Argentina's 100-peso "Evita" note wins Latin American Banknote of the Year 2013

The organizers of the Latin American High Security Printing (HSP) Conference are delighted to announce at the Conference in Bogota, Colombia today, that the inaugural award of Latin American Banknote of the Year 2013 was presented to Senora Katya Daura, President of S.E. Casa de Moneda, Argentina for the 100 Pesos Eva Perón note.

The Argentinean 100 Pesos banknote was issued in 2012 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the death of former first lady Eva Perón. The banknote was designed by Roger Pfund based on the earlier work of Renato Garrasi and produced by S.E. Casa de Moneda.

The Latin American banknote award, introduced by HSP, aims at recognising banknote design developments and achievements in the fast-evolving Latin American region. The Award Committee comprises the Board of Directors of HSP organising company Reconnaissance International Ltd, and the editorial representatives of Currency News, the periodical dedicated to the global currency industry.

The selection criteria are based on design visibility, banknote functionalities, security sophistication as well as thematic relevance.

Commenting on the Award Committee’s decision, Martyn White, Chairman of Reconnaissance International, remarked on the note’s bright-coloured appeal, the ‘world-class’ intaglio portrait of Eva Perón, the integrative use of security elements as well as the rich heritage perceived through the banknote and readily identified by the population.

Background: Evita Note Finally Sees the Light of Day

In July 2012, the Central Bank of Argentina issued a 100 Peso commemorative note bearing the image of the former first lady, Eva ‘Evita’ Peron to mark the 60th anniversary of her death.

After the death of Eva Peron in 1952 both the Central Bank and the banknote printer, SE Casa de Moneda (CMA), started work immediately, the idea being to replace the Liberty Effigy in the existing 5 Peso with a portrait of Eva, but this idea was rejected by the authorities. It was then that CMA artist Renato Garrasi created a new sepia-tinted design that had Eva’s portrait on one side, with the intention of paying homage to her extensive social work for the poor.

However, in 1955 the President was ousted in a military coup, and the subsequent regime set about eliminating all signs of Peronism, including the destruction of any images associated with Juan and Eva Peron. To avoid the loss of the banknote designs, a CMA employee hid them, and they remained hidden, and forgotten, for the next five and a half decades.

It was only in 2006 – with the removal of furniture as part of a refurbishment of the design department – that the original sepia-tinted artwork, hand-painted by Garrasi, came to light. It was this artwork that provided the inspiration for the new note and, after extensive research undertaken by personnel from CDM, the concept for the 21st century version was presented in 2012. It was unveiled to the nation in July 2012 by HE President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, one day before the 60th anniversary of Eva Perón’s death, and was issued two months later, in September.

The brightly-coloured commemorative note features intaglio printing, a watermark, an optically variable feature and a thread, and was created by the Swiss banknote designer Roger Pfund together with designers from CMA. The portrait was engraved by Sergio Pilosio, an Argentinan citizen living in Switzerland. It is the first time a new design has been introduced in Argentina for 20 years, and the first Argentinean banknote to feature a woman.

Although designed as a commemorative banknote, in January 2013 President Kirchner announced that it is to become the new 100 Peso circulating note, replacing the current note carrying the portrait of the 19th century president Julio Argentino Roca.

The circulating version will feature the numeral 100 in SPARK® with a green to blue colour shift and rolling-bar effect, see-through register, watermark and 5mm wide Picture Thread™ with Eva Peron’s image. It will be issued in a few weeks time to provide a lasting, and everyday, tribute to the iconic former first lady.