Paper Money

Costa Rica to release new polymer bank notes soon

Although the three new bank notes announced by the Central Bank of Costa Rica on July 24 look similar in design, size, shape and color to the ones they are replacing, their feel is not similar.

The 2,000-, 5,000-, and 20,000-colón notes (U.S. equivalents of $3.50, $8.70 and $34.80) are made of polymer, a change from cotton paper that was decided upon in December 2017, but took until now to implement. The move was made for security, durability, and environmental considerations.

Costa Rica’s 1,000-colón note has been printed on polymer since 2011. A new 10,000-colón note will be issued at a later date.

A bank news release says the notes will be released in the next few months once financial entities complete the recalibration of various equipment to be able to recognize the new notes.

The polymer notes will coexist for an unspecified time with the current paper ones until a date to be determined in the future.

The blue 2,000-colón note has politician and lawyer Mauro Fernández Acuña on its face and a coral reef, bull shark, red cushion sea star, and slimy sea plume on the back. The yellow 5,000-colón note portrays former president Alfredo González Flores and a mangrove swamp, white-headed capuchin monkey, and a mangrove crab. The orange 20,000-colón note shows the writer Maria Isabel Carvajal (Carmen Lyra), and mountains, a volcano hummingbird, a sunflower, and coffee plants.

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