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5 Dollars 1989, Singapore

in Krause book Number: 19
Years of issue: 21.08.1989
Signatures: Minister for finance: Dr. Richard Hu Tsu Tau
Serie: 3rd Series - Ship Series (1984-1999)
Specimen of: 1988
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 133 x 66
Printer: TDLR (Thomas de la Rue & Company), London

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

5 Dollars 1989



5 dollars 1989Head of the lion.

When it was first unveiled, some sections of the public felt that it should have been facing rightwards to represent a more forward looking nature. However, the original left-facing lion was maintained.


5 Dollars 1989

In left part of banknote are 2 Twakow vessels - under sail and not.

More about Twakow boat, please, read here.

Top left is coat of arms of Singapore.


The National Coat of Arms of Singapore is the heraldic symbol representing the Southeast Asian island nation of Singapore. It was adopted in 1959, the year Singapore became self-governing within the British Empire. The committee that created it, headed by then Deputy Prime Minister Toh Chin Chye, was also responsible for the national flag and the national anthem of Singapore.

At the center of the emblem is a red shield bearing a white crescent (a new moon, representing a rising young nation) and five white stars (representing various national ideals including multiculturalism), supported by a lion and a tiger (representing Singapore and Malaysia respectively); below them is a blue ribbon inscribed with Majulah Singapura in gold, Malay for "Onward Singapore".

The central emblem of the coat of arms is a red shield with five white stars resting above a white crescent, similar to the crescent and stars used on the Singapore flag and such other national symbols as the national ensign for civilian ships. Red symbolizes "universal brotherhood and equality of man" and white "pervading and everlasting purity and virtue". The crescent represents a new moon, which reflects "a young nation on the ascendant", while the five-pointed stars "stand for the nation's ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality".

The supporters of the shield are a lion and a tiger: the tiger symbolizes the nation's historical connections to Malaysia (which Singapore was a state of from 1963 to 1965) while the lion represents Singapore itself. Below the supporters is a blue ribbon on which the national motto, Majulah Singapura, is written in gold. Majulah Singapura is also the title of the national anthem; it means "Onward Singapore" in Malay, the national language of Singapore.

5 dollars 1989Right of center is the lion dance with ball.

Lion dance (simplified Chinese: 舞狮; traditional Chinese: 舞獅; pinyin: wǔshī) is a form of traditional dance in Chinese culture and other Asian countries in which performers mimic a lion's movements in a lion costume. The lion dance is usually performed during the Chinese New Year and other Chinese traditional, cultural and religious festivals. It may also be performed at important occasions such as business opening events, special celebrations or wedding ceremonies, or may be used to honour special guests by the Chinese communities.

The Chinese lion dance is sometimes mistakenly referred to as dragon dance. An easy way to tell the difference is that a lion is normally operated by just two dancers, while a dragon is longer and needs many people. Also, in a lion dance, the performers' faces are only seen occasionally, since they are inside the lion. In a dragon dance, the performers' faces can be easily seen since the dragon is held on poles. Chinese lion dance fundamental movements can be found in most Chinese martial arts.

There are two main forms of the Chinese lion dance, the Northern Lion and the Southern Lion. Both forms are commonly found in China, but around the world especially in South East Asia, the Southern Lion predominates as it was spread by the Chinese diaspora communities who are historically mostly of Southern Chinese origin. Versions of the lion dance are also found in Japan, Korea, Tibet and Vietnam. Another form of lion dance exists in Indonesian culture, but it may be of a different tradition and may be referred to as Singa Barong.

5 dollars 1989In lower right corner is the Commerson's anchovy (Stolephorus commersonnii).

The Commerson's anchovy (Stolephorus commersonnii), also known as Devis's anchovy, Long-jawed anchovy, Teri anchovy, is a species of anadromous fish in the Engraulidae family. It is known as Haalmassa (හාල්මැස්සා) in Sri Lanka, where it is widely used as a nutrient rich fish meat. It is widely used as a live or dead bait in tuna fishery.

It is a small schooling fish found in depth of 0-50 meters, in most of the tropical areas of the Indo-pacific oceans including Madagascar and Mauritius eastward and towards Hong Kong and further east to Papua New Guinea in westwards. Maximum length do not exceed 10cm. It has no dorsal soft rays and possess only 18 to 19 anal soft rays. There are 0 to 5 small needle-like scutes on the belly region. Belly is slightly rounded. Body color is same as other engraulids, where body is light transparent fleshy brown with a pair of dark patches behind occiput, followed by a pair of lines to dorsal fin origin. The silver stripe present on flanks. Indian anchovy usually feeds on surface planktons. Female lay oval eggs grassy sea beds.

This fish with much larger Indian anchovy, is part of the cuisine of the South- and Southeast Asian marine regions. It can be crisp-fried, used to make fish-based culinary products like fish sauce or in curries. In Sri Lanka, this variety of fish is made into a tasty snack by dipping in a batter of flour, then rolled in bread crumbs and deep fried in oil. It is also popular as a ‘white curry’, i.e.a curry made with coconut milk. A spicier variant is made with dry chilli gravy and served with scraped fresh coconut to offset the hotness of the gravy.

Denomination in numerals are in top right and lower left corners, in words lower, centered.


5 Dollars 1989

In lower left corner is, again, the Commerson's anchovy (Stolephorus commersonnii).

Vanda Miss JoaquimLeft of center is the national flowers of Singapore - Vanda Miss Joaquim.

Naturalized Armenian women constituted a serious competitor to other participants of Singapore flower exhibitions. Most of the 1890 prize for his plant got Maggie Cheyter, Irene and Rips Johannes, but dominated by women of different generations of the family Joachim, received in 1897, 18 of the 104 prizes. In the history of the country has remained an Armenian Agnes Joaquim, that gave orchid variety "Vanda Miss Joaquim". In 1947, this amazingly beautiful flower was chosen as the emblem of the Progressive Party, and in 1981 - the national flower, symbol of Singapore.

The eldest daughter of Parsika and Hurel Joaquim, Agnes, from her youth fond of floriculture, as well as many other women of her family. From 1893 to 1895 years, it has taken over three annual exhibitions in Singapore, a total of twenty-seven first places and fifteen second. But her finest hour came in the 1899th, to the best in many years show, "highlight" which became her "Vanda", obtained by crossing two varieties of orchids - Burmese Vanda teres and Malay Vanda hookeriana. New flower Agnes withdrew in 1893, and at the same time introduced to Henry Ridley, Director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens. He sent information about the flower in the flower authoritative edition of the "Gardeners' Chronicle", where it was published. In 1897, "Vanda Miss Joaquim" first blossomed on European soil. This orchid has caused delight at the Royal Agricultural Show in London, where a certificate has been awarded the first category. To date, nearly 440 hybrids obtained by crossing varieties of flowers "Vanda Miss Joaquim".

5 dollars 1989On right side is the Merlion (Singa-Laut). It is a marketing icon with the head of a lion and the body of a fish, used as a mascot and national personification of Singapore. Its name combines "mer" meaning the sea and "lion". The fish body represents Singapore's origin as a fishing village when it was called Temasek, which means "sea town" in Javanese. The lion head represents Singapore's original name - Singapura - meaning "lion city" or "kota singa".

The symbol was designed by Alec Fraser-Brunner, a member of the Souvenir Committee and curator of the Van Kleef Aquarium, for the logo of the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) in use from 26 March 1964 to 1997 and has been its trademarked symbol since 20 July 1966. Although the STB changed their logo in 1997, the STB Act continues to protect the Merlion symbol. Approval must be received from STB before it can be used. The Merlion appears frequently on STB-approved souvenirs.

The merlion is a statue with the body of a fish and the head of a lion- occurs in a number of different artistic traditions. Lions with fishtails can be found on Indian murals at Ajanta and Mathura, and on Etruscan coins of the Hellenistic period. Merlions, or "heraldic sea-lions", are an established element of Western heraldry, and have been used on the coat of arms of the cities of Portsmouth and Great Yarmouth in the United Kingdom; the City of Manila; and the East India Company.

5 dollars 1989In right part of banknote is the Port of Singapore, more exactly - P.S.A. container terminal.

The Port of Singapore refers to the collective facilities and terminals that conduct maritime trade handling functions in harbours and which handle Singapore's shipping. Currently the world's second-busiest port in terms of total shipping tonnage, it also trans-ships a fifth of the world's shipping containers, half of the world's annual supply of crude oil, and is the world's busiest transshipment port. It was also the busiest port in terms of total cargo tonnage handled until 2005, when it was surpassed by the Port of Shanghai. Thousands of ships drop anchor in the harbour, connecting the port to over 600 other ports in 123 countries and spread over six continents.

The Port of Singapore is not a mere economic boon, but an economic necessity because Singapore is lacking in land and natural resources. The Port is critical for importing natural resources, and then later re-exporting products after they have been refined and shaped in some manner, for example wafer fabrication or oil refining to generate revenue. The service industries such as hospitality services typical of a port of call restock the food and water supplies on ships. Ships pass between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean through the Singapore Strait. The Straits of Johor on the country's north are impassable for ships due to the Johor-Singapore Causeway, built in 1923, which links the city of Woodlands, Singapore to Johor Bahru in Malaysia.

Denomination in numerals are in top left and lower right corners.


The Ship Series of currency notes is the third set of notes to be issued for circulation in Singapore. Issued in the years 1984 to 1999, it retains the number of denominations as was in the previous two series of notes, but switches the $20 note for the $2 one.

A maritime theme to reflect Singapore's maritime heritage was adopted, and progressively shows across the various denominations, the different kinds of ships which have plied Singapore's waters as the country developed. These vignettes are located on the front of the note. On the back, various scenes depicting Singapore's achievements are shown, as well as an orchid, to symbolize the country's national flower.