VIDEO OF THE WEEK: Thousands queue up for chance to get new, coveted banknote

With no way to order or reserve the notes online, some people queued overnight in sub-zero temperatures to get the special CZK 1,000 note.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 10.02.2023 08:30:00 (updated on 09.02.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

The release of a new, special banknote in Czechia Wednesday led thousands of people to queue outside banks nationwide to get their hands on the rare piece of money.

To mark 30 years since the division of Czechoslovakia’s currency, the Czech National Bank (ČNB) created a new CZK 1,000 banknote with additional overprinting. A total of 200,000 have been released into public circulation, and are officially available for purchase for the same amount as their value.

Cold, but determined - even in the early hours

A video posted on Twitter shows people in Ostrava queueing from the early morning or even overnight, undeterred by the below-freezing temperatures, to be among the first to possess the special note.

In the capital, the ČNB building opened its doors at 7.30 a.m. Wednesday. Two hours later, queues were spanning as far down as Senovážná and Jindřišská streets. Lines of people in the capital were almost a kilometer long, according to

One reason for the huge amounts of people who had queued on a first-come, first-served basis was because ordering or reserving the notes online had been impossible.

What makes the banknote special?

A small stamp is imprinted on the banknote, which is based on the original engraving of Czechia's first CZK 1,000 stamp, which has been preserved in the technical archive of the Czech State Printing Office of Valuables. 

Despite technically being a collector’s item, experts do not believe that the value of the banknote will increase markedly over time. This is due to the large number of notes that were made available to the public.

ČNB branches in České Budějovice, Pilsen, Ústí nad Labem, Hradec Králové, Brno, and Ostrava also saw hordes of people queue up from the early morning.

A similar initiative was introduced by the ČNB in 2019, when 200,000 special editions of a CZK 100 banknote were released into circulation. This garnered a similar amount of public attention as the release this week.

However, the notes are now being sold at over CZK 5,000 on online auction shops, so only time will tell how much the notes will be worth in a decade. Perhaps the hours of queueing, for those who braved the weather, will be worth it.

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