The Banque du Liban has issued (7th December) new 100,000-livre banknotes (U.S. $70.00) which mark the Middle Eastern country’s 100th anniversary of establishing the state of Greater Lebanon, that was recognised on the 1st September 1920. The banknote was unveiled in September outlining the security features and design. The five provinces that constituted what is today modern Lebanon came under France’s influence after the end of the First World War. This resulted from the collapse of the Ottoman Empire to which the territory was once part of for more than 400 years. The French mandate expanded the territory further, which resulted in greater numbers of very diverse communities and religious beliefs.
During the Second World War, Lebanese elections were held in 1943 and on the 8th November, in which the new Lebanese government unilaterally abolished the French mandate to govern the country. As part of France was occupied by Germany, the Vichy government first arrested the new government and then under allied pressure released them all days later. Upon independence being declared in 1943, Lebanon established a unique confessionalist form of government. This government system is a de-jure mix of religious and party politics due to the diverse communities now living within the geopolitical state. Lebanon’s independence was finally recognised by the United Nations Charter’s ratification on the 24th October 1945, since Lebanon was, in fact, a founding member. The French mandate was declared legally terminated on that day, and the last French soldiers left the country in December 1946.
The new banknotes are printed on polymer and incorporate new sophisticated technology such as CINEMA and VIVID, with both elements adding greater security to the banknotes. The CINEMA feature creates 3-D and moving image effects within the core polymer material, the substrate of the banknote, before any printing and additional features are added. The CINEMA application is available only with the company’s Guardian polymer substrate, which is used to print more than 160 denominations and commemorative banknotes around the world.
Measuring 147 by 82 millimetres, the banknotes retain their dominant green colour and multi-colour corresponding under-print as seen with previous issues of this denomination. The note’s face side is dominated by images from Beirut’s Parliament Square, known as “Nejmeh Square,” a national symbol of independence. Also depicted is the entrance to St. John’s Church in Byblos.
The back side of the note is thematic of the sea and includes an image of the Raouche Rocks. To the right of the rocks is an image of a Phoenician ship. The Phoenicians were famed in antiquity for their ship-building skills and were credited with inventing the keel. Above the ship is the inclusion of the official anniversary logo comprising the numeral 100 and a cedar tree.
Produced by Poland’s Security Printing Works on behalf of the Banque du Liban, the primary security elements include:
CINEMA — a new security feature has been applied to the new commemorative notes to make polymer banknotes even more secure. The application is seen on the front at the entrance to St. John’s Church and in the shape of an arch, which includes the numeral 100, depicts moving illustrations, and the years 1920 and 2020 when the note is tilted.
Window — a transparent window in the shape of a cedar evergreen, which is also the national emblem of Lebanon, is placed on the right side and shows light imagery of the pine cedar within the shape.
VIVID Colour — this security application transforms the cedar tree element from white to full colour when seen under UV Light.
Tactile print — located on the upper-left and right corners on the face side, a series of five horizontal lines is included as a means of identifying the banknote by visually impaired persons.
Watermark — embedded into the polymer substrate and positioned to the upper-right half, the numeral 100 can be seen as a watermark application when the note is held up to a light source.
The commemorative banknotes are released and intended to circulate alongside the 2012-dated paper banknotes. For additional information about this banknote and other banknotes and coins in use in the Republic of Lebanon, please visit the website of the Banque du Liban.