In 2002 a new currency, based on the "Sing d'Or" (or Gold Monkey") was introduced. The Singe d'Or was, and remains, valued at exactly 0.5 American Dollars and 0.323 Wotanberger Pints. Our Republic has issued both coins and banknotes based on the Singe d'Or.
Like the new coins, the paper currency features the great seal of our Republic,* but will also include graphics which recognize the persons, places, and events that have made our Republic great. Since September 22, 2002, was the twentieth anniversary of the first showing of Tales of the Gold Monkey ("TOTGM")--the American television series which literally put the Marivella Islands back on the map--it was obvious that the first bank notes issues should honor TOTGM. From my Father's collection of TOTGM memorabilia, I donated a rare autographed photograph of the TOTGM's major cast members which is featured prominently on the obverse of each bank note.
On the reverse of each note is both the reverse of the great seal of the Republic and a reverse image of the note's value, as well as something quite novel. As a way of offsetting the unexpectedly high cost of producing counterfeit-proof bank notes, the Republic has solicited sponsorships from corporate and other partners who will be permitted to place messages on the reverse of the notes they sponsor. The current series of bank notes--and examples of the sponsored messages--appear below. (You may click on most of the reverse images to connect with the sponsor's website.) As of yet no one has offered to sponsor the 500 and 1000 Singe d'Or notes, so we have placed on them a reproduction of another rare TOTGM artifact from my Father's collection.
*The great seal of our Republic features my Grandfather's "Gold Monkey". My Grandfather and his Gold Monkey became symbols of the Marivellan people's committment to the ideals of the French Revolution during Japan's occupation of the French Marivellas from 1941 to 1945. When the Republic of the Maravellas was established in 1955, my Grandfather was selected to serve as President and his personal seal became that of the new nation. I am very pleased that the national seal--my Grandfather's personal seal--will now be the distinctive feature of our Republic's coinage.
As every Marivellan schoolboy knows, but many Gold Monkiacs do not, it was my Grandfather who discovered the fabled "Gold Monkey" in 1934 and brought it to Boragora for "safekeeping". (The "Gold Monkey" must never be confused with the so-called "Bon Chance Louis Gold" discovered by my Grandfather in 1948.) With some of the other gold trinkets he discovered with the Gold Monkey, my Grandfather bought what he renamed the "Gold Monkey Bar" and installed the "Gold Monkey" (camouflaged under a thick coat of gaudy yellow paint) at a prominent place on a high shelf behind the bar. One evening in 1935, an American expatriate (perhaps Richard Blaine) was doodling on a napkin when he drew a Gold Monkey Bar "seal" with the motto (perhaps in Latin) "Don't monkey with Louis" (or perhaps "Drop the gun, Louis."). Another (more regular) patron took this doodle and had it turned it into a sign which adorned the Monkey Bar until 1945. The sign's disappearance coincided with that of the Japanese commandant of the garrison. He vanished two days before Boragora was liberated by Wotanberger and American forces led by Major Jake Cutter. After the war, a seal incorporating the essential parts of the "Gold Monkey Bar Seal" formally replaced my Grandfather's personal seal which had been based on that of Saint-Louis-lès-Bitche, my Grandfather's birthplace in Lorraine, France.
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