What truly represents summer? And which banknote best represents summer. In the US, a perfect summer banknote would have fireworks, backyard barbecues, beaches and children playing. Frankly the US does have a beautiful summer banknote. The US $2 shows the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which happened July 4, 1776.

US $2 Dollars | 2013 | P-538
Source: Banknote World

July 4 remains a highlight of the US summer. But as a banknote, it is dark, colorless and shows an indoor scene. Not quite a summer scene.

A Seychelles Summer

The 2013 Seychelles 100-rupee note definitely has the feel of summer and is why it won the Best Summer Sea Life Banknote.  The colors are calming, The gold holographic sailfish on the front alternates between the number 100 and an image of the Seychelles giant tortoise. The banknote also shows sea shells, a portrait of a rocky shoreline, the Sooty Tern, a map the inner islands, the Black Saddled Coral Grouper and the pitcher plant and the Aldabra Giant Tortoise. All of these images fit the summer and Seychelles theme of Bio-diversity.

Seychelles 100 Rupees | 2013
Source: Central Bank of Seychelles

But I conducted a survey of the Banknoteworld team, and this note came in #3 on the list of the Best of the Best

New Zealand Millenium

The vote was really close, but #2 Summer Banknote as chosen by the BanknoteWorld team is The 2000 Millenium Commemorative New Zealand $10.

While many countries released millennium commemorative notes, New Zealand put the most into circulation. They produced 3 million and had them co-circulate with the “Kate Shephard” $10.  This commemorative note was intended to reflect on the culture of the Maori heritage, the digital age of the Third Millennium and “some of the sports that make New Zealand special”. It is a very complex note is probably why so many people love this note.

New Zealand 10 Dollars Banknote, 2000, P-190
Source: Banknote World Educational

A Maori war canoe is the central feature on the front of the note.  A map of New Zealand is superimposed over a map of the world which represents the country’s trade links. But it is the back that shows summer sports. A major feature on the back of the note is the hammerhead shark. There are six wave like curls and these represent the 6 generations which have passed since the Treaty of Waitangi of 1840.  Mount Cook, the highest mountain features prominently in the background. The sports action images of surfing, skiing, kayaking and sky diving are shown. 

This note has so much going on and such a perfect link between history and culture, one could study this note for hours and keep finding new features.

Netherlands Bright Banknotes

This leaves the 1982 Netherlands 50 Gulden as the Best of the Best Summertime Banknotes. 

Netherlands 50 Gulden | 1982 | P-96
Source: Banknote World Educational

One of the most famous artists in the Netherlands is Vincent Van Gogh. Van Gogh had an obsession with sunflowers and painted dozens of paintings with them. As a result, people in the Netherlands fell in love with sunflowers and have planted massive fields of sunflower. What is amazing about the use of the sunflower is that they are not original to the Netherlands, and the growing season is relatively short. But people in the Netherlands celebrate summer with sunflowers just as they celebrate spring with tulips. 

The connection between this banknote and Van Gogh has spawned an underground art movement where painters incorporate Van Gogh style sunflowers into the design of the banknote. 

The team picked this banknote as its favorite, and I agree. The colors and images make everyone who look at it warm and happy.

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