Kingston – Jamaica Friday unveiled its new series of polymer banknotes, the second time in the country’s history that an entirely new series of banknotes is being issued.
“The last time was at the dawn of our Independent nation in the 1960s. Technological advances have introduced new polymer substrates that allow for durability of banknotes, substantially lowering costs over the life of the note. Increased durability will mean longer average circulation life of our banknotes, which, in turn, will reduce reorder frequencies and quantities,” said Finance and Public Service Minister, Dr Nigel Clarke.
The new series which can be obtained from the Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) and commercial banks, comprises upgraded $50, $100, $500, $1 000 and $5 000 notes, and the newly introduced $2 000 bill.
The $50 note features National Heroes, Paul Bogle and George William Gordon, while Jamaica’s first National Hero, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, appears on the $100 bill.
National Heroes, Samuel Sharpe and Nanny of the Maroons, grace the $500 note, while Sir Alexander Bustamante, post-Independent Jamaica’s first prime minister, and Norman Manley, are featured on the $1 000 denomination.
Two former prime ministers Edward Seaga, and Michael Manley are highlighted on the $2 000 bill, while former government leaders Sir Donald Sangster and Hugh Shearer, appear on the $5 000 note.
In a series of posts on Twitter, Clarke said the government has “used the opportunity to restore our National Heroes to our banknotes, consistent with the original practice and intent.
“It is only the experience of chronic macroeconomic instability, inclusive of devaluation of 50 000 per cent over 40 years, that removed them,” he added.
He said Jamaica joins several other countries whose currencies have been upgraded to polymer substrate, noting that the St. Kitts-based Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, which is the monetary authority for Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, upgraded its notes between 2019 and 2021.
Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados also upgraded their banknotes over the last few years, while Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, United Kingdom and 25 other countries also use the new polymer substrate. (CMC)
Jamaica’s Minister of Finance and Public Service Minister, Dr Nigel Clarke. (GP)