Saturday, April 9, 2011

Belgian banknotes King Albert I (part 2)

As you might have noticed, the face value on the Belgian banknotes is always in French or Dutch. Every next not in the series starts with the opposite language.  This to maintain the fragile balance between the two major language groups in Belgium (Dutch and French), An indication in German (the third official language in Belgium) is only rarely found on banknotes, especially on the smaller denominations.
Next to the face value in Belgian Francs, you'll find another denomination: the "Belga"; one Belga equals 5 Belgian francs.
To compare: around 1920 : 1 belgian franc equals the value of about 1,90 €
(let's say for one belgian franc, you had a decent coffee on a very nice terrace in town)
The 'Belga' was never a real currency, the belgian Franc was, till euro took over in 1999/2002.

As you saw in the previous post, the banknote series start with 1 Belgian franc.
There are notes of 5 Belgian francs (1 Belga); 20 Belgian francs; 100 Belgian francs and even 1000 Belgian francs...
The 1000 Belgian franc banknotes must have had more value than the average income in the 20's of the previous century. It's a spledid design, with on the back side a lace making lady, the Cloth Halls of Ypres and a smaller map of the Northsea region. This banknote is remarkable, not only to the high face value and the extremely nice design, but also the size of the banknote is worth looking at. It's as big as an A5 - paper.
No wonder only wealthy people could possess such a note. They were probably the only ones who could afford a wallet that size.

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