On 07.07.2017 both Brunei and Singapore issued a commemorative of $50 polymer note each, celebrating 50 years of Currency Interchangeability Agreement (CIA) between these two nations. These two notes were launched on 05.07.2017 in Singapore at the Istana (Palace - official residence of Singapore's President) by the Sultan of Brunei Hassanak Bolkiah during his State visit and the Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong.
Brief history of the CIA:
On 12.06.1967, Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore all issued their own new currencies for the first time, after sharing a single common currency for so many years, the last called the Malayan Dollar issued by the Board of Commissioners of Currencies of Malaya and British Borneo (BCCMBB). Prior to the new releases, on the 07.01.1967, all 3 countries agreed in principle in Kuala Lumpur to accept all their new currencies (both banknotes and coins) at their respective countries at face value following the liquidation of the BCCMBB on 12.06.1967. The main purpose of the agreement was to facilitate economic co-operation and trade relations between the three countries. However on 08.05.1973, Malaysia opted out from this agreement leaving Singapore and Brunei to continue with this unique arrangement until present day. What this agreement means is that Singapore dollars can be freely acceptable at all banks in Brunei without losing any exchange value (at par without any fees or charges) and vise versa for Brunei Ringgit in Singapore*.
On 16.07.2007, a $20 was issued by both Singapore and Brunei celebrating the 40th Anniversary of this agreement and fast forward 10 years, we have these new commemorative notes issued.
The theme for these commemorative notes is "Flourishing Growth". For these new notes, the Brunei $50 (1.0M pieces) and the Singapore $50 (2.0M pieces) were both released on 07.07.2017 to the public by 9 major banks in Singapore (DBS, OCBC, UOB, Maybank, SCB, HSBC, Citibank, BoC and ICBC) and in Brunei by the Baidun Bank, BoC, BoCHK, BIBD, Maybank, RHB Bank SCB UOB and Perbadanan Bank.
In addition to these two notes, the following limited numismatic products were also released in Brunei and Singapore;
**Two normal notes B$50/S$50 in soft folder cover at face value each;
(Quantity not sure but it is believed that the folder materials are funded by commercial banks in both Brunei and Singapore and that is why they have released these at face value)
**Coffee Table Book B$50/S$50 notes in hard folder cover = 1,000 sets at B$138 each;
**B$50/S$50 with matching serial numbered = 5,000 sets CIA prefix at B$300 per set;
**B$50 3-in-1 uncut sheet = 2,000 sets at B$400 per set (800 sheets sold in Singapore);
**B$50 8-in-1 uncut sheet = 1,000 sets at B$1,000 each (400 sheets sold in Singapore);
**B$50 40-in-1 uncut sheet = 200 sets at B$4,500 each (100 sheets sold in Singapore).
**B$50/S$50 with matching serial numbered = 5,000 sets CIA prefix at S$300 per set;
**S$50 3-in-1 uncut sheet = 3,000 sets at S$400 per set;
**B$50 3-in-1 uncut sheet = 800 sets at S$400 per set;
**B$50 8-in-1 uncut sheet = 400 sets at S$1,000 each;
**B$50 40-in-1 uncut sheet = 100 sets at S$4,500 each.
All Brunei numismatic products were released on 05.07.2017 and 07.07.2017 by Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD) at their HQ, whilst those in Singapore was handled by the Singapore Mint on a pre-order basis made available between 05.07.2017 to 12.7.2017 and released on 18.07.2017. As expected, the demand was over subscribed in Singapore and as such it went into a balloting system to allocate the lucky winners. I believe this is a fairer system as the previous 2007 $20 CIA commemorative issues were all sold out on day one (first-come-first-serve basis). Some of the Brunei 2017 products were also sold out on the second day of it been released.
Obverse; Sultan Haji Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Vanda Miss Joaquim (Singapore's
national flower - purple orchid colour), Simpur (Brunei prominent
flower - yellowish colour), Brunei Coat of Arms/Crest, 50th
Anniversary Logo of CIA. The see-through, colour-shifting window
security featuring the Istana Nurul Iman in Brunei and the Istana in
Singapore. Prefixes issued - E/1 and E/2. Signature = Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah.
Reverse; Defense (4 military personnel in ceremonial uniform), tourism
(floating bridge at Ulu Temburong National Park - Green Jewel of Brunei) and (gazebo [bandstand] at Singapore Botanic Gardens, founded in 1859 - UNESCO World Heritage site) and education (4 students studying together).
Observe; First President Yusof bin Ishak, Vanda Miss Joaquim (Singapore's national flower - purple orchid colour), Simpur (Brunei prominent flower - yellowish colour), Singapore Coat of Arms/Crest, 50th Anniversary Logo of CIA. The see-through, colour-shifting window security featuring the Istana Nurul Iman in Brunei and the Istana in Singapore. Prefixes issued - 50AA, 50AB, 50AC, 50AD and 50AE. Signature = Tharma Shanmugaratnam.
Reverse; Defense (4 military personnel in ceremonial uniform), tourism (floating bridge at Ulu Temburong National Park - Green Jewel of Brunei)
and (gazebo [bandstand] at Singapore Botanic Gardens, founded in 1859 -
UNESCO World Heritage site) and education (4 students studying together).
The two notes basically feature the same design elements and layout and is predominantly gold in colour to signify the golden jubilee celebration.
Note* - Despite this agreement has been in placed for 50 years, for some reasons, not all people in Singapore are eagerly willing to accept the Brunei currency on a day to day transactions, especially the younger generations. I believe this is mainly due to ignorance as many of them may not be aware of such arrangement has been in placed since 1967.
These two notes were designed by Encik Abdul Ajihis Haji Terawih (Bruneian) and a father and son team, Mr Eng Siak Loy and Mr Weng Ziyan (both Singaporeans). This project was first
started in late 2015.
Singapore $10 Uncut sheet of 3 with the tiny symbol of two solid houses at the back. It appears that the single note with this symbol has not been signed in public circulation yet. This uncut sheet bears the signature of Tharma Shanmugaratnam. The other 2 polymer uncut sheet for $2 and $5 have been released. Total quantity printed/issued; 450