The new 50-peso bill was introduced in October 2021. The new 50-peso bill was introduced in October 2021.

50-peso bill wins 2021 Bank Note of the Year award

The note depicts the Mexica capital Tenochtitlán and features an axolotl

The 50-peso bill has been named Bank Note of the Year 2021, meaning the Bank of México has won the prestigious award two years running.

The voting membership of the International Bank Note Society (IBNS) selected the predominantly purple 50-peso note above 19 other attractive notes released in 2021.

The bill depicts Tenochtitlán, the last Mexica capital and forbear to Mexico City, and a version of the national emblem, an eagle perched on a prickly pear cactus eating a rattlesnake.

The reverse side of the note features an axolotl, a kind of salamander found in Mexico’s ecosystem of lakes and waterways.

Last year, a 100-peso bill depicting the self-educated nun and intellectual Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, with the monarch butterfly biosphere reserve on its reverse, was voted the winner for 2020.

One side of the 50-peso note features an eagle perched on a cactus eating a snake, with the city of Tenochtitlán in the background.
One side of the 50-peso note features an eagle perched on a cactus, an image from the legend of the founding of Tenochtitlán. In the background is a depiction of the same city, inspired by a Diego Rivera mural.

More than 100 new banknotes were released worldwide in 2021, but the IBNS only deemed 20 to be sufficiently original to merit nomination. The IBNS said the battle for first place was a tight contest with the Mexican bill edging out Sao Tome and Principe’s 200-dobra bill.

Third place was a tie between a Bank of England note featuring World War II code breaker Alan Turing and a bill from Costa Rica commemorating the abolition of the country’s army.

Notes from Romania, the Royal Bank of Scotland, China and the Cook Islands were all among the top eight.

The Tenochtitlán note is part of the Bank of México’s G Series, first introduced in 2018. It is printed on polymer, a material popular among IBNS’ voting members for its security features, and is produced in a printing complex in Jalisco which began operation just before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Past banknote of the year recipients include Aruba, Canada, Uganda, the Faroe Islands, two time winner Switzerland and three time winner Kazakhstan, among others.

Mexico News Daily

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