The Bank of Jamaica has begun issuing a new series of Jamaican banknotes, including six denominations, and a new denomination of $2,000.
The Bank has stated several objectives for the design, materials, and denominations of this new family of banknotes, which we will outline in this article.
A $2,000 note will be added to ease overreliance on the $1,000 note in cash transactions.
The $1,000 note is the most heavily used denomination in the current series, to the point of over reliance. The next highest denomination in the series is the $5,000 note, which consumers don’t seem as keen to use. This over reliance on one denomination creates inefficiencies in the system.
Jamaica has introduced a $2,000 banknote in its new series
To remedy this problem, the bank has added a new denomination of $2,000 in the new series, thereby improving efficiency in the currency structure. When consumers replace the $1,000 note with the $2,000 note, fewer banknotes overall will be needed to settle cash transactions.
Upgrading from paper to polymer
The new banknotes are printed on a polymer substrate (Safeguard®), which is more durable than the paper substrate of the previous banknotes. This change will extend the average circulation life of the banknotes by at least 50%. This will, in turn, result in cost savings for the bank, as it won’t need to reprint currency as often.
Another benefit of the polymer substrate is that it improves the durability of the tactile (raised) features that help the visually-impaired identify banknote denomination by touch. These special features tend to “wear off” on the previous paper banknotes.
Creating distinction between two “look alike” denominations
Members of the public have complained that Jamaica’s previous $500 and $5,000 banknotes are hard to tell apart, especially in low-light conditions. The redesigned notes have distinctive colours so that each denomination is easy to identify.
Whose face appears on the face of each banknote?
Each denomination in the new series features, on its face, two individuals, paired according to their contribution to Jamaica, and categorized as Freedom Fighters; Black Empowerment/Pan Africanist; Fathers of the Nation and Nation Builders.
The latest security features are well suited to the substrate
Upgraded, state-of-the-art security features have been implemented in the new polymer series to combat counterfeiting. Some important features are listed below.
Security features for all six banknotes:
- Embossed dots for the visually impaired
- A clear window that can be seen from both the font and the back of the note
- The letters ‘BOJ,’ appearing when the note is held to the light (bottom right of the front of the note)
- A multiple color reaction under UV light conditions.
Security features for the lower value denominations:
- High resolution portrait images within a large clear window
- Metallic (silver colored) ink that has a highly reflective mirror-like finish, in the area above the clear window.
Security feature for the higher value denominations:
- A holographic stripe with photo-realistic dual portraits. The colors of the images in the holographic foil change, depending on the viewing angle.
The new banknotes will gradually replace the current series of banknotes that are used to conduct daily transactions.
Bank of Jamaica
De La Rue
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