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no borrowed scans used here

01 October, 2018

Mauritania - 2018 New Polymer Set

الجمهورية الإسلامية الموريتانية
République islamique de Mauritanie
Islamic Republic of Mauritania

This is a set of 5 new polymer notes first released for circulation on 01.01.2018. This new series represents the country's redenomination of it Ouguiya at a rate of 1:10, ie new 50 Ouguiya = old 500 Ouguiya. The purpose of the redenomination was to fight inflation. All notes are printed on polymer material. The denominations issued are 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 Ouguiya with first prefixes of A-AA, B-AA, C-AA, D-AA and E-AA respectively. The first 4 notes were released on 01.01.2018 and the last note, 1000 Ouguiya was issued in early May 2018. The new series comprises of 5 notes.

50 Ougiuya - Mosque ibn Abbas located in Nouakchott / teapot, musical instruments;
100 Ougiuya - tower / cattle, goats;
200 Ouguiya - tower (observation) / camels, goats, palm tree;
500 Ouguiya - tower / fishing trawlers, fish;
1000 Ouguiya - tower / train, electricity grid. All notes are printed with the date of 28.11.2017.

As expected, all notes are printed with Arabic texts on the front and French on the reverse.

Fifty Ougiuya
Dated 2017
Back
One Hundred Ougiuya
Dated 2017
Reverse
Two Hundred Ougiuya
Dated 2017
Reverse
Five Hundred Ougiuya
Dated 2017
Reverse
One Thousand Ougiuya
Dated 2017
Reverse

16 July, 2018

Russia - 100 Rubles Football World Cup Final 2018 Commemorative

Росси́йская Федерaция
Russian Federation
This polymer note was released on 22.05.2018 to celebrate the 2018 FIFA Football World Cup Final held in Russia between 14.06.2018 to 15.07.2018. Whilst many postage stamps and commemorative coins have been issued in the past to commemorate the FIFA football finals, this is the first time that a banknote has been issued to celebrate this world cup game. This is also the first polymer note issued by Russia.  

The design on the front features the late famous Russian goalkeeper Lev Ivanovich Yashin (1929-1990) stopping a goal been scored during the 1966 England World Cup final. That game was played between Russia and Italy during a Group 4 round robin match on 16.07.1966 in Sunderland with Russia beating Italy with a score of 1-0. The shot that saved by Lev Yashin came from Italy's midfielder Sandro Mazzola. The goal for Russia was scored by Igor Leonidovich Chislenko. Italy also lost their game to North Korea by 1-0. Russian together with North Korea advanced into the next round while Italy and Chile went home early. Lev Yashim's nicknamed Black Spider or Black Panther, played 326 games for his club, Dynamo Moscow between 1950 to 1970 and 74 games for Russia National team. The note also features a young boy wearing a jersey with #1 on his back and holding a football in his right arm. The main features on the back include a football with the Russian map and the names of the venues for the all FIFA games. Images of fans celebration the games final are also included in the designs.  

Prefixes AA and AB sighted.  

One Hundred Rubles
Dated 2018
Reverse
AA Prefix
AB Prefix
The World Cup final qualification process involved 210 teams around the world with 872 matches played from 12.03.2015 to 15.11.2017. Only 31 teams plus the host Russia qualified for the final. A total goals of 2,454 (2.81 per match) were scored during the qualification process.

The 32 teams, including the host, Russian participating in this tournament were:-

AFC - Australia, Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia & South Korea;
CAF - Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal & Tunisia;
CONCACAF - Costa Rica, Mexico & Panama;
CONMEBOL - Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Peru & Uruguay;
OFC - None qualified
UEFA - Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Iceland, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden & Switzerland.

In all, 64 matches were played in this final at 12 venues located in 11 cities mainly in the central and western Russia. Not a single game was played in the eastern Russia. The first stage of the final involved round robin games with 32 teams divided into 8 groups of 4 teams each. After this stage, it then went into a knock out stage with the final played on 15.07.2018. The host Russia played the first game against Saudi Arabia and the final game was played at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. Two well known teams, Holland and Italy failed to qualify for the final, whilst Iceland and Panama made their first appearances. 

Round Robin standing: -
Group A - Uruguay (9); Russia (6); Saudi Arabia (3) & Egypt (0)
Group B - Spain (5); Portugal (5); Iran (4) & Morocco (1)
Group C - France (7); Denmark (5); Peru (3) & Australia (1)
Group D - Croatia (9); Argentina (4); Nigeria (3) & Iceland (1)
Group E - Brazil (7); Switzerland (5); Serbia (3) & Costa Rica (1) Group F - Sweden (6); Mexico (6), South Korea (3) & Germany (3)
Group G - Belgium (9); England (6); Tunisia (3) & Panama (0)
Group H - Colombia (6); Japan (4); Senegal (4) & Poland (3)

First knock out stage: -  
Uruguay beat Portugal 2-1
France beat Argentina 4-3  
Brazil beat Mexico 2-0
Belgium beat Japan 3-2  
Russia beat Spain 1.4-1.3 (on penalties)  
Croatia beat Denmark 1.3-1.2 (on penalties)  
Sweden beat Switzerland 1-0  
England beat Colombia 1.4-1.3 (on penalties)  

Quarter-finals: -
France beat Uruguay 2-0
Belgium beat Brazil 2-1
England beat Sweden 2-0
Croatia beat Russia 2.4-2.3 (on penalties)  

Semi-finals: -
France beat Belgium 1-0
Croatia beat England 2-1 (extra time)  

Final: -  
Champion = France (4)  
Runner-up = Croatia (2)  
Third = Belgium (2)  
Fourth = England (0)

Highlights:
*The VAR system made this tournament much more interesting, with more goals scored;
*Only one game ended in 0-0 during the round robin stages;
*Australia, Costa Rico, Iceland and Morocco all failed to win a game while Egypt and Panama failed to get a point;
*For the first time since 1938 Germany failed to make it to the knock out stage after got beaten by South Korea 2-0;
*Japan qualified for the knock out stage due to receiving less yellow cards than Senegal and then lost it to Belgium despite leading 2-0 up for 51 minutes in the first knock out stage;
*No team from the Africa continent made it to the knock out stage;
*No team from South America made it to the semi-finals;  

The next FIFA World Cup final will be played in Qatar in 2022.

11 July, 2018

Macedonia, FYRO - 10 and 50 Denar Polymer Notes

Република Македонија
Republic of Macedonia

Two notes of 10 and 50 Denar both released on 15.05.2018. Unlike previous issues, these two notes are printed on polymer material. The designs are basically the same except that these notes have transparent windows or see through features and it also added raised dots tactile feature for vision-impaired.

Ten Denar
Dated 2018
Reverse
Fifty Denar
Dated 2018
Reverse

07 July, 2018

Botswana - 10 Pula 2018 Polymer Note

Lefatshe la Botswana
Republic of Botswana

A new 10 Pula polymer released on 01.02.2018 for general circulation. This new Polymer note was issued due to problems with the poor quality of the paper note issued since 2009. This note is printed on Safeguard Polymer substrate by De La Rue. I believe at the time of this posting, Botswana is the 9th nation in Africa that has issued Polymer substrate banknote.

Ten Pula
Dated 2018
Reverse
I believe AE could be the only prefix, if not the first prefix.


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