Kuwait
1 Dinar (1993) - Click to enlarge 1 Dinar (2001) - Click to enlarge
Issue: 1 Dinar (1993) and 1 Dinar (2001)
Background:

On 26th February, 1993 the second anniversary of the liberation of Kuwait from occupying Iraqi forces, the Central Bank of Kuwait issued a 1 Dinar commemorative polymer note. It is only available on a folder and the note carries the inscription " THIS IS NOT LEGAL TENDER" in Arabic on the front of the note (just above the signatures) and in English in the back.

Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait on 2nd August, 1990. Vastly outnumbered, Kuwaiti forces could not hold the line and on 8th August 1990 Iraq declared formal annexation of Kuwait. A Kuwait government in exile was established in neighbouring Saudi Arabia. The United Nations subsequently gave Iraq six months from the date of their occupation to withdraw or to face military action. During this time the UN coalition of allied forces established bases for an offensive against Iraq, primarily in Saudi Arabia and on offshore locations. This process and the attendant diplomatic measures was generally known as "Desert Shield". Once the United Nations ultimatum expired, the coalition forces attacked swiftly expelling the Iraqi forces from Kuwait under the operation code named "Desert Storm".

Kuwaitis suffered severely under the six month occupation. The official explanation for the lack of legal tender status of this issue is that the Amir (Head of State) did not wish to see the country profiting from the misfortune of its people. This is a little curious and perhaps there is more to it than this as the note was issued in a folder for 1 Dinar. Thus the Central Bank actually sold a note for 1 Dinar which has no value. There was not, therefore, a high premium levied for the packed notes sold to Kuwaitis.

The 26th February is a national holiday - Liberation Day - celebrating the restoration of sovereignty after the Iraqi occupation.

Replacement notes were issued. An astonishing feature is that they all have the serial number CK000091. "CK" representing the "Central Bank of Kuwait" and "91" representing "1991". This prefix is not used on any other Kuwait issue.

On 26th February, 2002 a second 1 Dinar non legal tender polymer note commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Liberation was issued in a folder. The first note very much focuses on the occupation and liberation whereas the second note reflects the rebuilding and development of Kuwait since liberation.

Kuwait - PCS1 - 1 Dinar - 1993 Issue - Front
Kuwait - PCS1 - 1 Dinar - 1993 Issue - Front
Back
Back
Description:

The central feature on the front of this note is a map of Kuwait. The major off shore island of Failakka is clearly shown in colours conforming with the mainland however three lesser islands appear as brown dots out of keeping with the rest of the note and seem to be added as a separate printing process. These islands, from north to south, are : Kubbar, Qaruk and Umm Al-Maradin. At bottom left the 34 countries of the United Nations sponsored Allied Coalition participating in Desert Shield and Desert Storm which resulted in the liberation of Kuwait are listed in English. They are also listed in Arabic at bottom right which actually gives them prominence as Arabic reads from right to left. The Coat of Arms of Kuwait is at top right in blue relief.

Burning oil wells set alight by the Iraqis as they withdrew and scenes of joyous reunion and celebration of liberation are shown on the back. The building shown is the Seif Palace, the Amir's administrative headquarters; the gate featured is the main gate to the Palace. A commemorative legend is printed at bottom left under a desert scene.

Security Features:
Those discrete to this note include:
(a) Clear window containing a simplified OVD of a falcon's head (the national symbol) in a field of eight stars which is visible from either side of the note. This OVD does not produce the rainbow effect of more sophisticated OVD's when angled to the light.
(b) Micro-printing of "CENTRAL BANK OF KUWAIT" in Arabic and English (one line of each) in map of Kuwait along the southern border.
(c) Shadow image of a falcon's head to the right of the map.
(d) Perfect registration device below the shadow image on the front and to the right of the camels on the back.
(e) Intricate line drawings.
(f) Both serial numbers fluoresce when exposed to ultra-violet light.
Translation: The vertical Arabic inscription on the front of the note reads "One Dinar" and is in Riqa calligraphic style.

The six line Arabic inscription on the front of this note translates as:
First line: Central Bank of Kuwait in
Second line: Commemorative Banknote.
Third line: Issued in the event of the 2nd Anniversary.
Fourth line: The Liberation of the State of Kuwait.
Fifth line: 26 February, 1993.
Sixth line: This note is not legal tender.

Two styles are employed for this inscription; first line is in the Kufi calligraphic style and the others are in Thuluth style.

Riqa calligraphic style is also used at the far right for the names of the 34 countries.

Specifications
Catalogue No:SCWPM PCS1.
Precise Date of Issue:On or about 26th February, 1993.
Numbers Issued:Not known. Possibly as many as 3,000,000 however it has not been established that 1,000,000 notes were issued for each prefix.
Prefix Range:CA, CB and CC. Reasonably high and low serial numbers have been observed for CA and CB. The only CC note observed is an example illustrated on the website of the Central Bank of Kuwait.
This is a different prefix configuration to the alpha over number format used on circulating notes since the first issue in 1961.
Prefix and serial number are in Arabic and English.
Signature:Governor Sheikh Salem Abdullah Aziz Sa'ud al-Sabah.
Finance Minister - Sheikh Nasir Abdullah al-Rodham.
Colour:Lilac with light orange and red on the front. Blue red and yellow on the back.
Languages:Arabic and English.
Dimensions:160 x 68mm.
Printer:Note Printing Australia. It is likely that the polymer used for these notes was manufactured in England at a plant owned by UCB SA. UCB subsequently established facilities in Melbourne to manufacture the polymer there. This site will be updated when confirmation is forthcoming.
Specimens:Not known.
Replacements:Yes. All with CK000091 serial number. Extremely usual.
Country Ranking:Kuwait is the 5th country to issue an NPA based polymer note.
Printing Method:Intaglio.
Sheet size:Not available ( production process only).
Product:Issued in folder complete with envelope. Folder and envelope produced in Australia by Sprintpak.
Kuwait - PCS2 - 1 Dinar - 2001 Issue - Front
Kuwait - PCS2 - 1 Dinar - 2001 Issue - Front
Back
Back
Description:

The front of this note is rather bland with intricate arabesque line drawings. The Coat of Arms of Kuwait, this time in full colour, is at the top right.

The eye catching feature on the back is a Kuwaiti soldier holding the national flag aloft. A girl to the right has drawn four doves as a symbol of peace on a wall. However, a harbour scene depicting the traditional Dhow and buildings in Kuwait City is the major feature on the back. The building to the left is the Seif Palace viewed from an angle different to that on the 1993 issue. To the right is the Scientific Centre.

Security Features:
Those discrete to this note include:
(a) Clear window containing a simplified Optically Variable Device in the form of a finger print visible from both sides of the note. The finger print is the symbol of The Martyrs under the Iraqi occupation. When angled to the light, the OVD reproduces the colours of Kuwaiti flag, black, green, white and red.
(b) An intricate network of fine line drawings.
(c) Both serial numbers fluoresce when exposed to ultra- violet light.

In terms of security features this is one of the simpler polymer notes.

Translation:
The vertical inscription on the front of the note reads:   "One Dinar."

The five line text on the front of the note translates as:
First line: Central Bank of Kuwait.
Second line: Commemorative Banknote.
Third line: Issued in the event of the 10th Anniversary.
Fourth line: The Liberation of the State of Kuwait.
Fifth line: 26th February, 2001.

The Arabic underneath the Coat of Arms reads: " This note is not legal tender."

For this note, the entire Arabic text is in the more traditional Dhiwani calligraphic style.

Specifications
Catalogue No:SCWPM PCS2.
Precise Date of Issue:On or about 26th February 2001.
Numbers Issued:Not known.
Prefix Range:Only CB observed to date.
Signature:Governor - Sheikh Salem Abdul Aziz Sa'ud al-Sabah.
Finance Minister - Sheikh ahmed al-Abdullah al-Ahmed al-Sabah.
Colour:Pink and blue grey.
Languages:Arabic and English.
Dimensions:160 x 68mm.
Printer:Note Printing Australia on Guardian polymer substrate.
Specimens:Not known.
Replacements:Not known. Presumed not to exist. NPA discourages use.
Country Ranking:Kuwait is the 5th country to issue an NPA based polymer note.
Printing Method:Intaglio.
Sheet size:Not available (production process only).
Product:Issued in folder with envelope.