A Note About Past Dutch Currency

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The U.S. mint has been changing the look of American money. For artistic inspiration, officials might consider the Netherlands' past approach to currency, illustrated by the genius of a young artist who eschewed heads of state for birds and sunflowers.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

While they're trying to foil counterfeiters, the U.S. has also been changing the look of American money over the years.

Our last word in business today is about banknotes that many consider the most beautiful in the world. In 1966, Dutch officials authorized a young artist to design a new five-guilder bill.

And rather than somber heads of state typically found on currencies, he drew birds, sunflowers and candy-colored swirls. He snuck in his own fingerprint, as well as a bunny and the name of his girlfriend. His colorful bills filled Dutch pockets for years until the country switched to the somewhat less eccentric Euros.

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INSKEEP: It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

And I'm RENEE Montagne.

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