Fiji celebrates 50th anniversary with polymer note
- Published: Oct 18, 2020, 8 AM
Fiji’s 50th anniversary of independence is being honored by the nation’s Reserve Bank with the issue of a polymer $50 commemorative bank note.
The note, along with a 50-cent coin on the same subject, was introduced by Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama on Oct. 7 and was available the next day. It was created in collaboration with its printer, De La Rue.
The note’s theme is Fiji’s diversity, with an emphasis on not only its past history but a more prosperous and inclusive future. An important element of the new issue is a joint venture between the bank and De La Rue in support of the government’s climate change initiatives. They have agreed to offset carbon emissions from the production of the bank note by aiding in the construction of a seawall in one of the villages designated by the government.
The note is mostly blue, yellow and orange in color.
The face is dominated by a scene of the first raising of Fiji’s flag at Albert Park on Oct. 10, 1970. The government building clock is also shown as it chimed 10 o’clock, the moment when the new flag was first raised. Above the clock is the national emblem. The word FIJI appears in a distinctive font at the top left, while the 50 is present on the top right, and again at bottom left with the text YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE and 1970–2020 beneath it. The denomination is also in words at the bottom. The Fijian arms are in a clear window that can be seen both sides. Areas of the note glow when placed under ultraviolet light. “FAI” for “Fiftieth Anniversary of Independence” precedes the serial number. Some elements around the shield and clock also change color.
The back of the note shows six Fijian children from diverse ethnic backgrounds together, running and waving the flag. The national arms and clock also appear, but the clock shows its inner workings, not its face. Ultraviolet light will show elements of the children in fluorescent yellow. Two vertical lines of raised dots on the top right hand side of the note back (at left on the face) are an aid in tactile identification.
The note is equal to $23.50 U.S. dollars. Production was limited. They were available at face value, in a commemorative folder for $55, and as a sheet of 50 for $800 (prices in Fijian dollars).
The bank’s press release added, in reference to a 50-cent coin, “To ensure our children embrace the pride and joy of this historic milestone event, the Reserve Bank of Fiji in coordination with the Ministry of Education will provide to all school children in Fiji, a commemorative coin as a memento of Fiji’s golden jubilee.” It’s probably not a bad way to build a new generation of collectors, either.
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