Switzerland’s 10-franc note has received the prestigious “Bank Note of the Year Award” for 2017, meaning that the European country has scooped the top prize for the second year in a row. The award was given by the non-profit, educational International Bank Note Society (IBNS), which has 2000 members in more than 90 countries. It was founded in 1961 to promote and advance the study and knowledge of worldwide banknotes and paper currencies.
Over 170 new banknotes were released worldwide during 2017, and almost a third were considered to be of sufficiently new design to be eligible for nomination. The Swiss 10-franc note was described as “a gorgeous yellow vertical banknote” by the judges and it depicts human hands conducting an orchestra with a globe showing time zones and the punctual Swiss rail system. In the closest ever vote, it took the prize over runners-up from the Royal Bank of Scotland (£10), Canada ($10), Fiji ($7), Norway (100 kroner) and Djibouti (40 franc).
The Swiss 10-franc note is part of the 9th series of designs released by the Swiss National Bank. All of the notes from the series feature national experiences and abstract themes, depicting time, wind, light, water, matter and language. The winning note focused on Switzerland’s organisational talent and the theme of “time.” A 20-franc note was also nominated for Bank Note of the Year and features a hand and a prism reflecting light. However, IBNS rules state that no country can compete against itself if multiple notes are nominated, so a subcommittee selected the stronger image. The first design in the series, the 50-franc note, took the overall prize in 2016 and its theme was wind.
Further details and images from the competition are available here.