Paper Money

Guatemala issues new 200-quetzal note, joining previous issue in circulation

A new 200-quetzal note was issued in Guatemala on Dec. 13.

Images courtesy of the Bank of Guatemala.

A new 200-quetzal note was issued in Guatemala on Dec. 13. It is similar to the bill of the same denomination that was issued 11 years ago when it superseded the 100-quetzal note as the country’s highest denomination.

At that time, the lower denomination represented about 85% of the bills in circulation. The Bank of Guatemala said at the time that when a bank note surpasses 60% it is a signal to create another denomination. The 200-quetzal note is worth approximately $26 U.S.

The new note retains the theme of the marimba, a form of xylophone but with softer tones, and features the faces of three important composers, Germán Alcántara, Mariano Valderde and Sebastián Hurtado. The instrument is illustrated on the back. It is especially popular in Central and South America.

The materials and the method of printing the notes have been modified. It is made of cotton fiber with a main color an aqua that the bank says is Pantone 549C, a color specification not usually provided in bank note descriptions.

In addition to typical modern measures such as optically variable ink, a security thread, perfect print registration, fluorescent inks, and micro-texts, it also has multidirectional lines, similar to those created in fabric by typical Guatemalan looms, located on face and back. New elements are a pentagram and a treble clef printed in a metallic gold color that changes to green, and a series of six raised lines at the top and bottom of the obverse.

The bank notes with the new design will circulate together with their predecessors. The new ones are being used to satisfy increased demand.

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