The Congolese franc is the official currency of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The franc as a denomination was first introduced in 1887 as the Belgian colony of the Congo until 1967, when the zäire replaced it. After the First Congo War (1996 – 1997), the franc was reintroduced again, replacing the zäire. In 1998, notes were introduced in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 centimes, 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 francs, followed by the 200 francs note in 2000 500 francs note in 2002. In 2012, the “Banque Centrale du Congo” issued a new banknote series in denominations of 1,000, 5,000, 10,000 and 20,000 francs.
The 500 Congolese note front design features the artisanal diamond mining represented by three Congolese workers; two of them looking for diamonds on the river bank and one hitting the rock with a pike, all of them are on a giant diamond piece background. The “Banque Centrale du Congo” (Central Bank of Congo) symbol, three diamonds and the denomination completed the design. The reverse note side illustrates the Etroite Valley, a Congolese mining town whose economy is based on the extraction of diamonds on the Congo River banks and the denomination in English and Swahili (African language). This note is part of the 2002 – 2013 series, and its color is blue on multicolor underprint.
Text: Banque Centrale Du Congo,BCC, Le Gouverneur, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Giesecke & Devrient Munich, Explotation Arisanale de Diamant, Le Contrafacteur Est Puni De Servitude Penale, Mia Tano, Exploitation Diamantifere en Valle Etroite, 500F, Five Hundred, 500, Cinq Cent Francs, 04.01.20.