THE world's leading bank note maker De La Rue is celebrating its 200 th birthday today.
It was founded by Thomas de la Rue in Guernsey on February 6, 1813.
Now De La Rue is headquartered in Basingstoke and is the trusted partner of governments, central banks, issuing authorities and commercial organisations operating in over 150 countries across the world.
De La Rue’s chief executive officer Tim Cobbold said: “For any company to reach its 200 th anniversary is a significant achievement and we are particularly grateful to all the customers that have supported us over the past 200 years.
“De La Rue has a long history of innovation and as a part of continuing this rich tradition I was delighted that in December we launched the first De La Rue polymer banknote for Fiji, which is due to go into circulation in March.”
This latest innovation is one of many that the that the company has produced over the past 200 years.
Back in 1831 it registered the ace of spades playing card produced using a revolutionary new typographical process ensuring uniformity in card manufacturing.
It was subsequently granted a royal patent by William IV to print playing cards that had previously been produced by hand using stencils.
In 1840 De La Rue produced its first adhesive postage stamp and in 1846 registered its patent for the first envelope folding machine.
De La Rue secured its first contract to print banknotes with the Bank of Mauritius in 1860 for the Mauritius 10 shilling, £1 and £5 notes.
This was the start of a longstanding partnership with the Bank of Mauritius which is still going strong 150 years later.
In 1914, De La Rue was commissioned to produce the £1 and one shilling notes for the Bank of England – the start of another important collaboration with the Bank that continues today.
However, De La Rue’s subsidiary, Portals Limited, first produced currency paper for the Bank of England in 1724.
By 1947 the group was operating in over 60 countries worldwide and was listed on the London Stock Exchange.
It subsequently jointly developed and installed the world’s first ATM at Barclay’s Bank, in Enfield, London in 1967.
More recently, in 2003, De La Rue was awarded the contract to print UK Sterling which was extended in 2009.
Also in 2009 it secured the contract to produce the UK ePassport which is one of, if not the most secure identity document in the world today.
De La Rue produced the 10 millionth new UK ePassport in November 2012 .
In recent years the Group has been involved in the design or production of over 150 national currencies and a wide range of security documents.
In early 2011, working on a tight timescale, De La Rue designed and printed currency for South Sudan, the world’s newest country, ahead of its independence later that year.