The Ingenious Banknote of Belgium

21 Jul 2020  Tue

The above banknote has a unique story. This banknote is worth 10 000 francs or 2000 belgas. This banknote was put in circulation immediately after a new currency was put into circulation from 1926 until 1946.

At the start of the First World War, the convertibility of banknotes into precious metal was suspended and wartime inflation was extended into the peacetime economy. As a result, consumer prices went up and the franc devalued. However, the Francs failed to regain its prewar value.

Hence, in 1926 the Jaspar government, and especially minister E. Francqui, developed a stabilizing program for the Belgian franc. The introduction of the Belga as a new unit of account was also part of the stabilizing program. From this time onwards, all exchange operations had to be realized in belgas in order to differentiate this new currency clearly from the French franc.

Constant Montald - a symbolist artist designed this banknote in 1929. On the front side, we can see two four-in-hands, which are driven by Ceres, goddess of the Earth, and Neptunus, the god of the Sea. On the left and the right side of the Belgian Lion, feminine figures are displayed who refer to Science (left) and Trade and Industry (right). The backside of the banknote shows other allegories sowing and harvesting corn. With this image, the artist wants to emphasize the fertility of the earth and the importance of labour.

Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

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