Commemorative banknotes with animal motifs are entering sale on our e-shop.

Since June of last year, collectors and visitors to European zoos have been able to acquire commemorative certificates in the form of Our Zoo banknotes printed at the Státní tiskárna cenin, s. p. Now we are launching their sale on our STC e-shop. The commemorative banknotes were created for an international design competition and their main theme is evolution. These banknotes featuring imaginative compositions with elaborate drawings of animals from the workshop of the creative duo of Czech professional sculptor and medalist Majka Wichnerová and Slovak designer Matej Gábris evoke exotic settings and depict rare endangered animals. 

The commemorative certificates in the form of a banknote will appeal to animal lovers and nature conservationists who want to support the rescue of endangered animal species. The project involves zoological gardens in Liberec, Olomouc, Pilsen, Dvůr Králové, Ústí nad Labem, Hrádeček, Ostrava, Jihlava and Chomutov. By purchasing a commemorative banknote, you also support Central European zoological gardens in Poland (Wrocław, Opołe, Warsaw, Płock) and Slovakia (Bojnice, Košice).

The commemorative certificates in the form of banknotes were printed by the Státní tiskárna cenin, s. p. on watermarked linden leaf paper with visible and invisible fibres. Digital printing technology was used for the main motifs on the obverse and reverse side, including the numbering, while the other motifs in the underprint, including the UV colours, are printed using offset printing techniques. This issuance, which is intended for Czech zoological gardens, is enriched on the obverse side with a Czech lion made of silver foil, which was applied by hot stamping. On the Polish commemorative banknotes, the Polish eagle is depicted on the obverse side instead of a lion, and the Slovak commemorative banknotes feature the state emblem of a double cross.

“The visitors’ interest in commemorative certificates in the form of banknotes confirmed that we are a nation of collectors. And if this passion is connected with the support of endangered animal species, the efforts of all those involved in this project, from the artists to the printers and the implementation teams, are even more meaningful,” says Tomáš Hebelka, MSc, General Director of the Státní tiskárna cenin, s. p., which produces the commemorative sheets. “We are very pleased that this project was so successful last year and that together we can establish further issuances,” he adds. The issuance plan will continue for the next seven years, and new motifs should be added each year.

Jana Vinšová, director of the professional organisation Czechdesign, adds: “I appreciate the very responsible approach of the commissioner in finding all possible creative ways and the courage to undertake such a venture through a competition in illustrating.”

The main element of the commemorative certificate in the form of a banknote is a portrait of an animal set in its typical habitat. Collectors can look forward to the Siberian tiger, the Barbary lion, the green python, the Rothschild’s giraffe, the red panda and many others. The unifying element of the entire series of banknotes is the image of Charles Darwin, which is linked to one of his drawings on the reverse side, as well as other graphic elements. On the obverse side there is a band of intertwined animals and on the reverse side a spiral symbolising evolution.

“Animals are alive, so we tried to create vivid portraits using a combined technique of watercolour, crayon and pencil. We approached the design as simply as possible to provide the highest variability. The individual parts also conceal a number of protective elements such as microdot, a security look-through window, guilloche and others,” describe the authors Majka Wichnerová and Matej Gábriš.

Commemorative banknotes can be purchased from the comfort of your own home on the STC e-shop or during a visit to your favourite zoo via a self-service machine that includes a UV light that reveals some of the protective features of these banknotes. For example, there are flagship motifs with fluorescent paint on the front of the denomination or cotton fibres that are part of the denomination paper, as is the case with real banknotes.

Interested collectors can choose from two variants, which differ in numerical series. Choose your commemorative certificate with your favourite animal from your zoo – eshop.stc.cz/en


Technical specification of the Commemorative Banknote:
 146 x 69 mm
Paper: securities paper, watermarked with linden leaves, 100 g/m² and with protective double fibres (visible blue with blue fluorescent and invisible with green fluorescence under UV light)
Printing technique: offset, digital printing, hot embossing
Face colour: offset 5 colours (including 1 iris transition and 1 UV colour), digital printing, hot embossing silver metallic foil
Colour reverse: offset 4 colours (including 1 iris transition and 1 UV colour), digital printing,
Protective elements: watermarked paper with protective fibres, guilloche, price grid, micro lettering, iris transition, colours visible under UV
Author of animal drawing and collage: professional sculptor Majka Wichnerová
Design: Matej Gábriš, Petra Voslařová, Michal Krejcar