The winner of the best new series was the Central Bank of Oman, for the new banknotes launched to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Modern Omani Renaissance. The central bank is recognised as always having been at the forefront of adopting new banknote security features and the new series was no exception.

The design contract was awarded to Oberthur Fiduciaire, and production was split with Giesecke + Devrient. Oberthur Fiduciaire provided the substrate for the three lower denominations and Louisenthal for the four higher ones. The first in the series, the 50 rial, was issued in mid 2020, and the remaining six denominations in early 2021.

The main overt feature on the four highest denominations (the 50, 20, 10 and 5 rials) is varifeye® ColourChange Patch, comprising a foil patch with micro-mirror and colour changing technology over a window. They also feature 4mm RollingStar® security threads and SICPA’s SPARK® Live, with a colour shift matching the thread.

The 1 rial, meanwhile, was the world’s first banknote to feature Oberthur Fiduciaire’s Pulsar™ thread, a combination of movement and colour shift.  The ½ rial and 100 baisa contain an embedded 1.2mm Combifluo™ thread with alternations of fluorescent colour son the front and back, creating a third fluorescent colour when illuminated from behind.

All seven notes are printed with Avalon Tri Fluo™, another first from Oberthur for circulating banknotes, and coated with Ultra™, a reinforced post print varnish with additional water and oil resistant properties.    In addition, Oberthur’s  Highlink™  strengthening agent was added to the three lower denominations to further improve their performance in circulation.