New Zealand's $5 note in the running for greatest in the world
Love them or hate them, New Zealand's bright new banknotes are certainly making a splash.
The newly designed fiver has been nominated for the International Banknote Society's (IBNS) Banknote of the Year.
New $5 and $10 notes are already available, with $20, $50 and $100 denominations coming next month.
The colourful design, with heaps of spiffy security features, is going head-to-head with 19 other finalists from around the world.
The Reserve Bank says it's pleased to be in the running, and confirmed it did not nominate itself for the gong.
It turns out the nod came from a chap named Sean Pemberton, who appears to be an employee of the Canadian company which designed and produced the notes for us.
The fiver's focal point, Sir Edmund Hillary, is a New Zealander so impressive that we broke tradition to put him on our cash while he was still alive.
However, Argentina's new 50 peso note is about as bold they come.
One one side, a big map of the Falkland Islands. On the other, Antonio Rivero, who murdered the five leaders of a Falklands settlement.
For added patriotism, "El Gaucho" is pictured waving the Argentinian flag atop a rearing horse.
When it comes to native flora and fauna, things aren't looking good.
The hoiho (yellow-eyed penguin) on our $5 note maintains the fine New Zealand tradition of using flightless, threatened birds to symbolise our nation.
China's 100 yuan note is undoubtedly the biggest threat here, with a cyborg-like bird transforming itself into a biplane, jumbo jet and ultimately, a space station.
The 'sweet Sir Edmund', as New Zealand's $5 note is fondly known, is barely enough to get you a coffee in Auckland these days.
However, any of the higher-denomination range of new banknotes could surely have made the cut too.
New Zealand was the first country in the world to give women the vote thanks to the efforts of Kate Sheppard, pictured on the $10 note.
Sir Apirana Ngata was one of our greatest lawyers and politicians, and rocked an excellent moustache immortalised on the $50 note.
On the $100 bill, Ernest Rutherford was the first to split the atom, and became known as the father of nuclear physics.
Then there's always the Queen, whose accomplishments include being born and waving at stuff.
The winner of the coveted Banknote of the Year award will be announced at the the next IBNS board meeting.
The finalists can be viewed here.
Members will consider the artistic merit, design, use of colour, contrast, balance, and security features of each nomination.
Fingers crossed, New Zealand.
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