger and to search for natural and historical design elements which were not immediately apparent.

“One of the factors recommending the note to the judges was an interesting array of security features, despite its low face value. These include an Optiks embedded metallic thread, with an aperture on the front depicting the island; a Hibiscus watermark on the top section on the front; the Cornerstone — a watermark feature on the four corners of the note enhancing the durability of the banknote; and, on the back, the Gemini feature portraying a compass which fluoresces in two colours under UV light.

Fitting the bill: A global banknote society says Bermuda's 2009 $2 bill is a beauty.

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Published June 25, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 24, 2013 at 8:20 pm)

A magic mark for our $2 banknote

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