THE CURRENCY NEWS MAGAZINE : YEMEN PROVIDES LAUNCH PAD FOR NEW FEATURES
The Central Bank of Yemen has put a new mid-denomination 250 Rial into circulation, the first time a new note has been issued in the country for II sears. the note was designed and produced by Russian banknote printer and papermaker Goznak and, although traditional in design, contains a number of security features that are making their first appearance in a banknote.
Yemen, located on the southern side of the Arabian Peninsula, has a population of 23 million and has been in existence as a unified country since 1990. Prior to then, the country was divided in two. North Yemen, originally part of the Ottoman Empire, secured its independence in 1962 and became the Yemen Arab Republic. South Yemen was formerly a British colony, and was founded as the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen when Britain withdrew in 1967.
For a period following unification, the currencies of the two countries — the Rial in the North and the Dinar in the South — remained legal tender, with the latter withdrawn from circulation in 1996. The Central Bank of Yemen notes in circulation at the time were 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 Rials, dating back to 1973. In 1993, the 1 and 5 Rial notes were replaced by coins, with the same happening to the 10 Rial notes in 1995 In 1996. 200 Rial notes
were introduced, followed by 500 Rials in 1997 and 1000 Rials in 1998.
The theme of the 250 Rial note is similar to that of the 500 and 1.000 Rials,which feature architectural landmarks on both the front and reverse. In the case of the 250 Rials. an image of the immense newly-opened Al-Salah mosque in the capital, Sana’a, appears on the front, and Mukalla Khor. a central waterway which has become the main attraction and focal point of the port and city of Mukalla. on the reverse.
Among Goznak’s proprietary features making their first appearance in a circulating note is the VFI (Visual Formed image) thread, which is incorporated into the paper via a process that holds it in place with cotton fibres and adhesives down its sides. The shape or geometry of these fibres is varied so that in reflected light the edges of the thread have a distinct ‘Zig zag’ appearance. In transmitted light, however, the thread appears as a continuous line with straight edges, with the denomination value visible along the length of the thread.
Another first is Goznak’s 2DIris feature. which appears on the left hand edge of the reverse of the note. 2D-Iris is a variation of the Iris feature, a rainbow effect generated through offset line printing in which precise registration of the fine lines enables gradual and seamless colour transition. in normal Iris patterns, the colour change is mono-directional but with 2D Iris, this transition is multi-directional whilst still enabling perfect registration of the graphic elements and colour lines.
In addition, the note includes a MVC (Moire Variable Colour) feature. This is used for the graphic of the dome of the mosque, which appears uniformly pink when viewed straight on. When the note is tilted, however the background changes into a pattern of rainbow stripes . Although the MVC feature is already in use in Russian currency in the new 250 Rial it is combined with a latent image that displays the denomination numeral another first for Yemen.
And finally is Ink flow a combination of intaglio and blind embossing in which the ink is separate from the blind embossed area and does not bleed into or cover it, providing an effect which cannot be reproduced using conventional printing techniques. Again. Ink Flow’ is already in use on the Rouble, but the Yemen 250 Rial note is its first application outside Russia.
Other security features of the notes include intaglio print, a mould-made watermark of Yemen’s coat of arms and UV features . According to the bank, the reverse of the notes in particular contain several advanced security features that can only be detected by counting and sorting machines or when e\posed to UV light.
The new notes went into circulation on November 14.