Polymer Bank Notes of the World (www.polymernotes.org) is the world's leading reference for polymer (and hybrid) bank notes. It was created on 16th August 2000 by Stane Štraus, who still owns and maintains the web site. Began as a private project years ago, the web site now contains knowledge and input of dozens of collectors, currency professionals, central bankers, and polymer enthusiasts worldwide.
The web site provides a complete listing of all polymer and hybrid bank notes issued so far. We have endeavoured to provide a comprehensive and easy-to-use reference. Countries and bank note issues are presented uniformly throughout the web site, and a clear, simple and logical reference system complements the presentation. There is also a taxonomy system, which categorizes different bank note technologies.
Polymer Bank Notes Limited (PBN Ltd) is a company that offers bank notes for sale through www.polymernotes.org. The company logo (see above) represents polymer bank notes of the world: (1) several rectangular shapes represent bank notes; (2) bank notes form a circle, representing the world; (3) the opening in the center represents a hallmark security feature of polymer bank notes, the clear window.
This web site has been created with a purpose of disseminating knowledge about polymer bank notes.
The web site is a result of the initiative and endeavour of the author and has not been endorsed, financially or otherwise supported by any company, issuing authority or governmental institution, save the information that they have provided.
The web site is is provided to you solely for your own personal, non-commercial use and not for purposes of resale, distribution, public display or performance or any other uses by you in any form or manner whatsoever. Unless otherwise indicated on this web site, you may display, download, archive, reformat or print a single copy of any information on this web site for your own personal, non-commercial use. Commercial or public use is expressly prohibited.
All information (scans, documents, text, etc.) that appears on this web site and that has the source acknowledged or noted is the property of that source or entity.
The author assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained in this web site, nor shall he accept any liability resulting from the use of the information contained therein.
The author assumes no responsibility for the contents or behaviour of the external links that are linked from www.polymernotes.org or its sub-pages. External links should not be construed as the author's endorsement of the views contained therein.
The numbering system explained
A detailed presentation of the Straus reference is available. This is a quick overview:
Therefore, when referring to a particular bank note, the following example should be considered: Thailand S3R4. This is an example of a reference for a hybrid bank note: Samoa SH1R1. If you are only interested in regular varieties, look only for references with the letter R, e.g., S1R1.
Most of the information in this section is taken from The World Factbook by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), USA. Information not available from the World Factbook has been compiled from various other sources.
The following categories appear in the chart:
Country name: name(s) in local language(s). Latin script is used.
Capital: name of the capital city.
Area: total area, including land and water, in square kilometers.
Population: population size in millions of people, rounded to one decimal point. CIA's 2005 estimate is used.
GDP per capita: gross domestic product (GDP) per capita according to the purchasing power parity (PPP) in the United States Dollars (USD). CIA's 2004 estimate is used.
The following categories appear in the chart:
Country ranking: countries are ranked according to the date when polymer notes have first appeared in circulation. Rankings in brackets denote full conversion to polymer. Ranking starts with Australia. Tyvek®-issuing countries (Haiti, Costa Rica, and Isle of Man) are thus excluded and "not ranked" appears. The reason is that Tyvek® notes were a distinct polymer issue that left no impact on subsequent polymer note issues. "Expected" appears where an issue is forthcoming. Countries issuing hybrid notes use a distinct ranking system.
Year of the first polymer issue. "Expected" appears where an issue is forthcoming. Countries issuing hybrid notes are designated as such.
Number of polymer issues: the number of all distinct polymer bank notes issued by a particular country (only regular issue notes (includes Kuwait) are considered). "Expected" appears where an issue is forthcoming. Countries issuing hybrid notes are designated as such.
Current status: (1) Polymer (the year of full conversion to polymer is given); (2) Polymer and paper; (3) Polymer, hybrid, and paper; (4) Hybrid and paper; (5) Paper.
New polymer issues expected?: (1) Yes; (2) No; (3) Unclear.
All varieties: number of all varieties (P, S, R, and Z) for a particular country is given.
Proof: number of all proof (P) varieties for a particular country is given.
Specimen: number of all specimen (S) varieties for a particular country is given.
Regular: number of all regular (R) varieties for a particular country is given.
Replacement: number of all replacement (Z) varieties for a particular country is given.
Blue bars introduce specific categories of information.
Blue bars appear in the following categories and in the following order: Introductory remarks, Links, Pricing, Mintage figures, Signature varieties, Collectors' issues, Specimen notes, Additional information.
This explanation deals with the two tables that are found at the top of each bank note's presentation on country pages.
THE LEADING TABLE
Country: common English name of the country.
REF.: Straus reference.
Currency: original name of the currency.
Denomination: number of units of value.
Size: width in milimetres by height in milimetres.
Pick: catalogue number according to the Standard Catalog of® World Paper Money (11th Edition; edited by George Èuhaj; printed by Krause Publications; ISBN 0-89689-160-7). Only the leading number appears here, without the eventual suffix letter (e.g., P123, not P123b). 'PNL' appears where the banknote has no reference in the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money. 'P-new' appears where the reference has not yet been assigned, but is expected in the new issue of the catalogue.
Printer: ABN or ABNC (American Bank Note Company, USA), BA (BA International Inc., Canada), BNBPW (Bulgarian National Bank Printing Works AD, Bulgaria), BdM (Banco de México), BPMC (China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation, China), BPW (Bangladeshi Printing Works, Bangladesh), BWC (Bradbury, Wilkinson and Company, UK), CBN (Canadian Bank Note Company Ltd, Canada), CdM (Casa da Moeda do Brasil, Brazil), CEPW (China Engraving & Printing Works, China), FB (Fabrica de Billetes, Mexico), FCO (François-Charles Oberthür), GD (Giesecke & Devrient, GmbH, Germany), JE (Joh. Enschedé, the Netherlands), CMC (Casa de Moneda de Chile), HKNPL (Hong Kong Note Printing Ltd), NBPP (National Banknote Printing Plant, Vietnam), NPA (Note Printing Australia, Australia), NPW (Note Printing Works, Bank of Thailand, Thailand), NSPMC (The Nigerian Security Printing and Minting PLC, Nigeria), OeBS (Oesterreichische Banknoten- und Sicherheitsdruck GmbH, Austria), OFS (Orell Füssli Security Printing Ltd, Switzerland), OT (Oberthur Technologies, France), RAIBNR (R.A. Imprimeria Bãncii Naþionale a României, Romania), SABN (South African Banknote Company, South Africa). If two printers, separated by a comma, are given, some bank notes have been printed by the first printer, and some by the second printer. Note that the security features that are incorporated in the Guardian® substrate (and only those security features) are always applied by the substrate manufacturer.
THE SUBORDINATE TABLE
REF.: Straus reference.
Date: date, exactly as it appears on the bank note (if available). Where there is no date on the bank note, 'none' will appear.
Signatory: signature(s) that appears on a bank note. A surname(s) is given. The exception is Thailand, where signatures are numbered (e.g., Sig. 1, Sig. 2, etc.) and are explained in a separate chart. Where there is no signature on a bank note, 'none' will appear.
Description: additional numismatic description of the bank note. Pick number is given in square brackets [ ]. Please note that Pick numbers are often incomplete, incorrect and confusing. icon provides an additional description of sub-varieties. See Descriptions below for more information.
Price: retail price in USD (United States Dollar) for a bank note in UNC (uncirculated) condition according to the IBNS grading standards. The price given is for a single note of the most common variety; first prefixes, last prefixes, folders, etc., can command a premium. If a market price cannot be determined because of the scarcity or rarity of the bank note, 'scarce' or 'rare' appears. The price for a note that has been issued in a folder only includes the price for the folder. Prices for Guardian® specimen notes are not shown ('not given' appears).
Pics: links to the front (F) and back (B) scans of a bank note. A single note is always shown, even though only uncut sheets (full or partial) have been issued on rare occasions.
References and descriptions of regular notes use bold font; references and descriptions of proof, specimen, and replacement notes use regular font.
Orange bars introduce specific categories of information.
Orange bars appear in the following categories and in the following order: Comments, Important features, Signatures, Numbering, Collectors' issues, Mintage figures, Proof notes, Specimen notes, Replacement notes, Description, Press releases, Newspaper articles, Biographies.
These pages show all bank note sub-varieties and are linked directly from country pages by clicking on icon from within the tables.
Each country uses a slightly different introductory table, depending on the information that is relevant for a particular country, issue, or variety. This is a list of the most common categories that appear in the introductory table: sample images (front and back scans, 75 pixels wide), Straus reference (e.g., S1R1), date prefix (e.g., 98), signatory, special (e.g., specimen, proof, withdrawn), quantity. Only the first two categories appear for all countries.
Each sub-variety listing comprises the following information: Straus reference, introductory title, and description. The following two designations can follow the introductory title: unissued ; modified .
Where available, the ZIP icon opens an archive with a detailed description of each particular sub-variety. The archive can contain JPG, PDF, and TXT documents. Typically, the following information is available: general information and complete text from the folder (TXT document), scans of the banknote(s) (JPG document), photograph(s) of the folder (JPG document), scans of the folder (PDF document).
The following icons are used throughout the web site:
(1) The following abbreviations are used: c/h (cancellation hole), N/A (not available), obv. (obverse), ovpt (overprint), P or Pick (Pick reference; Standard Catalog of World Paper Money; 11th Edition; edited by George Èuhaj; printed by Krause Publications; ISBN 0-89689-160-7), pfx (prefix), P-new (new reference expected in Pick; see P or Pick), PNL (Pick not listed; see P or Pick), rev. (reverse), s/n (serial number), sfx (suffix), sig. (signature), TBA (to be announced), TBC (to be confirmed), w/ (with), w/o (without), wmk (watermark).
(2) When a full date (day, month, year) is given, it usually appears as DD.MM.YY. The exceptions are the heading Date_1 in the Charts, where date or dates are given exactly as they appear on a bank note, and the date of the last update on the home page.
(3) When information is given for uncut sheets (partial sheets, blocks, pairs, etc.), the size of the sheet is presented as AxB, where A is the number of columns and B is the number of rows.
(4) Bank note images are scanned at 300 dpi, using the JPEG format. These images are accessible by clicking the reference (Pics: F or B) in the charts. Images that appear on country pages have lesser resolution, and images where the source is acknowledged may have a different resolution or format.
(5) Images are proprietary to Stane Straus; acknowledgements are given where this is not the case.
(6) Links to other web pages and web sites are underlined. External links (outside of http://www.polymernotes.org or its subpages) are preceded by icon; external links originating from images that clearly define an external link do not use this icon. Bookmarks, which jump to a specific place on the same page (except in the Sitemap, where bookmarks can jump to a specific place on another page), are in italics and underlined.
(7) In numbers, full stop (.) is used as a decimal point and comma (,) is used as a thousands separator.
(8) The following terms that appear on this web site are copyrighted: DOE™; DuraNote™; G-switch™; Guardian® is a registered trademark of Securency Pty Ltd; Hybrid™ is a trademark of Luisenthal (but note that 'hybrid' is also a generic name); LEAD®; MicroSAM® or µSAM® is a patented feature of Joh. Enschedé; Optiks™ is a trademark of De La Rue International Ltd.; Varifeye®; Tyvek® is a registered trademark of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company.