The Central Bank of Poland recently issued a new banknote to commemorate the 550th anniversary of the birth of Nicolaus Copernicus, a renowned Polish astronomer, doctor, and economist. Among his many achievements, he authored one version of the law governing the circulation of money. The note’s advanced secure features make it highly resistant to counterfeiting.

The collector banknote was issued on February 9, 2023, and has a face value of 20 Zloty.  It’s made of a polymer substrate and measures 150 x 77 mm.

Visual theme and imagery

The banknote’s imagery depicts the life and work of Nicolaus Copernicus.

Front Side

The front side features the astronomer’s portrait, the so-called Toruń portrait (the birthplace of Copernicus).

Back Side

On the back side there are images of historical coins from Copernicus’s time, as well as an image of the Castle of the Warmian Cathedral Chapter in Olsztyn (in the background).

State-of-the-art security features

In keeping with Copernicus’s innovative nature, the banknote produced in his honor contains one of the world’s most advanced security features: the 3D Cinema™ optical security feature. This visually striking element is directly integrated onto the GUARDIAN™ polymer substrate. It appears on both sides of the note, in a large transparent blue window. It displays a motion effect and 3D image of the planet earth rotating around the sun, representing the heliocentric (sun-centered) system about which Copernicus theorized.  

3D Cinema™ optical security feature, representing the heliocentric (sun-centered) system Copernicus discovered.

Other security features on the face of the note include:

  • A smaller clear window that contains a VIVID™ Colour feature representing the solar system. To the naked eye, this looks like a white, photorealistic image of the solar system; under UV light it appears in full colour (also adding level 2 security). 
  • A latent image that shows the numeral “20” in a light or dark shade, depending on the viewing angle.
  • The vertical serial number fluoresces yellow under UV light.
  • A shadow image.
  • Microtext

Security features on the back side of the note include:

  • A smaller clear window that contains a VIVID™ Colour feature representing the solar system (see above).
  • A vertical iridescent stripe that appears in the center of the note.
  • Microtext.

The commemorative note is legal tender in Poland. The note was to be issued in up to 100,000 pieces and can be purchased at NBP Regional Branches and in the online shop Kolekcjoner.


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