A new family of banknotes from Scotland’s Clydesdale Bank was one of the outstanding winners at the International Association of Currency Affairs’ (IACA) Excellence in Currency Awards, sponsored by ‘Currency News’.
A high calibre of entries and some very close voting in several categories marked this year’s awards – the third event – the presentation of which took place during the gala dinner on May 12 at the Currency Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The 2010 awards saw the Lifetime Achievement Award go to Roland Tornare, the recently retired director of the Issue Department at the Swiss national Bank (1985 – 2007). His extensive experience in the field of banknote design and involvement in creating the current Swiss banknote series were cited by Currency Conference chairman Richard Haycock, who presented the awards.
Clydesdale Bank won the hotly-contested Best New Banknote Series Award for its family of banknotes celebrating the best of Scotland’s heritage, people and culture. The front of each note honours a prominent and innovative Scot while the reverse features one of Scotland’s five World Heritage Sites. The bank designed the new notes to ensure that everyone, including the visually impaired, could use the notes with confidence, while the use of vibrant colours, different sizes, bold fonts, and raised bars to assist in note denomination has been appreciated by the Royal Blind, a foundation devoted to the welfare of blind people.
Category runners up were the Central Bank of Armenia for its 100,000 Dram banknote and the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey for a new series which completed the country’s currency reform started in 2005.
Clydesdale’s year-long media communications initiative from the launch of the initial designs right through to the introduction of the notes into circulation earned it the Best Currency Public Education Program. The move ensured its new notes were welcomed by consumers and readily accepted by retailers.
The National Bank of Denmark and the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey were category runners-up.
The Best New Coin Series Award went to the Royal Canadian Mint for The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Circulation Collection. In the run up to the Olympics, the Royal Canadian Mint released 12 Vancouver 2010 circulation quarters (25 cents) plus two lucky loonies ($1 coins) – each individual quarter represented a different Olympic Winter sport.
Runner up awards went to two new circulation coin series, issued by the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey and the Reserve Bank of Fiji respectively.
Pixel Watermark, a development of Arjowiggins Security which appeared in the Bank of Mexico’s 200 Peso note commemorating the country’s bicentennial, won the award for the Best New Currency Feature. Printed on paper in a vertical design format and including a multi-tonal watermark in the form of an angel, the wing of which was created with a Pixel™ Watermark, this was the first time such a feature had appeared on a banknote.
De La Rue’s Depth Image and Magic Varifeye® (from Louisenthal) were the competitors who both received runner up awards. Voting results were very close in this category.
For the first time ever there was a tied result for the Best Currency Website. IACA members voted equally for the European Central Bank and the Central Bank of Chile for the detailed currency information found on their respective websites.
While the two sites are very different in their approach and perhaps the resources available for website development, both use video and interactive notes to help their public understand the design and security features preset. The Monetary Authority of Singapore was a close runner up.
Speaking at the awards, Richard Haycock said: “I would like to congratulate all this year’s winners and runners-up for their outstanding contribution to the currency industry.
“All have demonstrated the highest standards of technical expertise and innovation to deliver practical, eye-catching and cost effective currency products, which we as an industry can be proud of.
“This year’s ceremony has been an unequivocal success and I very much look forward to the continuing high standards being recognised at the next awards, which will undoubtedly be even bigger and better.”
The IACA awards were launched in 2007 to promote and recognise excellence in currency production, processing, management and distribution. They are open to any organisation or individual supplying products, services or systems for currency production or management. The IACA awards committee draws up a shortlist of three nominations in each category, and IACA members vote for the winners.
Nominations for the fourth IACA Awards will commence shortly via www.currencyaffairs.org. They will be presented at the next Currency Conference, which will take place in October 2011 in Singapore.