Polymer replaces traditional paper in Botswana’s new 10-pula note

Botswana responds to problems with bank notes by preparing an upgraded, more durable version
By , Special to Coin World
Published : 01/28/18
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A problem Botswana did not expect when it introduced a new 10-pula bank note in 2009 was complaints from the public about its poor quality. That standard bank note paper would have issues in a climate where the temperature rises to 77 degrees in the coldest month is not a surprise.

The Central Bank announced last November that it would fix the problem, and it plans to issue on Feb. 1 an upgraded, more durable version made on De La Rue’s Safeguard polymer substrate.

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The design is similar to the original paper version, with a bust of current President Seretse Khama Ian Khama.


Longtime authenticator explains how counterfeiters up their game in their efforts to rip off the marketplace. Also inside this issue, we provide a solution to examining those tiny dimes in your collection.


As a result of the switch to polymer substrate, new security features could be added. They include a see-through window with MASK, a geometric pattern that is visible in normal view, but which reveals a hidden image when held up to the light; and a variant of Gemini in which one visible color changes to two colors under ultraviolet light. It also includes De La Rue’s Tactile Emboss feature for those with visual impairments. 

The 10-pula note is Botswana’s lowest paper denomination. It has the highest circulation rate and stays longer in circulation compared to higher denominations. It is worth the equivalent of $1.03.

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