Mexico’s 100 Peso GUARDIAN™ Polymer Banknote Wins ‘Banknote of the Year’ Award

Mexico’s new 100 peso GUARDIANTM polymer bill has beaten more than 100 other candidates to win the prestigious “Banknote of the Year Award” for 2020, awarded by the International Bank Note Society (IBNS).

The new 100 peso banknote is the latest in a long line of polymer banknotes issued by the Mexican central bank. The first – a 20 peso note – was unveiled in September 2002, with a redesigned note issued 5 years later. The series will also feature 20 peso and 50 peso notes to be issued later. Once the latest ‘G Series’ of notes is complete, the bank estimates that polymer will be used in around 2 billion notes in circulation in the country. This represents around 30% of the total volume of notes in circulation.

Banco de México was both the printer and issuer of the award-winning design banknote. The vertical format note is printed on CCL Secure’s world-leading GUARDIAN polymer, which is currently used for more than 170 denominations and 75 billion banknotes issued by over 25 countries.

The award-winning note features one of Mexico’s national heroines, the writer Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. The reverse “piece de resistance” image features the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, a renowned temperate forest ecosystem. The design continues to highlight Mexican cultural and historic characteristics with new graphic motifs. The banknote also features significantly improved security features as part of the transition to GUARDIAN. Polymer banknotes continue to be popular IBNS favourites.

From all significant newly designed and widely circulated banknotes released in 2020, the 2000 members of IBNS nominated notes from 22 different countries, drawn from 5 continents – Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and South America – as well as Central America, three island nations, and the Middle East.

Polymer is always popular with IBNS members, and Mexico’s award-winning entry is seen as providing a template as other countries reconsider how they design and promote new banknotes.

CCL Secure’s Director of R&D, Marketing and Design, Dr. Tim Berridge, commented: “Naturally, we’re delighted that Banco de México’s new 100 peso GUARDIAN polymer banknote has won this award. Such an innovative and beautifully designed banknote is a testament to the Bank. It’s also recognition of all hard work and support provided the CCL Secure team based at our production facilities in Queretaro and our design team in Melbourne. They helped to bring the Bank’s design concepts to stunning reality.”

As well as operating GUARDIAN polymer production facilities at Queretaro in Mexico, which form the basis of a longstanding relationship with Banco de Mexico, CCL Secure recently opened a purpose-built recycling centre in Zacapu, in the Mexican state of Michoacán. As with all GUARDIAN polymer banknotes, the new 100 peso note starts life as polymer pellets which are then transformed into the GUARDIAN polymer substrate film. Once the banknotes have completed their working life, they can be recycled by turning them back into polymer pellets. These are used for a wide range of products, including outdoor furniture and building materials.


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