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Note-worthy: Whose face is on which currency?

July 17, 2013 09:26 IST

Note-worthy: Whose face is on which currency?

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Countries through the world feature prominent personalities on their banknotes to acknowledge their contribution to the nation. For example, there are about 49 personalities that feature on different banknotes in the US.

For women representation on its currency, the UK is planning to introduce 10-pound banknotes that will feature Jane Austen.

Different regions in the UK have their own personalities on currencies. For example, Sir Walter Scott (historical novelist and poet; campaigner for the continuation of Scottish banknotes) appears on five pound notes, 10 pounds, 20 pounds, 50 pounds, and 100 pounds.

Some countries prefer just one personality on their banknotes. These include India, China, Malaysia, Pakistan and Singapore.

Here are some popular currencies from around the globe and the personalities featured on them.

Source: Wikipedia and central banks

United States

Currency: Dollar

Currency denomination: $1

Personality

George Washington: He was the first President of the United States from 1789 to 1797 (two terms) and one of the Founding Fathers of the country. He was instrumental in the country’s Constitution and presided over the convention that drafted it.

He maintained neutrality while the war raged in Europe and was accepted among different ethnicities of the US.

In circulation since: 1963

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Image: An American $1 bill
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

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United States

Currency: Dollar

Currency denomination: $100

Personality

Benjamin Franklin: A noted polymath, he too was one of the Founding Fathers of the US. According to Wikipedia, he was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. He was responsible for the investion of the lightning rod, bifocals, the Franklin stove, a carriage odometer, and the glass 'armonica', according to Franklin Institute.

In circulation since: 1996

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Image: US $100 bill.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

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United States

Currency: Dollar

Currency denomination: $50

Personality

Ulysses S. Grant: A highly successful war general, he was the 18th President of the US from 1869 to 1877 (two terms). He was instrumental in abolishing slavery and destroyed the Ku Klux Klan in 1871.

In circulation since: 2004

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Image: US $50 bill.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

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United States

Currency: Dollar

Currency denomination: $20

Personality

Andrew Jackson: Another successful army general, he was the seventh President of the US from 1829 to 1837. He and his followers started the Second Party System in the US and created the modern Democratic Party.

In circulation since: 2003

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Image: US $20 bill.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

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Untied states

Currency: Dollar

Currency denomination: $10

Personality

Alexander Hamilton: Responsible for the nation’s financial system and founder of the first American political party, Hamilton was one of the Founding Fathers of the US.

He established a national bank and promoted economic policies that allowed funding of the state debts by the Federal government.

In circulation since: 2006

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Image: US $10 bill.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

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Untied States

Currency: Dollar

Currency denomination: $5

Personality

Abraham Lincoln: The 16th President from 1861 to 1865 (until his assassination), Lincoln led the country through the American Civil War, a defining period for the US. Despite the crisis, he managed to strengthen the government. modernise the economy and abolish slavery.

In circulation since: 2008

Over 40 other personalities feature on $2 banknotes. All person featured on this denomination are signatories in the Declaration of Independence. Some of the people featured include Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Charles Carroll, and George Clinton.

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Image: US $5 bill.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

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United Kingdom

Currency: Pound sterling

Currency denomination: 50 pounds

Personalities

Elizabeth II: From being the constitutional monarch of Commonwealth of Nations to the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, she holds many titles. Her reign of 61 years is currently the second longest for a British monarch.

John Houblon: First Governor of the Bank of England from 1694 to 1697.

James Watt: Described as one of the most influential figures in the human history, his improvement to the steam engine brought the Industrial revolution in UK and rest of the world. He developed the concept of horsepower, too.

Matthew Boulton: He was business partner of James Watt that helped him install his steam engines. He also applied modern techniques to the minting of coins and supplied the country’s mint with up-to-date equipments.

In circulation since: Elizabeth II (old series since 1994 and new series since 2011), John Houblon (1994), John Houblon (2011) and Matthew Boulton (2011).

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Image: 50 pounds banknotes that features the Queen of the United Kingdom Elizabeth II.
Photographs: Reuters

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United Kingdom

Currency: Pound sterling

Currency denomination: 20 pounds

Personalities

Elizabeth II: Queen of the United Kingdom and the constitutional monarch of the Commonwealth of Nations.

Adam Smith: Often cited as the "father of modern economics", he wrote the first modern book of economics - The Wealth of Nations.

In circulation since: Elizabeth II (older series in 1999 and newer one in 2007) and Adam Smith (2007)

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Image: 20 pounds banknote that features Economist Adam Smith.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

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United Kingdom

Currency: Pound sterling

Currency denomination: 10 pounds

Personalities

Elizabeth II: Queen of the United Kingdom and the constitutional monarch of the Commonwealth of Nations.

Charles Darwin: An English naturalist, he was the first to propose that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors. He published his theory of evolution in his 1859 book called Origin of Species. According to Wikipedia, in modified form, Darwin's scientific discovery is the unifying theory of the life sciences, explaining the diversity of life.

In circulation since: Both since 2000

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Image: 10 pounds banknote that features naturalist Charles Darwin.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

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Australia

Currency: Dollar

Currency denomination: 100 Aus dollars

Personalities

Nellie Melba: An Australian operatic soprano, she is one of the most famous singer of the Victorian Era and the early 20th century. She was also the first Australian singers to get international recognition.

John Monash: He was a highly successful military commander in the First World War. Thanks to him that the World War 1 ended earlier than expected after he won the Battle of Amiens along with allied forces.

In circulation since: Both since 1996

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Image: 100 Australian dollars that features International opera soprano Nellie Melba.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

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Australia

Currency: Dollar

Currency denomination: 50 Aus dollars

Personalities

Edith Cowan: She was the first woman elected to the Australian parliament and also fought for women welfare issues.

David Unaipon: Known as Australian Leonardo da Vinci for his mechanical ideas, Unaipon took out provisional patents for 19 inventions. An Indigenous Australian of the Ngarrindjeri people, he was also a writer and preacher.

In circulation since: Both since 1995

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Image: 50 Australian dollars Edith Cowan.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

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Canada

Currency: Dollar

Currency denomination: 100 Canadian dollars

Personality

Robert Borden: Eight Prime Minister of Canada, he was also a well-known lawyer and introduced the first Canadian income tax.

In circulation since: Not available

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Image: 100 Canadian dollars banknote that freatures Robert Borden.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

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Canada

Currency: Dollar

Currency denomination: 50 Canadian dollars

Personalities

Marie Therese Forget Casgrain: She was a suffragist and fought for women welfare. She was also a senator in Quebec.

Henrietta Muir Edwards: A women's rights activist and reformer, she founded Victorian Order of Nurses.

William Lyon Mackenzie King: Longest serving Prime Minister in Canadian history, he dominated the political scene from 1920s through 1940s.

Nellie Mooney McClung: A suffragist, she contended that women should be made eligible to sit in Senate. Along with Henrietta Muir Edwards, Emily Murphy, Louise McKinney and Irene Parlby, she fought for women rights and together the group came to be known as ‘The Famous Five’.

Louise Crummy McKinney: A women's right activist, she was the first woman elected to a legislature.

Emily Murphy: First woman judge in the country, she too fought for women's rights and part of the group called 'The Famous Five'.

Irene Marryat Parlby: First woman Cabinet minister in Alberta, she was part of 'The Famous Five' that fought for women's rights.

In circulation since: Not available

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Image: 50 Canadian dollars banknote that freatures William Lyon Mackenzie King.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

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Japan

Currency: Yen

Currency denomination: 10,000 yens

Personality

Fukuzawa Yukichi: A political theorist, entrepreneur, teacher, translator and author, Yukichi'sis regarded as one of the founders of the modern Japan. His ideas about government and social institutions made a lasting impression on a rapidly changing Japan during the Meiji Era.

In circulation since: 2004

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Image: 10,000 yen banknote that features Fukuzawa Yukichi.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

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Japan

Currency: Yen

Currency denomination: 5,000 yens

Personality

Higuchi Ichiyo: She passed away at 24, but her writing had a large impact on Japanese literature and is still appreciated. She specialised in short stories and is considered as one of the first important writers to appear in the Meiji period.

In circulation since: Not available

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Image: 5,000 yen banknote that features Higuchi Ichiyo.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

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Switzerland

Currency: Franc

Currency denomination: 1,000 francs

Personality

Jacob Burckhardt: A prominent historian, Burckhardt writings established the importance of art in the study of history. He is also referred to as the ‘founding fathers of art history’ and is credited as the original creators of cultural history.

In circulation since: 1998

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Image: 1,000 franc banknote that features Jacob Burckhardt.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

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Switzerland

Currency: Franc

Currency denomination: 100 franc

Personality

Alberto Giacometti: He was an artist prominently known for his paintings and also for sculptors.

In circulation since: 1998

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Image: 100 franc banknote that features Alberto Giacometti.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

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Sweden

Currency: Krona

Currency denomination: 1,000 kronas

Personality

Gustav I: He was the King of Sweden from 1523 until his death in 1560 and is labelled as the founder of modern Sweden and the 'father of the nation'.

In circulation since: 1989

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Image: Kronas in different denomination can be seen. The one in the front is 1,000 kronas banknote that features Gustav I.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

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New Zealand

Currency: Dollar

Currency denomination: 100 New Zealand dollars

Personality

Lord Rutherford of Nelson: A noted physicist, he is referred to as the 'father of the atom' and also as the ‘father of nuclear physics’.

In circulation since: 1990

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Image: 100 dollars banknote that featues Lord Rutherford of Nelson.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

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South Korea

Currency: Won

Currency denomination: 50,000 wons

Personality

Shin Saimdang: She was an artist, writer, calligraphist, and a noted poet.

In circulation since: 2009

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Image: 50,000 wons banknote that features Shin Saimdang.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

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Singapore

Currency: Dollar

Currency denomination: All

Personality

Yusof bin Ishak: The first President of Singapore from 1965 to 1970.

In circulation since: 1999

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Image: 100 dollar banknote that features Yusof bin Ishak.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

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India

Currency: Rupee

Currency denomination: All

Personality

Mahatma Gandhi: Most prominent figure of Indian independence movement, he is also known as the Father of Nation. He also inspired movements for non-violence, civil rights, and freedom across the world.

In circulation since: Rs 5 (2002), Rs 10 (1996), Rs 20 (2002), Rs 50 (1997), Rs 100 (1996), Rs 500 (2000) and Rs 1,000 (2000)

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Image: Rs 100 note that features Mahatma Gandhi.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons
Tags: India

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China

Currency: Renminbi

Currency denomination: All

Personality

Mao Zedong: First President and founding father of the the People's Republic of China, he governed the country as Chairman of the Communist Party of China until his death. He nationalised businesses and converted China into a single-party socialist state.

In circulation since: 1 Renminbi (2004), 5 Renminbi (2002), 10 Renminbi (2001), 20 Renminbi (2000), 50 Renminbi (2001) and 100 Renminbi (1999)

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Photographs: Reuters

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Pakistan

Currency: Rupee

Currency denomination: All

Personality

Muhammad Ali Jinnah: The founder of Pakistan, he also served as its first Governor-General from independence until his death. He is revered in the country as the ‘Great Leader’ and also as the ‘Father of the Nation’.

In circulation since: Rs 10 (2006), Rs 20 (2005), Rs 50 (1977), Rs 100 (2006), Rs 500 (2006), Rs 1,000 (2007) and Rs 5,000 (2006)


Photographs: Reuters

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