header Notes Collection

50 Dollars 2005, Singapore

in Krause book Number: 49
Years of issue: 2001
Edition: --
Signatures: Chairman Monetary authority of Singapore: Mr. Lee Hsien Loong
Serie: Fourth Series
Specimen of: 09.09.1999
Material: Polymer
Size (mm): 156 x 74
Printer: British American Bank Note Co. Ltd., Montreal

* 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.

50 Dollars 2005




First president Yusof bin Ishak.

Three Braille dots, angled.


50 Dollars 2005

Tun Yusof bin IshakTun Yusof bin Ishak (12 August 1910 - 23 November 1970) was the first President of Singapore, serving from 1965 to 1970.

Yusof was well known both as a journalist and the founder of the Malay newspaper Utusan Melayu prior to becoming head of state of Singapore. He was married to Noor Aishah.

He first served as Yang di-Pertuan Negara (head of state) between 1959 and 1965, remaining in office during the time that Singapore was part of the Federation of Malaysia between 1963 and 1965. Following Singapore's departure from Malaysia in 1965, he served as the first President of the Republic until his death in 1970.

Buried at Kranji State Cemetery.

Top left is the coat of arms of Singapore.

Centered is the Green flag.

Near the denomination, centered, is a hologram window with denominations "50" inside.

The Merlion is lower right (not hologram).

Erronea cylindricaOn background are the Cylindrical Cowrie (Erronea cylindrica).

The shells reach 15-47 millimeters (0.59-1.85 in.) of length. These cowries have a surface smooth and shiny. They are cylindrical, their basic coloration is pale brown or greenish, with irregular dark brown patches on the dorsum. The extremities are brown too. The lateral margins and the flat base are white.

They are living in warm tropical and subtropical waters, from intertidal zone to the deep reef, in coral reefs or sandy surfaces. Often they can be encountered in the low intertidal zone near the line of reef. As they fear light, during the day they are usually hidden beneath the reef rocks and coral caves. At dawn or dusk they feed, mainly on sponges, algae, small crustaceans and polyps of corals. Mantle and foot are well developed, with external antennae.

This species is found throughout the tropical Western and Central Pacific Ocean and in the Indian Ocean, in seas along Thailand, NW Australia, Philippines, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Guam and Madagascar.

Top left are three Braille points, made by corner, for the visually impaired.

Denomination in numeral and in words is centered.


50 Dollars 2005

Subject - The art. Music graphics.

On the left side are 4 musical instruments, emphasizing 4 major nations of Singapore: Cello - Europeans, Pipa - China (Asia), Veena - India and Rebana - West Indies (Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei).

celloThe cello or violoncello is a bowed string instrument with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is a member of the violin family of musical instruments, which also includes the violin and viola.

The cello is used as a solo musical instrument, as well as in chamber music ensembles, string orchestras, as a member of the string section of symphony orchestras, and some rock bands. It is the second-largest bowed string instrument in the modern symphony orchestra, the double bass being the largest.

Cellos were derived from other mid- to large-sized bowed instruments in the 16th century, such as the viola da gamba, and the generally smaller and squarer viola da braccio, and such instruments made by members of the Amati family of luthiers. The invention of wire-wrapped strings in Bologna gave the cello greater versatility. By the XVIII century, the cello had largely replaced other mid-sized bowed instruments.

Cello parts are generally written in the bass clef, but both tenor and treble clefs are used for higher-range parts.

A person who plays the cello is called a cellist.

PipaThe pipa (Chinese: 琵琶) is a four-stringed Chinese musical instrument, belonging to the plucked category of instruments. Sometimes called the Chinese lute, the instrument has a pear-shaped wooden body with a varying number of frets ranging from 12 to 26. Another Chinese four-string plucked lute is the liuqin, which looks like a smaller version of the pipa.

The pipa is one of the most popular Chinese instruments and has been played for almost two thousand years in China. Several related instruments in East and Southeast Asia are derived from the pipa; these include the Japanese biwa, the Vietnamese đàn tỳ bà, and the Korean bipa. The Korean instrument is the only one of the three that is no longer widely used; examples survive in museums, but recent attempts to revive the Korean instrument have been partially successful in recent years.

VeenaThe Veena (Sanskrit: वीणा) is a plucked stringed instrument originating in ancient India, used mainly in Carnatic classical music and Hindustani classical music. The name is used for several instruments belonging to different families, mainly the Rudra Veena (a zither) and the Saraswati veena (a necked bowl lute) but also to other types of plucked string instruments (Mohan Veena, Ancient Veena etc).

The earliest Veena was an instrument of the harp type whose type survives in the Burmese harp, whereas in the last centuries and nowadays, the word has tended to be applied to instruments of the lute type or even, recently, to certain kinds of guitars developed in India. The more popular sitar is believed to have been derived from a type of Veena which was modified by a Mughal court musician to conform with the tastes of his Persian patrons. A person who plays a Veena is called a vainika.

The Sanskrit word veena (वीणा) (sometimes transliterated as vina) which is attested already in the Rigveda has designated in the course of Indian history a variety of instruments of various types, as it is a generic term for all kinds of string instruments, just as the Tamil word yaaḻ (யாழ்) (often written yaazh or yaal). In the last centuries and today the instruments designated under the designation veena of which there are several kinds, have tended to be mostly instruments of the lute or cithar type, and recently the word was even applied to modified Western guitars. But the early veenaas could be plucked string instruments of any type.

Found in the list of Musical instruments used by Tamil people out in Tirumurai dated VI to XI century.

RebanaRebana is a Malay tambourine that is used in Islamic devotional music in Southeast Asia, particularly in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, and Singapore. The sound of Rebana often accompany Islamic ritual such as the zikir. The name Rebana came from the Arabic word Robbana meaning "our Lord".

There are many types of rebanas, the biggest rebana known is the Rebana Ubi. Rebana Ubi are widely used by the Malay people in the East Coast of Malaysia such as Kelantan or Terengganu. This type of rebana is the only rebana with a decorative pattern on the body and the face. Smaller rebanas also known as Kompangs are widely used by the Malay people when celebrating the bride and groom in a wedding ceremony. Rebana Hadrah came from the state of Johor.

Chen Wen HsiThe image, centered, is based on drawings of Chinese painter Chen Wen Hsi (陈文希).

The gibbons are there not only to beautify the note but they also signify a great artist who contributed his entire whole life to the art world.

陈文希, Chen Wen Hsi, was born in China, Guangdong province. He migrated to Singapore in 1948 and passed on in 1992. He loves art and nature at a young age. Growned up in a suburb village he was taught by renowned artists like Pan Tianshou in Xinhua College of Arts in Shanghai, China.

Chen was proficient both in traditional Chinese ink paint and western oil paint. He focuses in observing the behavior of nature and animals. The subject varies from landscapes, figures, birds to animals.

Chen Wen HsiHe has a penchant for gibbons and owned 6 of them. One white, one gray and four black ones. These beautiful animals gave him the opportunities to study the creature’s postures and its characteristics.

In 1975, Chen was conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters by the then-Chancellor of the University of Singapore and the then-President of Singapore, Mr Benjamin Sheares. He earned many more titles like Public Service Star; Cultural & Communications Award just to name a few.

Chen was also a perfectionist to his own art works. While he was insistent to leave the best on earth, he burnt away paintings he deemed not up to his standard. A rigorous artist, he woke up early in the morning at 6am to do his paintings without a skip for many decades.

So the next time, if you happen to hold on to a Singapore 50 dollars note, just spare some time to say hello to these gibbons and the great artist before you pass it on to another! (

Hylobates agilisOn the drawing depicted the agile gibbon.

The agile gibbon (Hylobates agilis), also known as the black-handed gibbon, is an Old World primate in the gibbon family. It is found in Indonesia on the island of Sumatra, Malaysia, and southern Thailand. The species is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List due to habitat destruction and the pet trade. The agile gibbon is found on Sumatra southeast of Lake Toba and the Singkil River, in a small area on the Malay Peninsula, and south Thailand near the Malaysian border. It predominantly lives arboreal in rain forests and rarely comes to the ground.

In the background are the people at work. In particular, see the process of drying fish.

Near lower denomination is a Merlion (same, as on obverse).

Denomination in numerals are in top and lower left corners.


High quality paper, metal thread, hologram. Fluorescent label in the paper, only visible under UV light.