Paper Money

Cabo Verde revises its 200-escudo note in favor of cotton

The Bank of Cabo Verde put a new version of its 200-escudo note ($2.22) into circulation on Jan. 7.

Images courtesy of the Bank of Cabo Verde.

The Bank of Cabo Verde put a new version of its 200-escudo note ($2.22) into circulation on Jan. 7. The bank said, “Given the centenary of the birth of Cape Verdean doctor and writer Henrique Teixeira de Sousa (1919–2019) and the need to strengthen the 200-escudo denomination, the new polymer banknote has been reformulated.”

The comment about reformulation means that the new note, made of cotton fiber, is replacing the existing polymer version, the only Cabo Verde bank note made of the plastic material. The other denominations are the 1,000- and 2,000-escudo notes issued in 2014, and the 500- and 5,000-escudo notes from 2015. The two versions will circulate simultaneously.

In a switch from the usual paeans to polymer, the BCV said that the current polymer banknote “has been widely criticized and sometimes rejected in the country for its difficulty in handling.” The statement also paradoxically attributed to the cotton variant what has long be claimed for polymer, that “its renewed appearance incorporates technological advances that provide greater safety and durability, with reduced costs and impact on the environment, and facilitate the recognition of integrity and handling by the public.”

The two versions are similar in appearance. On the face is a facing portrait of Henrique Teixeira de Sousa, who was not only an important public health doctor, but also a novelist, poet, and essayist who is long considered one of the paragons of the national literature. Next to him is a map of the island of Fogo, where de Sousa made lasting contributions to public health. On the map of the island is a bunch of grapes from the region of Chã das Caldeiras, a small town of about 700 inhabitants in the crater of the island’s Pico do Fogo volcano. A view of the volcano dominates the back. A watermark from de Sousa’s portrait takes up about a third of the surface. The background is made up of microtext.

The note measures 124 by 62 millimeters. The dominant color is red on both the face and back, with green, yellow and pink inflections.

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