Welcome to a virtual journey through the world of bank notes.

'Bank notes are the business cards of a country'

We all regularly use money in our everyday life, no matter if it's coins, bank notes, cheques or credit cards. We recognize the value of the coins and the bank notes by their sizes, their colours and the numbers and motifs printed (or minted) on them. But we often hardly know anything about the stories behind these motifs.
Especially bank notes are more than just a piece of paper to pay your bills with. They are small pieces of art telling us a lot about the history, the politics, the culture and the identity of the country they belong to. Some countries like Great Britain or Thailand show portraits of their current rulers on their notes, while the new Danish series (2009) and the Euro notes have bridges on one side of their notes. Other countries like Egypt use pictures of famous sites on their notes or animals as South Africa does. But the most common motifs are still portraits of famous personalities.

What this website wants to be and what not:

It is the aim of this website to show this variety, the beauty and the development of world paper money and to provide background information about the presented motifs and - if available - interesting stories about some special notes.

  • You'll find an overview of current and former currencies, sorted by continent and by country.

  • You'll find scans of bank notes accompanied by several different information (e.g. year of issue, security features, descriptions)

  • You'll find short biographies of personalities depicted on bank notes shown on this site

  • You'll find some photographies of bank notes under UV light

  • You'll find signature charts with the names and titles of the signatories, if known.

  • You'll find articles addressing specific themes (e.g chemistry on bank notes, bridges on bank notes)

This website shall not be seen as a bank notes catalog - even it uses the numbering system of The Banknote Book and of the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money (SCWPM). Nevertheless it might offer guidance and assist collectors identifying their own notes. Moreover it shall not be regarded as a presentation of a private collection, because it is based solely on contributions (scans and information) from friends, bank note collectors, bank note dealers, visitors and even from Central Banks.

Legal restrictions concerning the reproduction of banknotes:

The pictures of bank notes on this page are created according to the preconditions of the European Central Bank and thus comply with similar regulations from other leading National Banks as well. Every note displayed here has a low resolution of max. 72 dpi and bears the overprint "SPECIMEN" in red letters, covering a significant part (more than 50%) of the length and height of the bank note. This does not apply to bank notes issued more than 30 years ago or replaced during a monetary reform, which took place at least five years ago. It is assumed that these notes are not in public use anymore.

The copyright of any bank note shown here is with the respective issuing authority, National Bank or Central Bank.
Any bank note scan on this page may be used by anybody under the following preconditions:

  • The scans are not used to anyone's disadvantage and the use does not violate any applicable law.

  • The scans are only for personal use and are published only on private homepages.

  • The scans are used to support people's interest in paper money.

  • The contents of this page are used for educational purposes.

  • A reference to this page would be highly appreciated, but it is not indispensable.