New fivers!

image

Not a week had passed since my post on notes and coins and the ECB decided they’d release a new series of fivers. Little ironic that we’ve had them since 2002 and the second I go learning about them they change. Blast it anyway.

image

These new fivers are part of the ‘Europa’ series of euro notes, and the main reason for introducing them is to increase security, make forgeries more difficult and to reflect the updated map of Europe. Not the updated map in 1945 after the second world war ended, the new eurozone, reflecting how it has gotten bigger since 2002, this map just reflects that Cyprus (off the map to the east on the first generation of fivers) and Malta have joined since then.

I have yet to touch and feel a new one, but I’m keeping track of when I do, on http://en.eurobilltracker.com/ which let’s you track where the bank notes in your wallet have been before they got to you!

Those notes and coins in your pocket

Imagine designing something that everybody desires. What is it? How does it look? What does it do? A shiny car? Not for those that can’t drive. A mobile phone? Not if you can’t use one. What is the most universally desired product in the world?
One argument would be money.
Money makes the world go round, and in today’s global environment money is just numbers being fired across boardrooms and international undersea cables to and from servers and financial institutions, but the down and dirty amount us still deal In cold hard cash. Cash is king, and a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. There’s nothing that wets a sellers chops more than the sight and smell of a big wad of twenties ready to blow on their next impulse.

But who designs the money? Money, like all the things its used to barter against, needs to be designed for the people who use it. But how do you distil 350,000,000 peoples needs into a coin or note? How do you set about making that what is desirable desirable?
When the new euro currency was being planned in 1996, the powers that be were faced with a problem: identity. How do you represent the identity of millions, many of whom have been at war as recently as the forties. How do we say ‘this represents me’ without alienating others? The answer was in plurality, having each country or sub group with their own national side, and a common side to represent the denominations.

Luc Luycx designed the common side. He’s a computer engineer from Belgium working with the Royal Belgian Mint. His signature is visible on the coins, beneath the O on theĀ 2 euro coin as ‘LL’. Go ahead, check. I’ll wait.

image

For those too impatient or too broke!

Why these coins? Surely there must have been a selection process, with competing designs? What did the other possibilities look like?

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

And the notes are even better. Just look at some of the crazy designs for euro notes,

image

image

image

This series by Roger Pfund (Switzerland) is based on symbols

image

image

image

Winning design by Robert Kalina (Austria)

image

How crazy would it be to have dance steps on the back of a fiver?
(Klaus Michel & Sanne Jünger, Germany)

Source:euro information website