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.
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.
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.
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.