On Sept 4, 2020 the Bulgarian National Bank released a new 5 Lev banknote as the last of its new banknote series. Its colored in red and features Bulgarian painter, Ivan Milev on the front.

In 2010, Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) www.gi-de.com/ released a test note called the Yvonne Hybrid note. 

Yvonne Hybrid Test Note | 2010 |
Source: Worthpoint

This note is based on a hybrid substrate polymer inside with paper and coatings on the surfaces. Not only did this note have a great feel, what blew me away was the matched quality and clarity of the watermark to the Intaglio Portrait to the image of ‘Yvonne’ in the holographic stripe. I was sure this was the future of banknote design concepts. 

The Central Bank of Bulgaria was an early adopter of G&D’s Hybrid which also seems to adopt many of G&D’s features early. The recently released Bulgarian 5 Lev banknote shares some similarities.

Bulgaria 5 Lev | 2020 |
Source: Bulgaria National Bank

I don’t know if Bulgaria is using Hybrid, but they are certainly following the ‘Yvonne’ design with a detailed holographic stripe matching the intaglio portrait and multi-tonal watermark. It also has intaglio marking on both edges for the visually impaired. 

On the reverse, it is using a G&D feature called Rolling Star which was introduced in 2012 on another ‘Yvonne’ test note.

Yvonne Test Note | 2012 |
Source: Sixbid

This effect leads to a rolling effect in the windowed thread.

It is amazing that the Bulgarian 5 Lev banknote that has a face value of $3 USD includes such great new modern security features and design. But for the collector, this allows us to obtain these features at a reasonable price.

Bulgaria 5 Lev | 1999 | P-116a |
Source: Banknote World

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