The Macanese pataca or Macau pataca is the official currency of Macau. The official currency symbol: MOP$. The currency’s name is derived from the fact that, as part of the Spanish colonial empire, the Portuguese traditionally called the Spanish dollar the pataca mexicana.
In 1894, the pataca was adopted as a unit of account in Portuguese Macau and Portuguese Timor. The unit was designed to replace the Portuguese real, which was replaced by the Spanish dollar. In 1901, the Banco Nacional Ultramarino (BNU) acquired the exclusive rights to issue legal tender denominated in patacas, the currency being the only currency in Macao. As a result, banknotes in denominations of 1, 5, 50 and 100 were introduced, and the circulation of all foreign currency in Macau was prohibited. The Macau government established the Macau Issuing Institute (Instituto Emissor de Macau – IEM) in 1980, giving it a monopoly on the issuance of pataca banknotes. The NBU continued to print banknotes as an agent bank of the IEM, and the Bank of China branch in Macau became the second bank to issue banknotes after signing an agreement with the NBU in 1995. The Macau Monetary Authority acquired the authority to issue patacas.
Today denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 patacas circulate today. The current series of NBU banknotes were issued in 2005, while the Bank of China issued banknotes between 1995 and 2003. The Macau Monetary Authority stated in 2009 that the Bank of China would issue a new series of banknotes dated 2008.
The 10 Macanese patacas commemorative note front design illustrates a Chinese zodiac dragon’s Chinese paper-cut art, followed by a popular ornament consisting of a red couplet of the Chinese word “Fu”, which has a symbolic meaning of welcoming spring, good luck and happiness during the Spring Festival. In the background, there is a circle of Terrestrial Branches and a red lantern, which symbolizes the family reunion.
The reverse of the note illustrates the headquarters building of the Bank of China branch in Macau, the A-Ma Temple, declared (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the traditional painting: “The Hundred Sons” (unidentified artist of the period Ming (1368–1644) or Qing (1644–1911) dynasty), the Chinese paper-cut art of the Chinese zodiac dragon and the Bank of China logo. The lettering of the note is presented in the Portuguese and Chinese languages. This note is part of the 2012 commemorative series: “Year of the Dragon”. Its color is red and rose on a yellow underprint.
Text: 中國銀行 10 MACAU DEZ PATACAS, 10 澳門幣拾圓, 二零一二年一月一日 澳門, 澳門分行總經理, 中國銀行
BANCO DA CHINA 10 DEZ PATACAS MACAU, 10 澳門幣拾圓.