There were two winners of the Best New Commemorative Banknote award.

First was the Central Bank of Lesotho, for the 200 maloti issued in July 2023 to mark the 60th birthday of HM King Letsie III, who has reigned since 1996.

This is the first time a commemorative note has been issued in Lesotho. The King is renowned for his passion for agriculture and the environment, and the banknote reflects this passion, being  the world’s first Green Banknote, produced by Louisenthal. It is made from cotton from renewable sources, has a lower carbon footprint and is more durable than standard cotton banknotes.

The front features a portrait of the King in intaglio, alongside a Mokorotl (a conical straw hat which is the national symbol of the country) and the national coat of arms. The back of the note remains the same as the circulating 200 maloti, depicting a traditional Lesotho merchant on horseback. The watermark is a portrait of King Morena Moshoeshoe I, the first King of Lesotho.

The key security feature is a 4mm dynamic RollingStar® i+ ‘Moon’ thread on the reverse, the carrier foil for which was made from 70%  recycled PET.

The substrate itself is a greener version of Louisenthals’ Hybrid ADDvance® – composed of 75% ‘Cotton Made in Africa’, and 25% FSC®-certified wood pulp, making it the first banknote to be made with the Cotton Made in Africa certification.

Furthermore, the substrate is protected by thinner layers of PET film, reduced from 6µm to 4µm on each side (30% less plastic and 5% less weight). Additionally, mineral-oil free inks were used for the Simultan printing.

5 million of the notes were produced for general circulation.