New Hebrides banknotes 20 Francs note 1943 Emergency WWII Issue

New Hebrides banknotes 20 Francs note 1943
New Hebrides paper money 20 Francs note 1943

New Hebrides banknotes 20 Francs note 1943 Emergency WWII Issue, Services Nationaux Francais des Nouvelles Hebrides

Obverse: Cross of Lorraine at upper center above two palm branches

New Hebrides banknotes
1943 Emergency WWII Issue

5 Francs    20 Francs    100 Francs    500 Francs    1000 Francs

New Hebrides franc

The Franc was the currency of the Anglo-French Condominium of the Pacific island group of the New Hebrides (which became Vanuatu in 1980). It circulated alongside British and later Australian currency. The New Hebrides franc was nominally divided into 100 Centimes, although the smallest denomination was the 1 franc. Between 1945 and 1969, it was part of the CFP franc.

Until World War II, the New Hebrides used the French franc and the British pound and Australian pounds. In 1941, the Free French forces introduced paper money for circulation on the New Hebrides. In 1945, the CFP franc was introduced to insulate France's Pacific colonies from the devaluation of the French franc and the New Hebrides used a combination of New Caledonian franc coins and locally issued notes.

In 1949, the CFP franc's relationship to the French franc stabilized at 5.5 French francs = 1 CFP franc. From 1959, the exchange rate to the Australian pound was almost exactly 200 francs = 1 pound. This rate became 100 francs = 1 Australian dollar in 1966 when the dollar was introduced. The Australian dollar circulated alongside the local currency.

From 1966, coins were produced in the name of the New Hebrides. In 1969, the New Hebrides franc broke away from the CFP franc and maintained the relationship with the Australian dollar of 100 francs = 1 dollar until 1973. In 1982, the franc was replaced at par by the vatu following independence as Vanuatu. At the same time, the Australian dollar ceased to officially circulate.

The first New Hebridean banknote was issued in 1921, a 25 franc note of the Comptoirs Français des Nouvelles Hébrides (French Trading Posts of the New Hebrides) dated 22 août (August) 1921. This is a very rare note. The New Hebrides began issuing banknotes again in 1941. These were overprints on New Caledonian banknotes (issued by the Banque de l'Indochine), in denominations of 5, 20, 100, 500 and 1000 francs. The same denominations were issued in 1943 by the Free French Services Nationaux Français des Nouvelles Hébrides.

In 1965, the Institut d'Emission d'Outre-Mer took over the issuance of paper money on the New Hebrides and introduced notes in denominations of 100, 500 and 1000 francs between 1965 and 1972. Unlike the French Polynesian and New Caledonian counterparts, New Hebrides never had a 5000 franc note.