Located in Eastern Africa, the State of Eritrea is bordered by Djibouti in the southeast, Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south. Its name is derived from “Erythra Thalassa” which is the ancient Greek name of the Red Sea. This promising country has experienced substantial economic growth from 2010- 2020 which was contributed by the full operations in the silver and gold Bisha mine as well as the cement production in Massawa.
The country uses the Eritrean nakfa for its legal tender which was introduced on November 8, 1997, replacing the Ethiopian birr at the same value. These banknotes were designed by Clarence Holbert of the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The set of notes were printed by Giesecke & Devrient in Germany and issued by the Bank of Eritrea. The designs on the obverse bear an image of Eritrean fighters raising the flag and a triptych portrait. All denominations carry a camel’s head watermark and are in the same size of 140 x 70 mm.
In late 2005, the Bank of Eritrea issued another set of notes with the same basic designs but have different color schemes. While the previous notes are in the same size, the size of these notes augments with the denomination. Additionally, these paper bills have modified security features such as its security thread which now has a demetalized BANK OF ERITREA.
In 2012, the Bank of Eritrea produced another family of notes, however, it wasn’t issued until late 2015. In 2015, the bank started replacing previous notes. In November, people and businesses were allowed to deposit any amount of money. In December, they can only deposit or exchange up to 20,000 nakfas, and, eventually, on January 1, 2016, the old nakfa paper bills were demonetized. The procedure was done with the intention of harming the black marketeers who hoard a lot of money for money laundering, counterfeiting, smuggling, and informal foreign currency exchange.