FUN FACT: Australia was the first country in the world to have a complete set of banknotes made from plastic, which helps protect from counterfeiting and general wear.
FUN FACT: Egyptian notes are different shapes and sizes based on the denomination and include watermarks and metallic threads for enhanced security.
Clarification: An original version of this slide said that Egypt had no specified currency until 1834. In fact, in 1834 the Egyptian Pound became the currency of Egypt, replacing the piastre.
FUN FACT: The colorful, floral notes of French Polynesia feature depictions of the land and the native people.
FUN FACT: The Maldives, made up of over 1,100 islands in the Indian Ocean, exchange colorful rufiyaa as currency. Each banknote depicts a bunch of coconuts and the traditional Dhivehi Odi, a type of boat used for inter-island transport.
FUN FACT: Each brightly-hued Swiss Franc includes two stunning portraits of various cultural icons. Security features include a "tilt effect" which allows the note's denomination to only be seen at an unusual angle.
FUN FACT: Hong Kong's currency includes colorful paper and polymer notes. The notes include eight security features, most of which are visible to the naked eye.
FUN FACT: South African banknotes feature the "big five" animals of the country, which include the lion and elephant.
FUN FACT: The lempira note from Honduras is named after a 16th century ruler that led the resistance against Spanish conquistadors.
FUN FACT: New Zealand has also adopted the use of polymer notes and recently redesigned all of its notes to reflect distinct cultural aspects of the country. The $10 note (pictured) includes an image of the endangered blue duck.
FUN FACT: Canada is the latest country to begin issuing polymer notes. Unfortunately, according to the Toronto Star, the bills shrink under extreme heat.
CANADA - APRIL 17: David Thomson, chairman of Thomson Reuters Corp., speaks during a news conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Thursday, April 17, 2007.
Net worth: $26.1 billion, up 30% (from last year)
W. Galen Weston, Executive Chairman of grocery giant George Weston Ltd., speaks during the company's annual general meeting in Toronto on Thursday, May 9, 2013.
Net worth: $10.4 billion, up 24%
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, left, chats with New Brunswick Premier David Alward and Arthur Irving, right, chairman of Irving Oil as he visits the Irving Oil refinery in Saint John, N.B. on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013.
Net worth: $7.85 billion, down 3%
Ted Rogers , founder of Rogers Communications Inc. signing some copies of his new autobiography before delivering an address to the Economic Club of Canada luncheon at the Sheraton Hotel in Toronto.
Net worth: $7.6 billion, up 18%
Vancouver businessman Jim Pattison typically plays his cards close to the vest as head of Jim Pattison Group , one of the country's largest privately owned conglomerates.
Net worth: $7.39 billion, up 20%
Saputo Inc. Chairman Lino Saputo addresses shareholders during the company's annual general meeting in Laval, Que., Tuesday, August 6, 2013.
Net worth: $5.24 billion, up 24%
GESCA Ltee Director Paul Desmarais appears before the Kent Commission inquiry into the news paper industry in Ottawa on April 7, 1981. Paul Desmarais Sr. died at the age of 86.
Net worth: $4.93 billion, up 12%
LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 20: Jeff Skoll arrives for the Los Angeles Premiere of Paramount Vantage "Waiting For Superman" held at the Paramount Theater on September 20, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.
Net worth: $4.92 billion, up 8%
James Richardson & Sons manages financial services through Richardson Financial Group, property management through Richardson Center Limited, and oil and gas exploration through Tundra Oil & Gas Partnership. Richardson Financial Group consists of two operating divisions, Richardson Partners Financial Limited, and Richardson Capital. In 2009, Richardson Partners Financial merged with GMP Private Client to form Richardson GMP, a wealth management and investment services firm.
Net worth: $4.45 billion, up 31%
Carlo Fidani stands with Prime Minister Stephen Harper (left) and Ontario's Lieutenant Governor David Onley as Diamond Jubilee Medals were awarded to seventeen Canadians for outstanding service to their country, in Toronto, on Saturday January 12, 2013.
Net worth: $4.08 billion, up 13%
Also On HuffPost:
THE WORLD'S RICHEST BILLIONAIRES
Net worth: $29 billion DOWN
- Falls from no. 4 in world to no. 10 due to more information about his ownership stake.
- Also a factor: Forbes now values his direct stake in Christian Dior, which in turn has a 41% stake in LVMH and trades at a near 20% discount to the underlying shares; previously we had
valued the shares in LVMH.
- LVMH shares rose more than 6%; U.S. sales grew at a faster rate than sales in Asia region in
the fourth quarter
- Arnault denied reports that his request for Belgian citizenship last year was related to the
country’s tax policies.
- It was announced in October that he will be knighted for his services in the U.K.
Net worth: $30 billion UP
- Heiress to L’Oreal cosmetics fortune jumps to 9th richest in 2013 from 15th richest last year, thanks to a more than 30% rise in the price of L’Oreal stock. Her net worth is $6 billion higher
than a year ago.
- Now the world’s richest woman. She last cracked the top 10 in 1999.
-Her father founded L’Oreal. Bettencourt and her family own more than 30% of the company.
-Bettencourt’s assets were placed under the guardianship of her daughter in 2011 after a three-year legal battle. Bettencourt, widowed and age 90, suffers from dementia. Her grandson, Jean-
Victor Meyers, took her spot on the L’Oreal board in February 2012.
Net worth: $31 million UP
Citizenship: Hong Kong
- Once again Asia’s richest person and the only one from the region among the world’s top 20 richest.
- His fortune jumped $5.5 billion to $31 billion, as shares of his biggest holdings, Cheung Kong, Hutchison Whampoa and Husky Energy, all rose more than 10%. He also received 2012
dividends of $860 million.
- Li's businesses employ 260,000 people around the world in 52 countries.
-Li-controlled companies bought British gas supplier Wales & West Utilities for $1 billion in October; his third utilities acquisition in the U.K. in 24 months. He now supplies gas to a quarter of all Brits.
- Investor in such tech outfits as Facebook, spotify, and social TV platform Stevie.
Net worth: $34 billion UP
- World’s richest siblings added $9 billion apiece to their fortunes over the past year.
- They own a combined 84% of Koch Industries, country’s second largest private company with $115 billion in estimated sales, up 15% in the past year.
- Also got boost from improving operations at Georgia Pacific, maker of Angel Soft and Quilted Northern toilet paper, Brawny paper towels, and Dixie cups. Sold more than $1 billion worth of
toilet paper in 2011.
- David, who runs the chemical technology side of Koch Industries, is the richest New Yorker.
- Things didn’t go so well on the political front as brothers failed in their quest to unseat Barack Obama from the White House ("Bitterly disappointing," he told Forbes in an interview after the
Net worth: $43 billion UP
-Software mogul is $7 billion richer than a year ago, thanks to more than 20% jump in the value
of Oracle stock.
- In June he bought 98% of Hawaiian island of Lanai from billionaire David Murdock for a reported $500 million.
-Just recently bought Island Air, a Hawaiian airline. Purchase price was not disclosed.
-Continues to buy property in Malibu.
-Gearing up for the America’s Cup yacht races in San Francisco later in 2013.
-Supports the Ellison Medical Foundation, which does research on aging and age-related diseases. Gave $45 million worth of Oracle shares to the foundation in April 2012.
Net worth: $53.5 billion UP
Source: Berkshire Hathaway
- Year’s second biggest gainer added $9.5 billion to his fortune as Berkshire Hathaway shares rose 26% year over year
-First time he’s not among top 3 richest since 2000.
- Investors applaud his dealmaking savvy, and this year was no exception as he made a couple of notable moves: in February, announced a deal with Brazilian billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann's
3G Capital to snap up iconic ketchup producer H.J. Heinz Co. for $23.2 billion; bought Oriental Trading in November 2012.
- World’s second most generous person, he gave $1.5 billion to the Gates Foundation in July 2012, bringing his lifetime giving to nearly $17.3 billion. On his birthday in August 2012 Buffett
pledged $3 billion of stock to his children's foundations.
Net worth: $57 billion UP
- Year’s biggest gainer: fortune up $19.5 billion
- Moves to number 3, up from number 5 richest last year. Now ahead of Warren Buffett.
- Driving the jump is a more than 50% rise in value of Inditex shares; Ortega, who stepped down as the firm’s chairman in 2011, still owns nearly 60% of the shares.
- He also has real estate portfolio, estimated to be worth more than $4 billion, that includes iconic Torre Picasso, a 43-story skyscraper in Madrid (Google is a tenant), plus properties in
Madrid, London, Chicago, San Francisco and New York.
Net worth: $67 billion UP
-World's biggest philanthropist has given away $28 billion, the vast majority of it to his foundation, which is working to eradicate such diseases as polio and malaria.
- Net worth is up by $6 billion vs. March 2012 due to gains in his investment portfolio. Holdings include tech hygiene firm Ecolab and Mexican Coke bottler FEMSA, both up more than 20% in
the past year.
-Microsoft stock --he owns about 5% of the company -- accounts for just 18% of his net worth.
-In February the first 12 non-Americans joined Bill Gates’ and Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge, in which the ultra-wealthy pledge to give away at least half their net worth to charity. New
pledgers include Richard Branson of the U.K. and India’s Azim Premji.
-Gates recently said the only thing left on his bucket list was, "Don't die."
Net Worth: $73 billion UP
- World's richest man for the fourth year in a row.
- Net worth up $4 billion versus 2012 but still $1 billion shy of his all-time record; boost came from surging stock prices at his financial arm, Grupo Financiero Inbursa, and at his Grupo Carso
industrial and retail giant.
- Pan-Latin American mobile telecom outfit America Movil remains his most valuable holding at $36.3 billion; the company spread its wings to Europe in the past year, buying pieces of Dutch
telecom company KPN and Telekom Austria
- Bought a majority of struggling Spanish soccer team Real Oviedo.
- Latin America’s most generous person, his foundation pledged to translate into Spanish 1,000 videos from the Khan Academy education nonprofit website. Slim also hosted Bill Gates in late
February; the two men announced they are funding research to improve farmers' yields and reduce hunger.