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20 Dollars 2003, Hong Kong

in Krause book Number: 291
Years of issue: 01.07.2003
Edition: 124 062 624
Signatures: Chief Financial Officer: Julian Fong Loong Choon, Director: Peter Wong
Serie: No Serie
Specimen of: 01.07.2003
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 144 x 72
Printer: Hong Kong Note Printing Limited, Hong Kong

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

20 Dollars 2003




Carp Leaping Over the Dragon's Gate and denomination 20.


20 Dollars 2003


The Chinese Carp (Cyprinus carpio) leaping over the Dragon's Gate.

According to Chinese mythology, the Dragon’s Gate is located at the top of a waterfall cascading from a legendary mountain. Many carp swim upstream against the river’s strong current, but few are capable or brave enough for the final leap over the waterfall. If a carp successfully makes the jump, it is transformed into a powerful dragon. A Chinese dragon’s large, conspicuous scales indicate its origin from a carp. The Chinese dragon has long been an auspicious symbol of great and benevolent, magical power. The image of a carp jumping over Dragon’s Gate is an old and enduring Chinese cultural symbol for courage, perseverance, and accomplishment. Historically, the dragon was the exclusive symbol of the emperor of China and the five-character expression "Liyu Tiao Long Men" was originally used as a metaphor for a person’s success in passing very difficult imperial examinations, required for entry into imperial administrative service. To this day, when a student from a remote country village passes the rigorous national university examination in China, friends and family proudly refer to the "Liyu Tiao Long Men”. More generally, the expression is used to communicate that if a person works hard and diligently, success will one day be achieved.

"Beneath the serene quiet of the water lilies a young carp senses a calling . . swelling up in her heart like the swirling waters at the base of a great waterfall,

Somehow summoned to go beyond the barrier of crashing water and veiled mist

The churning waters of the waterfall’s bottom matches that of the young carp’s desires.

Finally with a burst of enthusiasm the carp has launched herself up the wall of rushing water cresting the first falls with a surge of effort only to be met with relentless rushing water.

Persevering from one cataract to the next the carp makes it to the summit’s last falls.

Regrouping her energies in a pocket of scouring effervescence every essence of strength, courage, and spirit is consumed in the launching over the fall’s summit.

And the dragon’s gate accepts her efforts a transforming gate of fire

Revealing the birth of a new Dragon born of the seed of desire planted in the heart of a small carp that once hid in the shallows". Howard Schroeder, Threshold of the Dragon's Gate.

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


20 Dollars 2003

Chinese schoolOne of the paintings with the view at the harbor and Victoria Peak, Hong Kong, 1850. Oil on canvas. Chinese school.

An artistic work of the mid-XIX century which shows the international make-up of the China Trade, this painting hold up as a fine example of the artistry of the Chinese. Clouds hold shadow and sunlight over the soon-to-boom city. At this point, the signal tower atop the peak has yet to be installed and there is a strand or two of beachfront acreage still available.

Soon the Europeans’ and Americans’ demand for the spices and silks, primarily tea, yet complemented by the vast number of other exotic crops and arts, would help establish some of the largest Western&Eastern fortunes of their day. Two American ships are prominent: a pacific side-wheel steamer (one of only a few possible for this date) is at anchor between British ships, while an interesting American sailing sloop hold the traditionally important center foreground, proudly flying the star & stripes. Chinese-built hulks for themselves and the British compete for anchorage with a french sailing ship as well.

The vantage the artist has chosen is a bit more northern than most views, affording a view of the range on into the Guangzhou providence. It is in this direction that the last European ship is depicted, what appears to be a Dutch ensign on the staff of a sailing barque. The exacting brushwork of the artist and realistic coloration makes exploring the buildings over the Victorian headland an adventure, with towers and residences near the warehouses. A British flag flies from a staff set in foliage, softly stating the most prominent residents of the period, still less than halfway up the elevation. (Vallejo gallery)

Victoria Peak is a mountain in the western half of Hong Kong Island. It is also known as Mount Austin, and locally as The Peak. With an altitude of 552 m., it is the highest mountain on the island (Tai Mo Shan is the highest point in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region).

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


Special Administrative Region of China since 1997.