Paper Money

Caribbean banks to issue new joint currency series

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank shunned the staid central bank style press release early in September, and used its own YouTube program, ECCB Connects instead, to announce that a radical change in its paper money is coming in mid-2019. 

The bank issues notes for the six countries in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union: Antigua and Barbuda; Dominica; Grenada; St. Kitts and Nevis; St. Lucia; and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. 

The $50 and $100 notes will be the first to enter circulation. 

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Trevor Brathwaite, the bank’s deputy governor, took to the camera to announce an entirely new series that will be made out of polymer instead of cotton. He cited the plastic’s durability, longer circulating life, and therefore, cost-effectiveness. He said that this will be the first currency in that part of the world to feature all its notes with the substrate. Another change is that each of the five notes ($5, $10, $20, $50 and $100) will follow the growing trend and will be printed with a vertical rather than the traditional horizontal orientation.

A holographic window will be used on every note in which various features can be seen when held up to light. The $20, $50 and $100 notes will have a full length holographic panel. If anyone attempts to make copies of the note, the panels will turn black on the duplicates. The panels on the $5 and $10 will be smaller and will each contain a triangle and a colored plant. 

The face of each note will continue to use the same portrait of a young Queen Elizabeth II as on current issues. The backs will not change except for the $50. That will now show the bust of former ECCB governor Sir K. Dwight Venner in honor of his more than 25 years of service to the bank. The back of the $100 issue has a bust of Sir William Arthur Lewis of St. Lucia, who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1979. 

All notes will be printed by De La Rue. The exchange rate of the ECCB dollar to the U.S. dollar is fixed at $2.70 to $1. 

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