Sunday, 5 April 2015

Oswaldo Cruz Banknote

In 1984 Czeslaw Slania engraved his first banknote for Brazil. This banknote was in the "ancient" currency of 50,000 Cruzeiros.

In 1986 this banknote was reprinted in the "new" currency of 50 Cruzados. It is the "new" currency banknote that I will study in this article. I haven't as yet found an "ancient" currency specimen for my collection.


Oswaldo Cruz (1872-1917) was a noted physician and epidemiologist. For the layman, epidemiology is the science that studies the patterns, causes and effects of health and disease conditions in defined populations (Wikipedia). Basically this is the study of epidemics and the fight against them.

The obverse (front) of the 50 Cruzados banknote includes a portrait of Oswaldo Cruz and a microscope.


Oswaldo Cruz was also the founder of the Cruz Institute in Rio de Janeiro. It is a scientific institute for research and development in bio-medical sciences. The institute was the base from which campaigns against outbreaks and epidemics of the bubonic plague, yellow fever and smallpox were launched. The institute is housed in the stunning Palace of Manguinhos.

The Cruz Institute is depicted on the reverse of the banknote. The engraving is superb!

Here is a close-up of the engraving of the institute. The trees - among other things - are amazing.


I have invested only a very little amount of time into the study of numismatics so I'm not entirely sure how much of this lovely banknote is actually the work of Slania. I remember reading somewhere (I just can't remember where!) that Slania only signed his first name "Czeslaw" on signed specimens of the banknote and he did this because he wasn't responsible for the entire engraving. What I read suggested he was only responsible for engraving the trees. Whatever the case may be, the engravings on both sides of the banknote are beautiful to look at and very easy to appreciate - even though I am a stamp guy!

Stay Slania Crazy!

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