Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Travel through Numismatics - Singapore SG50 commemorative notes

2016 heralds a fresh start and a new resolution but unfortunately it became I keeled soon after entering a new year. So perhaps a lighter start with some good luck brought over from a better 2015 would be advisable? And thus I decided to start the year with a post on Singapore's SG50 commemorative notes.

2015 saw multiple memorable events in Singapore, from the sad passing of the nation’s founder to the celebration of 50 years of nation building. Both monumental events were immortalized through the issuance of a commemorative set of banknotes, unveiled by Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on 18 August 2015, with a nice folder to match with. The public is allowed to exchange their current notes for this set of notes worth S$100 in total (for exchange, not for free…), but capped at a limit of maximum 5 sets per person.

Cover to the SG50 commemorative notes folder

The folder is only available to Singaporeans (not even PR get that benefit), and capped at 2 sets per pax, so I have to pester a Singaporean colleague to help me exchange for it. The first version of the folder was found to contain an error in printing where the first President’s name was misspelled. Although subsequent folders were corrected of this error and owners of the erred version can swap theirs for the correct version, I believe some will keep it as a limited edition keepsake (although with so many error versions around, it is not likely to be a collectible).

The set comes in the form of a piece of beige S$50 note (although the government liken it to “gold”, it looked more beige than gold) and 5 pieces of crimson S$10 notes, a nice touch which commemorates the theme of SG50 twice within an issuance. The obverse design of the S$10 notes is similar to circulating notes with their first President's portrait; its S$50 notes however uses a different portrait of said President.

Folder unfolded

Its S$50 note captured the Little Red Dot’s history, transformation and future by capturing the historic first National Day Parade in 1966 and the more recent development of Punggol New Town on the inverse side, with the late founder Lee Kuan Yew’s rallying cry immortalized in the transparent window of the note. This window is a unique see-through security feature with “image movement effects” which lent a depth to the image of the founder and a flipping effect to switch between 1965 and 2015.

SG50 commemorative S$50 obverse design

SG50 commemorative S$50 inverse design

The 5 S$10 notes contain different inverse designs depicting the theme of "Vibrant Nation, Endearing Home". The various designs are:
  • '...regardless of race, language or religion...' with happy young people of different skin colors happily enjoying the moment
  • 'Oppurtunities for All' showing people from different races engaging various jobs
  • 'Safe and Secure' showing the armed forces and security personnel
  • 'Strong Families' showing multiple generations of different races enjoying good times
  • 'Caring Community, Active Citizenry' showing various people performing community chores

'...regardless of race, language or religion...'

‘Caring Community, Active Citizenry’

‘Opportunities for All’

‘Safe and Secure’

'Strong Families'

The year of 2015 was a momentous one for Singapore and the release of these notes were well timed indeed.

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