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Collector’s banknote with Józef Piłsudski is the best in the world

The twenty-zloty banknote commemorating the 100th anniversary of formation of the Polish Legions and depicting Józef Piłsudski, the Marshal of Poland, has been honored with the award of the best collector’s banknote in the world. The decision was made during the international Currency Conference in Vancouver, Canada.  It is yet another prestigious award for the first Polish polymer banknote manufactured by PWPW.

The Currency Conference organized by the International Association for Currency Affairs (IACA) in Canada was attended by over 70 central banks and issuing institutions from all over the world. The ex aequo award for the best collector’s banknote was granted to three banknotes:  from Poland, Scotland and Nigeria.  The twenty-zloty banknote depicting Józef Piłsudski, the Marshal of Poland, was highly acclaimed yet another time.  In March, during the European High Security Printing conference in Budapest, the banknote received the “Banknote of the Year Award” in the categories of artwork design and high level of security features. 

The banknote commemorating the 100th anniversary of forming the Polish Legions is the sixth collector’s banknote and the first polymer banknote issued by the National Bank of Poland. The banknote has been designed by Andrzej Heidrich who has decided to use one of his earlier projects, i.e. a five million-zloty banknote dating back to the first half of 1990s. Due to the Polish currency denomination launched on 1 January 1995, the banknote was however never issued.  A combination of classic design and modern polymer substrate make the new banknote issued in August 2014 unique.  

The obverse side of the banknote features the image of Marshal Józef Piłsudski and the reverse side depicts the legionary eagle, the memorial badge of the 1st Brigade of the Polish Legions, and the Grand Cross of the Order of Virtuti Militari granted to the Marshal.  Also, a very meticulous hologram with the image of the Belvedere Palace positioned in the transparent field of the banknote merits particular attention.  The banknote commissioned by the National Bank of Poland has been manufactured by Polish Security Printing Works . The engraving project has been developed by Krystian Michalczuk.  The military unit commemorated by the newest collector’s banknote of the National Bank of Poland was formed on 16 August 1914 in Austria-Hungary, its core being the 1st Cadre Company established at the initiative of Józef Piłsudski.   In their prime, in 1915, the Legions consisted of 12 thousand soldiers and officers serving in 3 brigades.  Between 1914 and 1916 the Legions served on the Austrian-Russian front; they fought several battles in which the legionaries proved their courage and showed yearn for independence.  Although disbanded in 1917, the Polish Legions have for long remained in the Polish national consciousness.  

During the Currency Conference awards were given to such entities as the European Central Bank for its campaign introducing a new series of euro banknotes and the Bank of Canada for its innovative approach to banknote quality control.

The banknote has been produced by Polish Security Printing Works.  Another collector’s banknote will be put into circulation in August this year. The banknote will be issued by the National Bank of Poland to commemorate the 600th birthday anniversary of Jan Długosz.

PWPW (Polish Security Printing Works)

1 R. Sanguszki Street
00-222 Warsaw, Poland
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tel. (+48) 22 235 20 00
fax (+48) 22 235 24 50