The International Bank Note Society (IBNS) has been functioning since 2004; its membership comprises over 20,000 members from 100 countries across the world. Each year, the Society chooses the best and the most beautiful banknotes of the year.
Banknotes issued by the central banks of different countries over the previous year are nominated. The main terms are as follow: only banknotes issued into circulation (no sample or commemorative) are nominated, and they must be artistically designed and/or secured by modern security features. We now already know the winner for 2015 — the 5 dollar banknote of New Zealand, which has won over 40 other nominees from 20 countries. The plastic (polymeric) banknote of New Zealand won due to its special design. The colours of the banknote are brown and orange; the front of it features the highest mountain in New Zealand — Aoraki (Mount Cook) and the most famous mountaineer in New Zealand — Sir Edmund Hillary. The back of the banknote depicts New Zealand’s flora and an extremely rare animal — the yellow-eyed penguin. The small artistic plastic window and modern security features incorporated in this banknote are singled out in particular. The banknote was printed at the Canadian Bank Note Company in Ottawa.