Saturday, December 31, 2011

Banknotes : Democratic Republic of the Congo - 01

Although it's not always possible, I try to 'blog' something in relation to the news of the last days/weeks.
Of course, if you reach my blog weeks after I posted my entry, it might not always be as accurate as it was on the day I posted it.

Still, I think that posting something about 'Congo' will not be outdated that fastly.

There are in fact 2 Congo's in Afrika. The largest one (also called : Congo-Kinshasa or Zaire).
The smaller one is Congo-Brazzaville (with Brazzaville as capital city)

The one I'm talking about now is the largest country. It's name changed many times during history.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo was formerly, in chronological order, the Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Congo-Léopoldville, Congo-Kinshasa, and Zaire. These former names are sometimes referred to, as unofficial names, with the exception of Mobutu's discredited Zaire, along with various abbreviations, such as, Congo, Congo-Kinshasa, DR Congo and DRC.
Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

In 1997 all banknotes changed, when Mobutu was forced to flee the country. At that time, the country's name changed into : The Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Before, numerous banknotes with Mobutu's head were produced. Along with huge inflation, a wide variety of notes were printed between the mid 70's and 1997.
When everything changed in 1997, a new set of banknotes was designed and it's worth seeing the notes, and the various details in those newly emitted set.

In this first post, I like to show some notes of lower denomination (all with a lower face value then 1 Franc).
All new notes were introduced on November 1, 1997. They have been replaced by newer notes (other printing dates) but same design.

front side of the lower denominations

back side of the lower denominations
Some details are very nice to discover.
I put the notes in order according their face value, and you see that the serial numbers are following A B C D and E.

Each note starts with a different letter

Each note has a diamond with an arrow in, put the notes in order and you'll see the arrow moving against the clock, doing one tour in 5 steps (1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents)
On the back, you will see a similar triangle, turning clockwise.
If you hold the banknote against the light, both arrow and triangle make a star.

Finally, some nice details on front and back of the notes. Showing animals and cultural heritage of Congo.

african dancers and music instrument
african mask
african mask

okapi's head

to be continued ...

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