The Master Craftsman: 10,000 Francs (Madagascar, 1995)-Founder's Article

Updated: Nov 13, 2021

This Madagascan banknote represent the 5th denomination, of the final of Malagasy Franc Series (1994). Notably the Malagasy Franc has been replaced by the Malagasy Ariary, since 2005. In one of the stranger moment in currency history. The Ariary coexisted with the Franc from 1961 to 2005, at a rate of 5 Franc to 1 Ariary. One Ariary was divided into 5 Iraimbilanja, therefore making one Franc is equal to one Iraimbilanja.

The observe features a portrait of an elder Malagasy artisan, in the background is a number of his wares. Toward his left is an aloalo, a funerary pole/sculpture used to mark the tombs of Mahafaly leaders, in the south-western Madagascar. Aloalo require a high level of craftsmanship to create, such as the artisan depicted. Running vertically (center-left) along the note, is a reflective (gold) windowed security strip. A feature not seen on smaller denomination Malagasy Franc notes.

The reverse features additional artisans of varying ages (likely his apprentices) at work. Prior to the influx of modern industry, artisans were greatly valued. Distinguishing themselves from the common farmers, that still form the majority of Malagasy society. Despite demand for such goods has greatly diminished, tourism continues to support the woodworking trade. Roughly 60% tourism is from France, who ruled Madagascar from 1897-1958.

Under ultraviolet light the observe features a large florescent green “1000”, at the it's center. The serial number (green) and security tread (blue) are luminescent as well.

The watermark is a Zebu bull, a robust cattle species originating from South Asia. The watermark can be faintly made out in this gray-scale photo (left), along with the Governor of the Central Bank of Madagascar's signature. In 1995, the year of the note's printing. The position of Governor was vacant position and was not formally filled until 1996, by Gaston Edouard Ravelojaona.


Ultraviolet Gallery

Additional Notes

  • This note's dimensions are 164 x 76 mm or 6.46 x 2.99 in, making it fairly substantial in size.

  • It's advisable to use large bill protectors, when preserving this note.

  • This note was issued from 1995-2003, making this note a first printing.

  • Malagasy Francs display the notes value in both Francs and Ariary.

  • On 1 January 2005 the Malagasy Franc ceased being legal tender.

  • The Malagasy Franc was subdivided into 100 centimes, which is the French term for “cents”.

  • Iraimbilanja is Malagasy term for "wrought iron", which was an old term used for the now retired 1 Franc coin. It was a stainless steel coin isused from 1965 to 1993.

  • The 10,000 Malagasy Francs note was succeed by the 2000 Ariary, issued from 2003-2007.

  • All Ariary notes printed after 2007, no longer refer to the note's value in Francs.

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