The flamboyant Aruban Florin
In the south of Caribbean Sea close to the mainland South America, there is an idyllic islet that is rightly famous for its designer currency notes. Still a constituting country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the tiny island with a population of little over a lakh has maintained high aesthetics and ingenuity in their flourishing Florins. Other than its banknotes, Aruba is world famous for sunny beaches; with very less climatic disturbances Aruba beaches are a popular amongst tourists. Originally aborigines ruled over this virgin territory before the Spaniards captured it in 1499 CE. Dutch took control by 1636 CE bringing in peace, prosperity and more rights for the natives. The island is endowed with vast stockpiles of natural riches, Crude Oil being the main one. Dutch known for their evolved aesthetics and knack for representing local culture first circulated the Antillean Guilder that was later changed in 1986 to the flamboyant Florin.
The central authority – Central Bank of Aruba – since its inception has made a reputation of producing some of the most elegantly designed banknotes in the whole world. Starting from 1986, the bank has issued landmark releases in 1990 and 2019. The 1990 issue designed by Aruban artist Evelino Fingal brought in a riot of colors. Simple yet truly representative of the Aruban culture, Fingal amalgamated threads from lost primitive art with the exotic creations of mother nature to showcase both the past and present, at one place. The “Stars of Aruba” 2019 Series is a visual treat; a microcosm of rich natural, cultural and human history. The International Banknote Society (IBSN) chose the 100 Florin Banknote amongst 22 finalists as the “Banknote of the Year” for 2019. IBSN remarked, “Most striking is one of the most secure banknote features available using high-relief printing, color changing ink and a 3D MOTION SURFACE ® moving stripe with miniaturized micro-optics from printer Crane Currency. The unique designs are truly eye catching and effectively balance the challenge of anti-counterfeit technology with production costs. Local schools and citizens were all engaged in this national currency transition.”
Main Features | The best part about the latest edition of Florin design is the effortlessness with which a multitude of themes and visuals have been integrated with the best printing technologies. There are banknotes with similar printing quality but the designs are simply unmatched. The banknotes have reoriented themselves in a horizontal layout but a third of the total length has been arranged vertically. On the front there are (i) Numerals for denomination at 2 places along both axes (ii) Texts for denomination in words, issuing authority – Centrale Bank Van Aruba (Text color of Aruba alone is matched with the denomination in numeral) – and designation of two signatories and Wettig Betaalmiddel (Legal Tender in Dutch) (iii) Images with one dominating depiction seen in company of 2-3 secondary ones. The neat arrangement of images without making a visual ambiguity is particularly noteworthy. Each element is justified as an individual entity and also as a part of the whole canvas. Overlapping is done at borders to imparting a visual continuity. On the reverse, the magic continues with (i) Numerals for denomination and Serial number at two positions each one along both the horizontal and vertical axes (ii) texts for denomination in words, Wettig betaalmiddel (Legal Tender in Dutch) and issuing authority – Centrale Bank Van Aruba (iii) Visual Collage with one dominating image showcasing the local culture and landscape merged with a plethora of graphic symbols.