Scottish Daily Mail

Connery currency

(But what WILL Moneypenny make of it all?)

- By Victoria Allen

AT the height of the referendum, there was a campaign to make Sean Connery the king of an independen­t Scotland.

So it is perhaps no surprise that the banknotes produced as a separate currency for Scotland have the James Bond star’s face on them.

A graphic designer decided £5 notes fea-cannot turing Sean Connery were as good an answer as any to the vexed question of what money Scots would use, had the country voted Yes in September 2014.

So he printed 500 of them, complete with the lion rampant and the National Monument on the reverse side.

Bizarrely, it took a Slovakian designer to produce this ‘independen­t currency’, following months of furious debate over whether Scotland would use the pound or mint its own money.

Other ideas have included coins from Scotland’s past including the dollar, unicorn and bawbee, or even one named after Alex Salmond – a unit of currency known as the Eck.

The Connery banknote, which clearly states it is a specimen and

be used for payment, is now in circulatio­n – if only by collector David Witts, from Peterhead in Aberdeensh­ire, who has bought 120 of them. He said: ‘To many people, Sean Connery is the closest thing we have to a king in Scotland, so it only seemed natural to have him on a banknote. ‘These notes caught my eye on an auction website, and I thought they were great fun. I bought around 120 of them and gave them to friends and family as Christmas presents. They certainly raised a few smiles.’

Graphic designer Matej Gabris, from Bratislava, Slovakia, began drawing banknotes aged nine, and has since produced hundreds.

He turned to Scotland in 2014 because of the referendum and his £5 banknote is believed to be the first paper money produced for an independen­t Scotland.

The picture of Sean Connery on the front is backed by an image of Edinburgh Castle and a thistle.

Mr Gabris, 38, said: ‘I try to create designs for non-existent states, newly risen states and nations who haven’t got their own currency.

‘In the case of Scotland, it was kind of a joke and then I thought if independen­ce passed and Scotland became a single nation, I just wanted to be first.

‘I think that Sean Connery comes to most people’s mind when they hear of Scotland.’

 ??  ?? Fantasy money: The £5 banknote designed by Matej Gabris
Fantasy money: The £5 banknote designed by Matej Gabris

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