Con­nery cur­rency

(But what WILL Moneypenny make of it all?)

Scottish Daily Mail - - News - By Vic­to­ria Allen vic­to­ria@dai­ly­

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

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