The Australian Dollar and the 7 Currencies That Went Extra

The Australian Dollar and the 7 Currencies That Went Extra

Each nation's currency is as unique as the nations they respectively represent. They're perhaps the perfect example of style and substance, form and function, science and art combined. And this is not a coincidence--a currency serves as a representation of a country's uniqueness and economic strength.

That's why governments go to great lengths designing and creating they're currencies: raised ink, detailed illustrations, security codes, and even waterproofing.

While almost every currency is truly one-of-a-kind, there are those who went the extra mile. Here are the 7 currencies that did.


1. Australian Dollar (AUD)

The Australian Dollar is one of the most advanced currencies in the world.

Take the galah for example. It has an image of an eastern spinebill (a native bird) on the banknote, which appears to move its wings as the banknote is moved.

Unlike most bills, AUD bills are made of a material called polymer, which feels like wax, which makes it waterproof and hard to counterfeit. Actually, Australia was the first country to introduce polymer banknotes back in 1988. Since then, other countries began to follow suit.


2. Chinese Yuan (CNY)

With the rise of the Chinese economy came the rampant counterfeit of China's yuan, which was at its peak in 2015.

That's why the newly minted 100-yuan bills released that same year were accented with gold 100s - hence, the nickname "high-roller gold" - and other intricate details that made them hard to fake.

The massive banknotes were so high-tech, in fact, that China's ATM machines couldn't read them at first, and the government had to release a statement saying it would take several days for the machines to be "updated" to recognise the new currency.


3. Aruban Florin (AWG)


When designing its currency, Aruba aimed to represent the country's essence. Each of Aruba's banknotes (10, 25, 50, 100, 500) are a different colour, and have a bit of native wildlife to match. Everything from a conch shell, rattle snake, owl, frog, and grouper are depicted on the bills.

They also include historical designs and motifs. According to the Centrale Bank van Aruba website, "images of the Aruban animal wild life were combined with decorative motives found on pre-Columbian pottery, thus emphasising the relation between past and present."


4. Canadian Dollar (CND)

In March 2018, Canada unveiled a plan for a new $US10 dollar bill. Nova Scotia's Viola Desmond, a civil rights activist, is depicted on the front-facing side of the first vertically oriented bill in the country's history - which also features a see-through portion.

According to Azure Magazine, "Each note is made from a single piece of polymer, to increase its longevity and to embed forgery-resistant security features, including a transparent window with a moiré pattern."


5. Vietnamese Dong (VND)

The Vietnamese đồng has had a turbulent history: after going through five different iterations before 2006, all of which experienced problems due to lack of uniformity, the đồng's current design is its most effective yet. It might even be one of the most sophisticated currencies in the world.

The current đồng bills feature a portrait of Ho Chi Minh, the country's former president, and many intricate line drawings described as "microprinting."Bills also feature at least two security codes, making them especially difficult to counterfeit.



6. New Zealand Dollar (NZD)


Back in 2015, the International Bank Society named New Zealand's 5 dollar bills "Best banknote of the Year" for their intricate portraiture.

According to the IBS' website, "The Reserve Bank of New Zealand began releasing a new family of 'Brighter Money' banknotes in 2015, beginning with the $US5 and $US10 denominations." These polymer beauties took the prize that year for their detailed depictions of historical figures, maps of New Zealand, and many upgraded security features.


7. Israeli New Shekel (ILS)

Israeli currency the shekel is known for its colourful banknotes, and its bills have more features than meets the eye. The governor's signature that appears on bills is written in raised ink, so it can be felt and makes the bills difficult to counterfeit. Shekel banknotes also vary in length according to denomination, in order to aid the visually impaired.

In 2017, Israel announced it would be rolling out new shekel banknotes featuring portraits of female Hebrew poets Rachel Bluwstein and Leah Goldberg. These were the first shekels to feature women since the early 1990s.

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