Syria chapter of The Banknote Book is now available

Syria cover

The Syria chapter of The Banknote Book is now available for individual sale at US$9.99, and as a free download to subscribers.

This 12-page catalog covers every note (105 types and varieties, including 17 notes unlisted in the SCWPM) issued by the Central Bank of Syria from 1957 to present day. Published 12 April 2013.

Each chapter of The Banknote Book includes detailed descriptions and background information, full-color images, and accurate valuations. The Banknote Book also features:
  • Sharp color images of note’s front and back without overlap
  • Face value or date of demonetization if no longer legal tender
  • Specific identification of all vignette elements
  • Security features described in full
  • Printer imprint reproduced exactly as on note
  • Each date/signature variety assigned an individual letter
  • Variety checkboxes for tracking your collection and want list
  • Red stars highlight the many notes missing from the SCWPM
  • Date reproduced exactly as on note
  • Precise date of introduction noted when known
  • Replacement note information
  • Signature tables, often with names and terms of service
  • Background information for historical and cultural context
  • Details magnified to distinguish between note varieties
  • Bibliographic sources listed for further research

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The Challenge: Identify items on Syrian banknotes

I am cataloging the Central Bank of Syria's notes for publication in The Banknote Book, and I have been unable to identify a few items which appear on these notes.

The back of the 100-pound note dated 1966-1974 depicts a dam. What's the name and location of this dam?
Syria_CBS_100_syrian_pounds_1974.00.00_B17d_P98d_r

The front of the 5-pound note dated 1977-1991 depicts a female statue.
Syria_CBS_5_syrian_pounds_1991.00.00_B19e_P100e_fAllat-Minerva
IDENTIFIED: Allāt-Minerva. Statue of the 2nd century AD from As-Suwayda, Syria (Roman province). National Museum of Damascus.

The front of the 50-pound note dated 1977-1991 depicts a female statue.
Syria_CBS_50_syrian_pounds_1978.00.00_B22b_P103b_fmari_statue2
IDENTIFIED: Statue of goddess found in Sumerian ruins in Mari, Syria, now in National Museum of Aleppo.

The back of the 500-pound note dated 1958-1992 depicts something described as an ancient religious wheel.
Syria_CBS_500_syrian_pounds_1958.00.00_B11a_P92a_r
IDENTIFIED: Gold bowl decorated with hunting/animal scenes from the Temple of Baal at Ugarit, now in National Museum in Aleppo.

If anyone has information or leads which may be helpful, please contact me with details.

Courtesy of Yaqoob Alshaer and Murray Hanewich.

Syria unissued 100- and 1,000-pound notes spotted in Moroccan video

Screen Shot 2013-01-23 at 2.56.16 PM
Although recent reports of a 2,000-pound note featuring the portrait of Bashr al Assad have been exposed as obvious fakes, there is credible evidence that the Central Bank of Syria may be working on a 1,000-pound note. This video by the Bank Al-Maghrib in Morocco contains brief images of a 1,000-pound note as well as a 100-pound note (look for them at the 2:40 mark), neither of which have been issued to date. The narration is entirely in French, but even if you don't understand the words, the visuals are interesting to anyone who collects notes and coins from Morocco.


l’usine où est fabriquée la monnaie nationale... by gooal
Courtesy of Zeeshan Ali.

Syria new 2,000-pound note image is a fake

Syria_2000_fake_fHungary_MNB_2000_F_2007.00.00_P198a_CB_2265965_f
According to an article on YnetNews.com dated 19 January 2013, Syria is planning to introduce a new 2,000-pound (US$28) note in February. While that may be true, the image of the reported note is clearly a fake created using the 2,000-forint note from Hungary (P198).

Syria new banknotes printed by Russia's Goznak confirmed

According to a Reuters article dated 13 June 2012, Syria has begun issuing new banknotes printed in Russia by Goznak, that nation's largest security printer. Syria's current 2009 issues (Pick 112-114) were printed by Oesterreichische Banknoten- und Sicherheitsdruck in Austria, but OeBS has pulled out of the troubled country due to international pressure in the wake of the crackdown on protests against President Bashar Assad’s regime. The new Russian-printed notes are of the older design (P111), originally issued in 1997.

The new notes are identical to the 1997 issues, but do not have the small map of Syria on the back, and the English serial numbers at lower right front are normal, not novel (increasing in size). The font of the English serial numbers matches that used on Russian notes printed by Goznak.

Syria_CBS_1000_SP_1997.00.00_P111_D-01_1391802_sig

According to a subsequent article dated 19 June 2012, Adib Mayyaleh, governor of the Central Bank of Syria, has denied that Russia is printing new notes for Syria, and stated that worn notes are being replaced following a long-established routine.

UPDATE: According to a ProPublica report dated 26 November 2012, records of overflight requests prove that a total of 240 tons of bank notes moved from Moscow to Damascus over a 10-week period beginning 9 July and ending on 15 September.

Anyone interested in buying one of these notes can contact the contributor by clicking the link below.

Courtesy of Thomas Augustsson and Abdullah Beydoun.

Austrian banknote firm may pull out of Syria contract

According to an Associated Press report dated 5 August 2011, OeBS (Oesterreichische Banknoten- und Sicherheitsdruck, Austria) is reviewing its contract to provide banknotes to the Central Bank of Syria. The Austria Press Agency reported that printing company OeBS—a subsidiary of Oesterreichischen Nationalbank, Austria’s central bank—has nearly completed the 2008 contract it has with Syria, and may pull out of the troubled country due to international pressure in the wake of the crackdown on protests against President Bashar Assad’s regime.

Syria new 50-, 100-, and 200-pound notes confirmed


50 pounds (US$1.05), 2009.
Blue and tan. Front: Ancient writing on clay tablets from Ebla. Back: Library of Hafiz Al Assad in Damascus; statue of Hafiz Al Assad. Windowed security thread with demetalized CBS 50. Watermark: Horse head and electrotype 50. Printer: Unknown. 135 x 65 mm.


100 pounds (US$2.15), 2009.
Red and tan. Front: Ancient Roman theater and archway of main gate at Bosra. Back: Safe from Umayyad Mosque in Damascus; Central Bank of Syria headquarters building; ancient coin. Windowed security thread with demetalized CBS 100. Watermark: Horse head and electrotype 100. Printer: Unknown. 140 x 65 mm.


200 pounds (US$4.30), 2009.
Tan and green. Front: Norias (waterwheels) of Hama on the Orontes River. Back: Ceiling of Temple Bel in Palmyra. Windowed security thread with demetalized CBS 200. Watermark: Horse head and electrotype 200. Printer: Unknown. 145 x 65 mm.

These three notes were issued on 27 July 2010 and are dated 2009. They are signed by Adib Mayaleh, Governor and Mohammad Naji Al-Otri, Minister of Economy.

Anyone interested in buying these notes in wholesale quantities can contact the contributor by clicking the link below. Be sure to say you saw it mentioned here on Banknotenews.com.

Courtesy of Abdullah Beydoun.

Syria revised 1,000-pound notes dated 1998 confirmed



Recently a new variety of the 1,000-pound (US$21.40) note, Pick 111a (top), have been confirmed. The new variety (bottom), has a small map in circle added to back, below “CENTRAL BANK OF SYRIA.” Both notes are dated 1997.

Courtesy of Besher Ghannam.

Syria revised 500-pound notes dated 1998 confirmed




Recently two new varieties of the 500-pound (US$10.70) note, Pick 110a (top), have been confirmed. The first variety (middle), has a small map in circle added to back, below “CENTRAL BANK OF SYRIA.” The second variety (bottom), has the small map, plus a row of leaves added at center bottom, above “FIVE HUNDRED SYRIAN POUNDS,” and the denomination numerals at lower right. All three notes are dated 1998.

Anyone interested in buying this note can contact the contributor by clicking the link below. Be sure to say you saw it mentioned here on Banknotenews.com.

Courtesy of banknoteshop@gmx.net and Besher Ghannam.