Paper money in the Netherlands

The Netherlands were under French rule between 1795 and 1813. The first paper money issues date from this time: the so-called "recepissen" circulated as change for the French banknotes. After independence, the newly enthroned King Wilhelm I (1772-1843) pushed for the establishment of a central bank. Founded in 1814, the Nederlandsche Bank was intended to promote the reconstruction of the Dutch economy, which had been very weakened by occupation and wars.

The Nederlandsche Bank already issued banknotes in the year it was founded. This first series has hardly survived and is therefore very rare. In the period that followed, the bank increasingly established itself as the central bank in the Netherlands. It had the sole privilege of issuing banknotes and was therefore able to strengthen and expand its position as a national bank. The state issued paper money in addition to the Nederlandsche Bank. The "muntbiljets" and "zilverbons", issued by the Ministry of Finance, circulated alongside the banknotes from 1845 to 1949. However, they were mostly limited to smaller denominations and be seen as a kind of substitute for coins.

The Nederlandsche Bank's banknotes were declared legal tender in 1904. As a result, they could be used for payment everywhere. In the same year a new series was issued, it shows the Kingdom of the Netherlands coat of arms and an allegorical representation of trade and agriculture as the subject. This changed in the 1920s and 1930s: important personalities as well as objects from architecture and culture now appear as subjects.

During the German occupation between 1940 and 1945, both the Nederlandsche Bank and Reichsbank notes were used as means of payment. The German Wehrmacht capitulated in the Netherlands on 5 May 1945 and Liberation Day was declared a national holiday. The banknote for 10 gulden dated 7 May 1945 refers directly to this event: an excerpt from the national anthem can be seen on it: "Drive the plagues that try us and tyranny away." All the denominations in this series also have the date 7 May 1945, the day of Germany's unconditional surrender. This is unusual in that no series has ever had a uniform date and therefore a clear symbol of the liberation of the Netherlands and also of Europe from National Socialist rule has been placed on the banknotes.

>> This collection is part of the holdings of "Paper money in Europe" of the Giesecke+Devrient Stiftung Geldscheinsammlung (Giesecke+Devrient foundation: collections of bank notes).