Auckland, April 29: New Zealand's five-dollar currency note featuring a photograph of Sir Edmund Hillary, the first conqueror of Mount Everest, has been adjudged by the International Bank Note Society for 2015. [See the note here]
New Zealand's Trans-Tasman neighbours Australia failed to make any mark.
The Society is a non-profit educational body which has over 20,000 members in near to 100 countries. It chose the note approved by New Zealand's Reserve Bank as the first among three dozen contestants.
The bank notes are assessed on grounds of "artistic merit and/or innovative security features", including use of colour and the contrast.
The orange and brown $5 note features a map of the island nation in a polymer window and also various upgraded security features. Besides the late Hillary, the face also shows South Island's Mount Cook and a yellow-eyed penguin, unique to New Zealand, which changes colours.
Almost 150 new banknotes were released across the globe last year and the Society narrowed down the nominees to 20 from Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. No Indian note finished among the top picks. While New Zealand bagged the top honour, Sweden, Russia, Kazakhstan and Scotland finished as the runners-up.
In 2014, Trinidad & Tobago won the first award while Kazakhstan made a hat-trick before that.