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Guernsey

The Bailiwick of Guernsey is one of the three British Crown dependency territories. It is composed of Alderney, Sark, Herm, Jethou, Guernsey, and all the other islets nearby. The island of Guernsey is located in the English Channel, 48 km west of Normandy, France. Because it is a Crown dependency, it uses the pound sterling as its currency. However, Guernsey produces its own banknotes. 

Early Guernsey notes were produced and circulated by merchants. The first official bank in Guernsey is the Guernsey Banking Old Bank Company, one of the commercial banks authorized to circulate banknotes from 1827 to 1914. Colloquially, the Guernsey Banking Company is called the “Old Bank” in 1835 after the Guernsey Commercial Banking Company was founded in 1835. The government of Guernsey took over the issuing authority from commercial banks to centralize the flow of money. These government-issued banknotes are circulated by the States of Guernsey. Early States of Guernsey banknotes had one design printed on only the front of the notes and the signatures were handwritten. The first colored Guernsey banknotes were issued in 1895. These banknotes were called “Greenbacks” due to their color scheme: blue in the front and green at the back. In 1969, the States of Guernsey banknotes started featuring prominent people and landmarks on the reverse side of the notes, with the Guernsey lily and the Bailiwick of Guernsey seal on the front. From 1980 onwards, De La Rue is the official Guernsey pound banknotes printer. Queen Elizabeth II started gracing Guernsey pound banknotes in 1994. The States of Guernsey released three commemorative notes: a 5 pound note to celebrate the new millennium in 2000, a 20 pound note to celebrate the diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 2012, and a 20 pound note to celebrate the 100th anniversary of World War I in 2018. 

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