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The Falkland Islands or the Islas Malvinas is an archipelago resting on the Patagonian Shelf in the South Atlantic Ocean. Prior to being a British overseas territory, the group of islands was explored by navigators from Spain, France, and Argentina during the 16th and 17th centuries.
In 1833, the British government declared its sovereignty over the islands, and in 1982, Argentina invaded the territory, claiming that the archipelago belongs to Argentina. However, they were thrown out by the British after two months.
The Falkland Islands uses the Falkland Islands pound for its legal tender. As a territory of the United Kingdom, the currency is pegged to the pound sterling at the same rame. In 1899, the first banknotes specifically for the territory were issued. These notes were signed by hand. The dates on earlier issues were also handwritten, however, later issues have either printed or stamped dates. Thomas De La Rue has been its printing partner.
Banknote issues of the Falkland Islands have identical designs in all denominations. 1921 - 1932 issues feature an in-profile picture of King George V in an elegant frame while the reverse is designed with guilloche patterns. Its security feature consists of a geometric pattern watermark.
The 1938 - 1951 issues carry the same design concept except that King George V was replaced by King George VI who took over after his brother, Edward VIII, stepped down from the throne. Additionally, the portrait is positioned on the left with King George VI facing right. In 1960, the frame design on the obverse was moved back to the right and the portrait of King George VI was replaced with his daughter, Queen Elizabeth II’s in-profile picture facing left.
In 1983, a 5-pound banknote was released to commemorate the 150th year of English sovereignty, bearing all-new designs. The obverse design features Queen Elizabeth II wearing the tiara of Grand Duchess Vladimir and the golden jubilee necklace of Queen Victoria. The coat of arms, three king penguins, the map of the islands, and two sea lions are also visible on the front design. The reverse of the notes boasts the Government House as well as the Christ Church Cathedral. The design concept and elements of this commemorative issue are retained in today’s Falkland Islands banknotes.