Tell me when this page is updated

Catalog Cover

The IBNS Banknote of the Year award is an initiative of the IBNS to recognize an exceptional banknote issued each year since 2004. IBNS Members nominate notes for the award. Banknotes nominated must have been issued to the public (specimens and non-circulating currencies are ineligible) for the first time during the year of the award, and must have artistic merit and/or innovative security features, and be in general circulation.
Prior years nominees:

2021 IBNS Bank Note of the Year Nominees CLICK HERE

2020 IBNS Bank Note of the Year Nominees CLICK HERE

Here are the previous winners, from most recent back.

2022 Philippines 1000 Pisos

Substrate: Polymer
Current exchange value: $18.12
Design Elements: Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas seal, map, South Sea pearl in oyster shell (Pinctada Maxima), turtle, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Mindanao design for Tinalak (Ikat-dyed abaca)
Security Features: holographic clear window with OVI, UV inks, SICPA Spark, raised tactile dots, iridescent ink, metallic ink, shadow thread
Printer: Note Printing Australia



2021 Mexico 50 Pesos

Substrate: Polymer
Current exchange value: $2.60
Front Design Elements: City of Tenochtitlan, from Diego Rivera’s mural, ““La Gran Tenochtitlan,” eagle perched on cactus with “Atl tlachinolli” in its beak, from fragment of monolith known as “Teocalli de la Guerra Sagrada” (pyramid surmounted by the temple of the sacred war)
Back Design Elements: ecosystem of rivers and lakes, Mexican salamander (ajolote), corn field near Xochimilco, Mexico City
Security Features: Gold to Jade SPARK denomination, simulated security thread with printed 50 PESOS Touch-sensitive reliefs, Linear backgrounds, Multicolor denomination, Element changes color, Fluorescent inks, Transparent window with tactile dots for the visually impaired
Printer: Banco de Mexico



2020 Mexico 100 Pesos

Substrate: Polymer
Current exchange value: $5.20
Front Design Elements: main patio of Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, Mexico City; Juana de Asbaje y Ramírez de Santillana (Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz)
Back Design Elements: temperate forest ecosystem of pine, oak, and oyamel trees in Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, Michoacán de Ocampo
Security Features: denomination in gold-to-green SPARK, security thread, clear window, fluorescent inks
Printer: Banco de Mexico



2019 Aruba 100 Florin

Substrate: Paper
Current exchange value: $48
Front & Back Design Elements: Iguana, Striped Inole Lizzard, aloe plant, Dancing Women
Security Features: High-relief printing, color changing ink and a 3D MOTION SURFACE ® moving stripe with miniaturized micro-optics
Printer: Crane Currency


2018 Canada 10 Dollars

Substrate: Polymer
Current exchange value: $7.90
Front & Back Design Elements: Social Justice Icon Viola Desmond, Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, Manitoba
Security Features: holographic stripe, tactile feature for the visually impaired
Printer: Canadian Bank Note Company


2017 Switzerland 10 Franc

Substrate: Durasafe
Current exchange value: $10
Front & Back Design Elements: Music and Time theme with globe, Swiss Railways and Watch Movements
Security Features: Kurz Kinegram Volume holographic security stripe, windowed security thread
Printer: Orell Fussli


2016 Switzerland 50 Franc

Substrate: Durasafe
Current exchange value: $50
Front & Back Design Elements: hand holding dandelion seeds, para-glider aloft in the mountain
Security Features: Kurz Kinegram Volume holographic security stripe, windowed security thread
Printer: Orell Fussli


2015 New Zealand 5 Dollars

Substrate: Polymer
Current exchange value: $3.55
Front & Back Design Elements: Penguin, Mount Cook/Aoraki, Sir Edmund Hillary, Daisy flower; yellow-eyed penguin/hoiho bird, ferns
Security Features: SPARK holographic stripe, shadow image
Printer: Canadian Bank Note Company


2014 Trinidad & Tobago 50 Dollars

Substrate: Polymer
Current exchange value: $17
Front & Back Design Elements: red hibiscus flower, red capped cardinal bird in flight, young female masquerader in an award-winning Carnival costume, Central Bank building.
Security Features: SPARK Orbital
Printer: De La Rue


2013 Kazakhstan 1,000 Tenge

Substrate: Paper
Current exchange value: $2.65
Front & Back Design Elements: Kultegin - the Monument of the Turkic Runic Writing” , modern “Kazak Eli” monument, petro glyphic drawings of Turkic warriors against a background monument to Turkic writing
Security Features: StarChrome windowed security thread, watermark
Printer: Banknote Factory of the National Bank of Kazakhstan



2012 Kazakhstan 5,000 Tenge

Substrate: Paper
Current exchange value: $13
Front & Back Design Elements: “Kazak Eli” monument with flying doves and panther, map of the country with mountains and the “Monument of Independence” with the Kazakhstan Hotel in the former capital city of Almaty.
Security Features: holographic security thread, solid security thread, watermark
Printer: Banknote Factory of the National Bank of Kazakhstan


2011 Kazakhstan 10,000 Tenge

Substrate: Paper
Current exchange value: $26
Front & Back Design Elements: “Kazak Eli” monument with flying birds, Presidential Palace in the new capital city of Astana and a map of the country.
Security Features: SPARK, OVI copper thread, solid security thread, watermark
Printer: Banknote Factory of the National Bank of Kazakhstan


2010 Uganda 50,000 Shillings

Substrate: Paper
Current exchange value: $13
Front & Back Design Elements: ‘Stride Monument’, the Bwindi tropical rain forest is illustrated at the centre left, images of shields. The Stride Monument was erected to celebrate the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. It depicts a husband, wife and son stepping forward. Gorillas on reverse.
Security Features: SPARK, foil strip with the denomination, holographic security thread, watermark
Printer: De La Rue


2009 Bermuda 2 Dollars

Substrate: Paper
Current exchange value: $2
Front & Back Design Elements: Bermuda Bluebird, Dockyard Clock Tower and Statue of Neptune
Security Features: Optiks™ embedded metallic thread, with an aperture on the front depicting the island; a Hibiscus watermark, Cornerstone™ watermark on the four corners of the note enhancing the durability, Gemini™ portraying a compass which fluoresces in two colors under UV light.
Printer: De La Rue


2008 Samoa 20 Tala

Substrate: Paper
Current exchange value: $7.35
Front & Back Design Elements: waterfalls, national bird, the Manumea, and the national flower, the Teuila
Security Features: windowed security thread, Cornerstone™ watermark on the four corners of the note enhancing the durability, watermark
Printer: De La Rue


2007 Bank of Scotland 50 Pounds

Substrate: Paper
Current exchange value: $69.50
Front & Back Design Elements: Sir Walter Scott, Falkirk Wheel
Security Features: holographic patch, watermark
Printer: De La Rue


2006 Comores 1,000 Francs

Substrate: Paper
Current exchange value: $2.40
Front & Back Design Elements: coelacanth, a pre-historic fish thought to be extinct found living in the waters off the Comoros, Comoran man in a canoe, poem
Security Features: latent image, microtext, watermark, iridescent band
Printer: Banque de France


2005 Faeroe Islands 1,000 Kroner

Substrate: Paper
Current exchange value: $147
Front & Back Design Elements: back view of purple sandpiper with flock of birds, view from the island of Sandoy
Security Features: Orion dots, hologram
Printer: Danmarks Nationalbank Banknote Printing Works


2004 Canada 20 Dollars

Substrate: Paper
Current exchange value: $16
Front & Back Design Elements: Queen Ellizabeth II, central block of Parliament, The Raven, The First Men, Spirit of Haida Gwaii, The Grizzly Bear, Mythic Messengers all art by Bill Reid
Security Features: holographic stripe, color-shifting windowed security thread, perfect register
Printer: Canadian Bank Note Company