Paper Money

Reserve Bank of Fiji issues 88-cent noncirculating note for Asian collectors

The Reserve Bank of Fiji released an 88-cent bank note for collectors on Aug. 8, that while, technically, is legal tender in Fiji, is sold at prices well above face value and is designed to cater to the numismatic market in China.

Original images courtesy of the Reserve Bank of Fiji.

The Reserve Bank of Fiji released a noncirculating 88-cent bank note for collectors on Aug. 8, that while legal tender in Fiji, is targeted at the numismatic market in China.

The bank issued 3.6 million pieces, while Fiji, based on an interpolation of the latest United Nations census data, had a population of 910,249 as of Aug. 12.

The note is the result of a collaboration between the Reserve Bank of Fiji, printer De La Rue, Banknote World Ltd., and China Coin Industrial Co. Ltd. The note is available for purchase from the Reserve Bank of Fiji for $28 (U.S. $12.72), and most of the marketing appears to be done through the China Coin website,, which offers a range of single notes and two-, three-, eight- and 16-note sheets ranging in price from 88 to 1,988 yuan ($13 to $295).

The note’s face features a hibiscus flower, the Fijian coat of arms, the denomination, and the signature of the governor of the bank. It also has fluorescent features, intaglio printing and optically variable ink embossed on the hibiscus flower. There is also a multicolored watermark of the hibiscus flower and the denomination at the left side.

The back displays elements from Chinese culture — the God of Wealth holding a jade ruyi or scepter and a banner with the Chinese blessing “may prosperity be yours,” a money tree and various lucky coins — and the Bank of Fiji logo. The tree is visible in one color under daylight but transforms into two colors under UV light. There are bold multi-colored fluorescent features and a thread that has both movement effects and holographic colors. An iridescent band of various shiny gold coins and diamonds runs top to bottom. The serial numbers have various prefixes and numbering sequences.

In Chinese culture the God of Wealth blesses people with good luck, happiness and prosperity. In Chinese, the number 8 is pronounced as “fa,” the same as the word meaning “fortune,” and inspired the 88-cent note value and the release date of the eighth day of the eighth month of the year. According to legend, the money tree grows leaves and fruits in the form of gold coins that will immediately grow again if they are shaken off the tree.

A press release after the issue date from the Reserve Bank of Fiji was necessary to counter rumors and clarify that none of the bank notes would enter circulation. It said that the $0.88 numismatic bank note is among the hundreds of noncirculating numismatic currency pieces that the bank has produced for collectors since 1974. It compared the practice to stamp collecting. It also confirmed that “the numismatic banknote with a face value $0.88 has been created for sale targeted at the Chinese and wider Asian market.”

It added that past Fijian numismatics bank notes and coins, which have covered themes such as Christmas, landmarks, musicians and other celebrities, and fauna like birds of Fiji, have been an important income stream for the bank. In the past three years alone, over $8 million in income has been generated for the bank through the sale of numismatic bank notes and coins.

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