Collection Inspiration: Waterfalls

Posted on 6/25/2024

It's OK to chase these waterfalls and add some beautiful banknotes to your collection.

Waterfalls, nature's majestic display of power and beauty, captivate the human imagination with their thundering cascades and ethereal mists. Celebrated annually on June 16, International Waterfall Day honors these natural wonders and raises awareness about their conservation. Moreover, waterfalls often hold significant cultural and economic importance, reflected in their portrayal on paper money, where they serve as symbols of national pride and natural heritage.

Ten banknotes featuring waterfalls

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Venezuela 20,000 Bolivares — Angel Falls

A plunge waterfall is a type of waterfall where the water freefalls vertically, losing contact with the rock face. Angel Falls in Venezuela exemplifies this dramatic form, as the world's highest uninterrupted waterfall, with a staggering height of 3,212 feet. Originating from the Auyán-tepuí mountain in the Canaima National Park, Angel Falls showcases the breathtaking beauty and power of nature's vertical descent, creating a misty spectacle as it plunges into the Churún River below.

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Sri Lanka 100 Rupees — Laxapana Falls

Laxapana Falls, located in Sri Lanka's Central Province, is another stunning example of a plunge waterfall, where water cascades freely through the air before crashing into the pool below. This impressive waterfall stands at 413 feet high and is situated on the Maskeliya Oya river. Surrounded by lush greenery and set within a picturesque landscape, Laxapana Falls not only serves as a vital source of hydroelectric power for the region but also attracts numerous visitors who come to witness its natural beauty and serene ambiance.

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Rhodesia 2 Dollars — Victoria Falls

A cataract waterfall is characterized by a large, powerful flow of water tumbling over a precipice, often with a significant volume and force. Victoria Falls, located on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, is a prime example of a cataract waterfall. Known locally as "Mosi-oa-Tunya" or "The Smoke That Thunders," Victoria Falls is one of the world's largest and most famous waterfalls, with a width of 5,604 feet and a height of 354 feet. The immense volume of water crashing down creates a spectacular mist that can be seen from miles away, showcasing the sheer power and grandeur of nature.

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Toronto, Canada 1 Dollar — Niagara Falls

A block waterfall, also known as a curtain or sheet waterfall, features water descending over a wide, relatively uniform ledge, creating a broad, continuous flow. Niagara Falls, situated on the border between the United States and Canada, exemplifies this type of waterfall. Comprised of three waterfalls — Horseshoe Falls, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls — Niagara Falls collectively spans over 3,950 feet in width. With a drop of approximately 167 feet, the falls' immense volume and powerful flow make it a spectacular natural wonder and a major attraction for millions of visitors annually.

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Turkey 5 Lire — Manavgat Waterfall

Manavgat Waterfall, located on the Manavgat River near the town of Side in Turkey, is another captivating example of a block waterfall. This picturesque waterfall features a wide, uniform ledge where water cascades over a relatively low height of about 10-13 feet but stretches impressively across a breadth of approximately 131 feet. Despite its modest drop, the powerful and expansive flow of Manavgat Waterfall creates a stunning visual and auditory experience, drawing numerous visitors to enjoy its serene and natural beauty amidst the surrounding lush landscape.

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China 50 Yuan — Hukou Waterfall

Hukou Waterfall, located on the Yellow River at the border between Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces in China, is a striking example of a cascade waterfall. The largest waterfall on the Yellow River and the second largest in China, Hukou Waterfall features a series of small, step-like drops where the water flows over the rocky terrain, creating a cascading effect. With a height of around 66 feet and a width that can reach up to 164 feet during flood season, the waterfall's turbulent, roaring waters make for a dramatic and awe-inspiring natural spectacle.

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Jamaica 100 Dollars — Dunn's River Falls

Dunn's River Falls, located near Ocho Rios in Jamaica, is a famous example of a cascade waterfall. This unique natural attraction features water cascading over terraced steps of limestone rock, creating a series of small, picturesque waterfalls and pools. Rising about 600 feet from its base at the Caribbean Sea to its source, Dunn's River Falls invites visitors to climb its tiers, often hand-in-hand, forming human chains. The falls' lush, tropical surroundings and the refreshing, flowing water make it a popular destination for tourists seeking both adventure and relaxation amidst Jamaica's natural beauty.

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Lesotho 5 Meloti — Maletsunyane Falls

A horsetail waterfall is characterized by the way the water maintains some contact with the rock surface as it descends, resembling the flowing tail of a horse. Maletsunyane Falls in Lesotho is a stunning example of a horsetail waterfall. Plunging 630 feet from a cliff into a pool below, Maletsunyane Falls offers a spectacular sight amidst the rugged highlands. The waterfall is one of the highest single-drop falls in Africa and is renowned for its breathtaking beauty and the powerful, misty spray that surrounds its base, creating a dramatic and picturesque scene.

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Angola 5 Kwanzas — Ruacana

A segmented waterfall occurs when the flow of water is split into distinct streams as it descends, creating multiple, parallel flows over a cliff or rock face. Ruacana Falls on the Kunene River at the border between Namibia and Angola is a striking example of a segmented waterfall. With a width that can extend up to 3,937 feet during peak flow and a drop of almost 400 feet, Ruacana Falls showcases a breathtaking array of water streams cascading side by side. This impressive waterfall, set against a backdrop of rugged terrain, is not only a natural marvel but also plays a crucial role in the region's hydroelectric power generation.

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Iceland 5,000 Kronur — Dettifoss

A multi-step waterfall is characterized by a series of distinct cascades or steps where water flows over a rocky terrain, creating a staircase-like descent. Dettifoss, situated in Vatnajökull National Park in northeast Iceland, is a prominent example of a multistep waterfall. Plunging nearly 150 feet and spanning 330 feet in width, Dettifoss is Europe's most powerful waterfall by volume discharge. Its relentless flow over a series of rugged steps carved into volcanic basalt creates a mesmerizing display of raw natural power, attracting visitors from around the world to witness its awe-inspiring beauty.

If these notes inspired you, check out our other Collection Inspiration columns for more collecting ideas, including ones on mountains and natural World Heritage Sites. Also, be sure to follow PMG on Facebook, PMG on Instagram and PMG on Twitter for articles and interesting notes posted daily.

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