The award for the Best New Banknote was made to the Bulgarian National Bank for the new 100 lev, the first note in the country’s new series which was issued last December. While the design themes and colours of the existing series have been retained, the new series is being upgraded with a variety of innovate new features.

The Bulgarian National Bank has earned a reputation for innovation in banknotes, having been the first adopter of a number of new security features in the past. The 100 leva is no exception.

It features a dynamic RollingStar® LEAD stripe, synchronised to a dynamic ‘rectangular checkered field’ (like a moving chessboard) in a RollingStar® security thread (both technologies developed by Louisenthal) and to the SPARK® Live feature from SICPA.

Other security features of the paper note (which is post-print varnished for durability with Oberthur’s Fiduciare’s Securicoat Ultra™) include new tri-coloured paper embedded security fibres which can be seen in white, green, red under UV light, microprint, and a three-dimensional watermark portrait of Aleko Konstantinov (the Bulgarian writer and social activist) that is the combined with the highlight inscription ‘BNB’, visible on both sides in transmission view.

The note is intaglio printed and the use of the intaglio portrait of Aleko Konstantinov, together with the portrait in the watermark and LEAD stripe, is designed for ‘cross-referencing’, making it easy to check the authenticity of the notes.

In addition, the notes feature Simultouch ™, also from Oberthur Fiduciaire, namely intaglio-printed thick and thin lines along the short sides as an aid for the visually-impaired. And they include its interactive UV feature Avalon ™.

The whole project represents an example of impressive collaboration between the BNB, Oberthur Fiduciaire AD (the printworks in Sofia jointly owned by BNB and Oberthur Fiduciaire) and Papierfabrik Lousienthal.

The award was presented to Stefan Tzvetkov of the BNB.

Commenting on the award, Georgi Simeonov, Managing Director of Oberthur Fiduciaire AD, said: ‘OFAD sends its congratulations to the Bulgarian National Bank for this great award and is proud to have played its part in designing and producing the new 100 Lev which combines some of the most modern printed banknote security features as well as showcasing Bulgaria ‘s 21 century outlook and perspective.