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The International Bank Note Society is pleased to announce that the 1000-kronur note issued by the Faeroe Islands, is the Society’s ‘Bank Note of the Year’ for a banknote issued during 2005. The choice of this note was by a clear majority, with the note being extremely well regarded by the panel of judges.
The 1000-kronur banknote is the last note, and the highest denomination, in a series of banknotes issued by the Faeroe Islands over the last couple of years. This series has attracted much attention in the collecting world because of the unusual designs on the notes. In all cases, only a fragment of an animal has been used as the principal design element on the front of each note, with the animal being depicted in detailed intaglio printing. The background to the illustrations on the front of each note, and the illustrations on the back, have a washed effect. This effect is largely due to watercolour paintings being the medium for the original illustrations, which were drawn by Zacharias Heinesen.
The front of the award-winning 1000-kronur note is dominated by a partially depicted purple sandpiper. Viewed from behind, while in full flight, the fine detail of the bird’s feathers are apparent, whilst a distant flock of birds completes the illustration. The contrast, between the detail of the sandpiper and the indistinct sky with the far-off flock of birds, results in an ethereal image, which gives the note much of its appeal. The back of the note carries a view from the island of Sandoy, with the scene appearing misty and remote, complementing the image on the front.
There is a skill in producing artwork for a banknote and the Faeroese notes are unusual in basing their illustrations on watercolours. Most banknotes are based on designs specifically crafted for the engraver, with black and white photographs or pen drawings often being the basis for the final design. Designs copied from paintings have not, with some notable exceptions, proved particularly successful. That the designers have successfully adapted Heinesen’s work for this note is one of the impressive and attractive elements of the design.
As well as the note being unusual and attractive, the 1000-kronur is also a fine example of the work of a modern security printer. At the far right, on the front of the note, is a security thread that is partially embedded in the paper and which has an iridescent covering; while at the top left is a hologram with a motif based on a design from a church pew in Kirkjubour. Additionally, Orion dots are used at the far left and on the back of the notes, in an effort to prevent the notes from being copied.
The Society’s ‘Bank Note of the Year’ recognizes an outstanding contribution to the development of paper money. In considering the nominations for the ‘Bank Note of the Year’, the judges must weigh a number of points. Three of these points are:
For each of these points the 1000-kronur note met the highest expectations, while for other criteria, such as modern security features, the note was realized to hold great merit. With banknotes being regularly issued around the world, designers are always increasing the beauty and enhancing the security of banknotes, while at the same time maintaining their utility. With regular demand to increase the merit of their output, issuing authorities can often overlook the combination of beauty, security and utility that have been in evidence for hundred of years. The International Bank Note Society congratulates the Faeroe Islands and the Danish National Bank in their effort to continue a tradition that has contributed so much to the heritage of many nations.