Viola Desmond $10 bill named world’s best new banknote

For the first time in fifteen years

For the first time in almost 15 years, Canada has had a banknote named the best in the world by the International Bank Note Society.

The new vertical $10 bill, which sees human rights icon Viola Desmond on the front and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights on the back, is the winner of the 2018 Bank Note of the Year award, voted on by members of the IBNS. The bill was selected out of 15 finalists, which included entries from Australia, Bolivia, Argentina, and more.

Businesswoman and renowned civil rights activist Desmond, who refused to leave a whites-only section of a movie theatre in 1946 in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, is the first Canadian female ever featured on a frequently circulating banknote. The $10 bill also features a map of one of Canada’s oldest black communities, Halifax’s north end, which was where Desmond opened her first salon.

Until the release of this bill, there had never been a vertical design on a Canadian banknote. The Bank of Canada plans to release vertical $5, $50, and $100 bills in the future, according to CTV News.

On top of the design, the IBNS commended the bill for its innovative technologies that make it difficult to counterfeit.