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Financial News

Jul 2012 Financial News

New-look banknotes to hit the streets tomorrow (Jamaica)

Jul 23, 2012

Effective tomorrow the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) will release banknotes with new features to mark the country's 50th year of Independence and to extend the life of the notes.

According to the BOJ, a special series of banknotes to commemorate Jamaica's 50 years of political independence will be released into general circulation tomorrow and will be available at all commercial banks.

The commemorative banknote series consists of the five denominations currently in circulation - $5,000, $1,000, $500, $100 and $50 - with modifications to their original design.

The face of the commemorative banknotes will remain unchanged, except that the national logo for the 50th anniversary of Independence will be superimposed on the watermark of each note.

On the reverse of the five commemorative banknotes, instead of the unique design for each denomination there will be a common vignette - the photograph of a group of children from Central Branch Primary School depicting the national motto, "Out of Many, One People".

This photograph previously appeared on the reverse of the two dollar ($2) banknote which was in circulation between 1969 and 1994.


The BOJ says the commemorative banknotes will retain all their security features in order to ensure their integrity.

The notes will bear the signature of the Governor of the Bank of Jamaica, Brian Wynter, and will be dated 06.08.2012.

These 2012 commemorative banknotes will circulate alongside the current version of the bank-notes and will therefore be acceptable for all transactions as legal tender

In the meantime, four of the five denominations of banknotes - $1,000, $500, $100, $50 - which will be released into general circulation tomorrow will be printed on more durable paper.

The BOJ says this change has become necessary as it seeks to extend the useful life of the banknotes.

The one hundred dollar ($100) banknote, the most widely used note, will be printed on a material known as hybrid, a combination of protective polyester film layered around a cotton-fibre core.

The cotton core will continue to be embedded with the usual security features such as the watermark and security thread, to ensure that the banknote remains secure against counterfeiting.

The combined weight and thickness of the finished material is the same as that of conventional bank-note paper.


The BOJ says while the hybrid gives the same touch and feel as notes printed on only cotton its polyester film improves soiling resistance and makes the banknotes more durable.

"The notes stay clean longer and remain firm even in extreme circulation conditions," said the BOJ.

To enhance the durability of the $1,000, $500 and $50 notes that will be printed on a varnished cotton substrate.

"That is, the traditional cotton treated with a varnish after the notes have been printed.

"Varnishing creates a moisture proof layer to protect the banknotes against surface soiling and reduces the extent to which they will absorb moisture, contaminant particles and micro-organisms," said the BOJ.

The bank said it will continue to print the $5,000 denomination on regular cotton substrate as its main security thread is only compatible with the cotton-based material.

A special series of banknotes to commemorate Jamaica's 50 years of political independence will be released into general circulation tomorrow.

Jamaica Gleaner
Sunday July 23, 2012