Kenya new varieties of 50-shilling note confirmed

The most recent Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, Volume III, 12th edition, lists four dates of Kenya’s 50 shilling-note as Pick 41a. However, significant differences have been discovered in this and other recent denominations from Kenya.

The note dated 2nd February 2004 (above, top) has a windowed security thread that is wider than the one on the note dated 1st April 2003 (above, bottom), and this thread appears further to the right. Furthermore, the 2nd February 2004 note also has the denomination “50” visible in the watermark area under normal reflected light. This electrotype watermark appears on all subsequent date varieties (2nd August 2004, 1st June 2005, and 1st April 2006), all of which have a signature combination that differs from that which appears on the first two date varieties (the Governor is the same; only the Member signatory differs).

It has been reported that all Kenyan notes from 2004 onwards have the denomination as electrotype watermarks. It is also reported that all Kenyan notes from 2005 onwards have watermarks of stripes in all four corners. If confirmed, De La Rue is the likely printer because Cornerstone watermarks are a DLR trademark.

Malawi’s 20- and 200-kwacha notes dated 2004 were given new Pick numbers due to the addition of the denomination to the watermark. If the same standard applies to Kenya, the notes dated 2004 onwards deserve their own Pick numbers, too.

Courtesy of Jose Manuel Peso (IBNS member 8180).