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February 05, 2007

The man who made the most beautiful money in the world

Dutch 25 Guilder banknote

The British visual design magazine "Creative Review" has a nice little interview with Robert Deodaat Emile Oxenaar, the Dutch graphic artist who, for 20 years, designed the Netherlands' paper currency. Oxenaar's Dutch Guilder banknotes are widely considered the most beautiful paper money ever created. He also sprinkled the bills with Easter eggs...everything from little animals to his own fingerprint to the names of his girlfriends.

CR: Is it right that you included some "personal" touches on some of the notes – like a fingerprint?

Oxenaar: Yes, the fingerprint’s true. In the five guilders note I did, there's a temple in the background where the holy things are – so I hid my name there. On the 1000 guilder note, it became a "sport" for me to put things in the notes that nobody wanted there! I was very proud to have my fingerprint in this note – and it's my middle finger! It was too late when they found out and though the director saw it he said he wouldn’t stop the whole production.

Posted by Chris Spurgeon at February 5, 2007 12:22 PM


I am looking for Guilders to buy
can you help me?

Posted by: Hunter Thomas at March 4, 2007 07:10 PM

Even though they were a nation's legal currency less than 20 years ago, and there must have been millions of them in circulation, they are surprisingly hard to come by. You can find them on eBay from time to time. Make sure you search for both "guilder" and "gulden" (which is Dutch for Guilder).


Posted by: Chris Spurgeon at March 5, 2007 10:20 AM