Swiss 50 Franc Banknote Wins Coveted IBNS Annual Prize –

Each year, the members of the International Bank Note Society (IBNS) elect a newly released banknote to receive the annual banknote of the year prize. Producing an award-winning bank note is a complex and delicate process that deserves recognition. It requires effective collaboration between the government and finance departments of a nation and printing firms that want to create the most stunning designs and innovative security features.

Our blog post today is about a bank note that won the 2016 IBNS Banknote of the Year Award, the Swiss 50 franc banknote. We’re excited to get into the details of how this Swiss note embodies the quality and detail-oriented approach required to win the IBNS prize. We’ll look at various aspects of the design and security features and how they contributed to Switzerland’s success in securing the IBNS prize for 2016.

Aesthetics and Colour Scheme of the Swiss 50 Franc Banknote

With over 120 different bank notes newly released in 2016, the Swiss 50 franc banknote faced stiff competition in voting for the award. One of the best ways to stand out to members of the IBNS, however, is to make a note with a genuine visual appeal. American collectors are used to seeing cotton notes that are dark green all over, so any bank note with a vibrant color combination is bound to get a lot of attention.

Switzerland 50 Francs Banknote, 2015, P-77a, UNC, Hand, Dandelion, Globe, Gliderclose

The Swiss 50 franc banknote utilizes color very effectively. Its green and yellow background with highlights of blue and red make it stand out from other bank notes and positively highlight its other visual features. Other notes which have recently won the IBNS annual award used similar strategies to earn votes – the notes were bright, radiant, and used several colors.

Images and Themes – Telling a Story of Switzerland

Just a few hundred years ago, a bank note was nothing more than a piece of paper with a promise that it could be redeemed for gold. Today, collectors expect countries and printers to collaborate on bank notes that communicate a message about the country. The IBNS always favors notes that give a strong depiction of the culture in which they originate.

The Swiss 50 franc banknote uses distinctively Swiss imagery to tell a story about its country and people through the art on its money. The notes are watermarked with a Swiss flag and globe, representing Switzerland’s sovereignty as a nation and membership in the global community. The front side depicts the familiar symbol of the Swiss cross and a human hand holding a dandelion with the seeds blowing away in the wind, symbolizing the laid-back and adventurous lifestyle of the Swiss people.

The reverse side of the note shows the topography of the Swiss Alps, the land formation for which the country is most famous, and an image of a paraglider, likely sailing through those same mountains. Together, the symbols and imagery present a genuine and positive representation of Swiss culture, which collectors admire and appreciate.

Security & Accessibility Features

The IBNS loves printers that are advancing technology and design through the notes they create. When a banknote with innovative and progressive features wins the annual prize, it creates imitations and changes the trajectory of human currency development. The Swiss 50 franc banknote brings a few unique items to the table when it comes to innovation in bank notes.

The Swiss 50 franc banknote uses the most up-to-date security features – a holographic strip with the number 50 in it, along with Swiss crosses, an outline of Switzerland and the names of the Swiss Alps. We also love that the note has been labeled in four different languages – French, German, Italian and Romansh. This is not only necessary given the geography of Switzerland, but exemplifies its progressive and inclusive attitude.


The Swiss 50 franc banknote is more than just a bank note. It’s a work of art that paints a delightful portrait of Swiss culture and society. The note is attractive, with vibrant colors, it contains unique symbols and images that represent Swiss culture, and it incorporates the latest security and accessibility features. The Swiss 50 franc banknote is really at the cutting edge of bank note design today, and we’re not surprised that a note like this won such a prestigious prize.

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