Friday, March 2, 2012

Nicaragua - Currency - Córdoba / Centavos

Nicaragua is a Central American nation bordered by Honduras, Costra Rica. The pacific Ocean lies to the west and Carribean sea to the east. It has a population of 6 million and Spanish is their official language. Managua is the capital city of Nicaragua.

Spanish Empire attempted to conquer the region in the beginning of the 16th century but faced resistance from the indigenous people. Conquistadors were people at the service of Spanish Empire. These people travelled & explored several part of earth and brought them under the control of the Empire. In 1524, Francisco Hernández de Córdoba founded two major towns in the region. He is considered as as the 'Founder of Nicaragua' and made the region a Spanish Colony. He was later captured and beheaded by Pedro Arias Davila (A Spanish Colonial administrator) following a power struggle. 

Nicaragua achieved its independence from Spain in 1821. But had gone through severe political unrest, civil wars there after. 

USA government wanted to build a Canal - waterway through Nicaragua to connect the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. Later they abondonded those plans and built such canal in Panama. USA didn't wanted any other european country to help Nicaragua in building the canal, thus ensuring their dominance in the region. There was a rebellion against the President Zelaya in 1909 & in the process of suppression of rebels, 2 american citizens were killed. Taking this as an opportunity USA army invaded Nicaragua in 1909, supported the rebels and over threw the President Zelaya's government. US Marines left only in 1933 after a new liberal governmet was setup. Members of Somoza dynasty ruled for four decades until the Nicaraguan Revolution in 1970's. Nicaragua is now the poorest nation in Central america with a huge unemployment and majority of its population living in poverty. 

Interesting Facts:
  1. Nicaragua is the largest & safest country in Central America
  2. There are no numeric addresses in Nicaragua.
  3. It has 2 UNESCO heritage sites
    1. León Cathedral 
    2. Ruins of León Viejo ( The city which was abondoned during eruption of volcano Momotombo in 1578 )
  4. Lake Nicaragua is the largest freshwater lake in Central America, which houses world's only freshwater sharks
  5. Lake Nicaragua is also home to a dual volcano island. (Lake Island: An island in a lake)
  6. In City Leon, While giving directions, they use Upstairs and Downstairs instead of east and west. (reference to Sun rises[Upstairs] & descends[downstairs])
  7. There are 13 volcanos in Nicaragua
  8. Baseball is the most famous sport unlike football in other latin american nations.
Notable people from Nicaragua:
  1. Tony Meléndez was born without hands but was a famous guitarist. he even played for Pope John Paul II in 1987.
  2. Augusto César Sandino - a famous revolutionary leader against the US Military Occupation of Nicaragua.
  3. Rosendo Álvarez, boxer, former world chmpion, 
  4. Miguel D'Escoto, Roman Catholic priest, former foreign minister of Nicaragua, received the Lenin Peace Prize, in 1985.
  5. Clodomiro Picado Twight, a scientist who developed anti-venom serums. Also one of the precursors of the discovery of penicillin.
  6. Eve Torres , a WWE Wrestler. 

Córdoba is their currency & Each Córdoba is divided into 100 Centavos. 
Below image is of 5 Centavos

Francisco Hernández de Córdoba
A Spanish Conquistadors, in 1524 started Spanish settlements in the region. He founded 2 major cities Granada & León. He has soon built defences for the cities and attacked other conquistador's incursions. Pedro Arias Dávila, the then colonial administer of central american region, considered córdoba as a potential threat to his political future. Hence ordered the decapitation of córdoba in 1526. His tomb and remains were discovered in 2000 in the Ruins of León Viejo. The currency of Nicaragua is named the córdoba in his memory.

Coat of arms of Nicaragua [National Emblem] 
Triangle signifies Equality
Rainbow signifies peace
Phrygian Cap symbolizes liberty
5 volcano's represent union of 5 Central American nations
Words surrounding the emblem  Republica De Nicaragua - America Central (Republic of Nicaragua - Central America).

The national flower of Nicaragua is known as the Sacuanjoche (Plumeria rubra).

Banco Central de Nicaragua (Central Bank of Nicaragua)

Cinco Centavos de Cordoba [Five Centavos of Cordoba]
Signatures of Central Bank of Nicaragua officials
President, Vice President
Finance Minister.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Poland : Currency - Zloty

Couple of years back when I went to post office to send a letter to Poland, the person at the counter asked me if ‘Poland’ is a country and where it is. I was very surprised but I patiently explained him.

I am sure many of you might not have much information about this country and here is my attempt to introduce to you a nation with a very rich and great history.

Poland is a Central European nation having borders with Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and Lithuania. It has a population of over 38 million, which is less than half of my home state Andhra Pradesh (India) population. Złoty is currency of Poland.

Establishment of Polish state is believed to have begun with the adaption of Christianity in 966 A.D. Kingdom of Poland formed Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1569 by a treaty with rulers of Lithuania, became Polish Republic. Their commonwealth survived till 1795 until Kingdom of Prussia, the Russian Empire & Austria attacked, partitioned & eliminated the sovereign state Poland. After 123 years, Poland regained its sovereignty in 1918 by a revolution. After 20 years, Nazi Germany & Soviet Union invaded Poland, marking the beginning of World War 2. Poland lost over 5 million people in war & many more in subsequent homicide of Jews by Nazis. Red Army was able to defeat Nazi’s and set up a communist rule in 1944. In 1980, Lech Walesa, a union leader started ‘Solidarity Movement’ a revolution against the communists, successfully over threw their rule in 1989 & democratic rule was re-established. Even though Poland was vastly destroyed in World War2, they managed to rebuild their country and were able to achieve huge development since then.

Poland was repeatedly attacked by neighbouring countries, lost its sovereignty but they never gave up and I truly admire their spirit.

Some interesting facts about Poland
·          Constitution of May 3, 1791 is considered as the 2nd oldest constitution in modern history. It was in effect for only a year, until the Polish–Russian War of 1792.
·          Poland has 12 Nobel awards (11 Laureates). Marie-Curie won 2 Nobels.
·          Poland has 13 UNESCO Heritage sites
·          Polish Army salutes with only 2 fingers.
·          Poland was the first country to produce Vodka
·          Poland’s official language is considered one of the toughest languages to learn. For eg: Number 2- ‘dwa’ can be written in 17 ways.
·          90% of poles complete the secondary school education

Famous people from Poland
·          Nicolaus Copernicus, in 1543 proved that Earth revolves around Sun.
·          Frédéric Chopin, He is considered by many to be the greatest piano music composer.
·          Joseph Babinski, the famous neurologist is from Polish descent.
·          Holy Father Pope John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla)
·          Marie Skłodowska-Curie: Discoverer of 'polonuim','radium'. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the only woman to date to win in two fields, and the only person to win in multiple sciences.
·          Casimir Funk: A biochemist who is generally credited with the first formulation of concept of vitamins in 1912
·          Napoleon Cybulski: The discoverer of adrenaline, he was the first to isolate and identify the substance in 1895.
·          Casimir Zeglen invented bullet proof vest.

"Witam wszystkich Polaków, ten post jest rezultatem mojego zainteresowania i dużego szacunku wobec historii i kultury waszego kraju.Mam nadzieję, że nie popełniłem błędów w informacjach, które zamieściłem poniżej. Proszę dajcie znać czy wam się to podoba i jeśli to możliwe podzielcie się z tym ze swoimi przyjaciółmi"

Let’s look at the polish notes

Poland 10 & 20 Zloty Notes:

Mieszko I

He was the duke of Polans between 930 to 992 A.D. Being a Pagan by birth, he adapted Christianity in 966 making it the traditional year of origin of Polish state. 

Bolesław I Chrobry

He is the son of the Mieszko I (above) & the first King of Poland. Played a crucial role in establishing Kingdom of Poland, thus reducing dependency on German Empire. He was coronated as a King in 1025 A.D & died just 2 months later. 

If you are interested in getting to know 'Why Mieszko I is not a king & just a duke'? Answer is at the bottom of the post. 

Mieszko Denar (Silver Denar) 

One of the silver coin during Mieszko's rule. 

Chrobry Denar

One of the Silver coin during Bolesław I Chrobry's rule

Dziesięć means 'TEN' & Złotych is their currency

Dwadzieścia means 'Twenty'

Coat of Arms / National Emblem of Poland

A white eagle with golden beak and a crown, looking to its right. 

Translation "The banknotes emitted/produced by the National Bank of Poland are a legal currency in Poland."

Narodowy Bank Polski (NBP; the National Bank of Poland) is the central bank of Poland. It controls the issuing of Poland's currency, the złoty. It also represents Poland in the European System of Central Banks, an EU organization.

WARSZAWA (Warsaw) is the capital of Poland. 

Signatures of Poland National Bank's President & Treasurer. 

Q) Why Mieszko I is not a king & just a duke? Why did he adapted Christianity?
Q) Why Bolesław I Chrobry is famous? How the 'Kingdom of Poland' was formed?

Mieszko was a born Pagan. But he adapted Christianity in 966 because Christianity was on rise in europe. Pope & Church were ruling the europe and dukes were representatives of a church. To become a king & create a kingdom, Coronation by Pope is required. it never happened during the times of Mieszko. Thus he remained Duke all his life but indirectly the creator of polish kingdom.

Bolesław I Chrobry is the son of Mieszko. He was a duke for 33 years till 1025. German Emperor Otton III was very much impressed with Chrobry. He recommended Pope to coronate Chrobry as a king. Following the death of Otton III in 1002, his successor Henry II opposed kingdom of Poland. Chrobry waged successful war against Henry II who was killed in 1024. Finally in 1025, Chrobry was coronated, hence the Kingdom of Poland was formed, which in turn removed the dependency on German Empire.

*This is my own research and is not copied from anywhere.
*Thanks to all those friends who supported and helped me in preparing this data

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Grading of Notes

Currency Notes are graded based on their condition. 

The grades specified by the International Bank Note Society (IBNS) are as follows 

A banknote that is bright and has no handling damage, such as folds or creases, nor any cuts, stains, or rounded corners
About uncirculated
A banknote that is still bright but has trivial handling damage, i.e. a light centre fold (not a crease, which is a break of the fibres of the paper), without rounded corners
XF or EF
Extremely fine
a banknote with one crease or up to three light folds. Paper still bright and attractive, very slight wear to corners allowed
Very Fine
Note still attractive, but possible slight dirt or smudging, may have several horizontal and/or vertical folds. Paper remains relatively crisp. No tears, but slight wear to edges and corners is allowable.
Paper is now slightly soft, considerable wear due to folds from use in circulation. Minor tears to note, not extending into the design. Clear but not bright in appearance. Staple holes but not holes due to folding.
Very Good
Much wear. Paper is limp. Tears can extend into the design. Staining possible. Discoloration possible. Hole at center caused by folding allowable. Note still looks presentable.
Very much wear, as VG, but more so. Graffiti on note. Small pieces of the note may be missing

Larger pieces of note torn off/missing, compared with G. Less of the note intact

Severe damage due to wear, staining, missing pieces, graffiti and/or holes

What is Notaphily?

Notaphily is the study of paper money or banknotes. A notaphilist is a collector of
banknotes, paper money, paper currency or plastic notes.

I have always wondered how this world would function without currency. It's quite
unimaginable to follow barter system in the 21st century.

For several centuries, coins were used to pay for the variety of items, they were an
important part of the exchange process. It is believed that paper currency was first
developed in the 7th century in China.

Notaphily is not as popular as Philately & coin collection but in recent times many people
have been showing interest in collecting currency notes.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Why this blog?

We all live such busy lives that its very tough to find time to get to know about something beyond our interests. Different people have different prejudices and perceptions about the outside world. Hobbies like Notaphily or Philately might give a person an opportunity to learn more about people of other cultures and countries. As far as creating this blog is considered, my sole objective is to bring together all possible pieces of information about a country through its currency note. After all, each note contains some images that are definitely worth to be discovered and learnt. I hope that the content of this blog will create curiosity among all of those readers who are eager to meet the world of currency notes.

The Beginning …

As a young boy, I was always very curious about different coins and currency notes. However, I never seriously collected them. For many years I was occupied with busy college life, then my job, proving myself, learning new stuff etc.
Then I started focusing on many aspects which I was interested in back in school days. Currency notes collection was one of them but I didn’t have a clue how to collect notes professionally. I wanted to buy them from my colleagues who had gone abroad. The problem was that they always had high denominations which I simply couldn’t afford.
Finally, for my 24th birthday, I received the best gift in my lifetime. It was a set of over 20 currency notes from various nations. Later on, one of my friends kept on supporting me and my collection. I also managed to buy some items from other collectors.
I decided to collect at least one currency note from every country on this planet. I also thought that doing some research on the notes I have, would be a good idea. It was supposed to concern not only the country the notes come from but also words, emblems, signatures and images which are presented on each and every one of them.
As of today, I have over 120 currency notes from about 80 countries, but it doesn’t change the fact that I still have a long way to go.