Penguin Nation, Len Hill And His Bird Sanctuary: 20 Pound (Jason Islands, 1979)-Article

Updated: Dec 2, 2021

This large private banknote represents the 5th denomination of the Jason Islands Pound. In March 1970, wealthy naturalist Len W. Hill (1912-1981) purchased the Jason Islands as a penguin sanctuary. Sometime in the late 1970s (precise date unknown), he began issuing collectable private banknotes. In an effort to raise money for his conservation efforts.

These private banknotes were color-coded and featured illustration of his favorite penguins. The observe of this particular note features a King Penguin. As with all note of the series, a portrait of Len Hill is featured across the penguin.


The observe relatively simple, owning to its voucher nature. It features many standard decorations and embellishments seen in traditional European banknotes. The note's issuing body the "Jason Islands" is displayed on the header, in an ornate frame. While it's "Twenty Pounds" value is framed below, which is reinforced by additional "£20"s located on the note's corners.

At the note's center is a ochre (deep orange) strip, featuring Len Hill's signature, as sanctuary administrator. These is flanked by a portrait of Len Hill (right) and an illustration of a King Penguin (left). Both of these images are feature vine-like decorative framing, above and below.

A keen eye will notice the center ochre strip, features fine vertical waving lines. This is contrast to the brown strips, flanking the portrait and illustration. Which feature horizonal lines, as opposed to vertical. Notably the far right strip features a serial number (6H 4483). It's located near the lower right and it's relatively noticeable. Due to the note's pale brown underprint.


The reverse features an illustration of Grand Jason Island, the largest of the Jason Islands. Extending from the illustration is a title "Fifty Pence Jason Islands". Below in fine text is an expiration date, "(v)alid until 31 December 1979". Declaring when this voucher/private banknote lost it's original value.

The illustration of Grand Jason Island, features vine-like decorations above and below. This obscures a white strip, featuring curving light brown vertical lines. Which contrasts to the a large guilloché-based pattern, which covers the majority of the reverse center. The exception being the before mentioned details and flower illustrations above the tile.

Just as the observe, the note's value is repeated as "£20" at each corner. A notable difference being the backing of these corners. utilizing brown. Which matches the remainder of the reverse art. As opposed to the light orange backing seen on the observe. The remaining borders match those of the observe in style, although in a darker shade.

Jason Islands Pound Galley

(Gallery contains only banknotes within the database)


Additional Notes

  • This note's size is 175 x 90 mm or 6.89 x 3.54 in, considerably larger than a US Dollar.

  • The preferable method to preserve this note, are large size protective sleeves.

  • Finding large enough protective sleeves may be an issue, due to its unusual size.

10 views0 comments