Cash-Loving Switzerland Wins Banknote of Year for 50-Franc Bill

  • Maldives, Argentina, Scotland were runners up in 2016 contest
  • International Bank Note Society has annual award for notes

The Swiss National Bank’s 50-franc ($50) bill was named banknote of the year by a group of international connoisseurs, beating out 18 competitors including the Bank of England’s controversial polymer note as well as ones from the Seychelles and Macedonia.

The runners-up in “very tight voting” were bills from the Maldives, Argentina and Scotland, according to a statement from the International Bank Note Society on Tuesday.

SNB’s 50-franc banknote.

Photographer: Michele Limina/Bloomberg

The SNB’s 50-franc note, designed with the theme of wind and depicting a dandelion, mountains and a paraglider, was introduced last April, the first in a new series that features nature rather than portraits of famous men and women. A new 20-franc bill is due to be unveiled next month.

The award is a feather in the cap of the cash-loving Swiss, who have declined to give up their most valuable 1,000-franc bill despite international criticism.

“We’re happy about it,” SNB spokesman Walter Meier said of the citation.

Founded in 1961, the non-profit IBNS seeks to advance the study of knowledge of paper currency around the world. It has more than 2,000 members.

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