Paper Money

Noble laureate honored on Colombia’s newest note

The Bank of the Republic of Colombia introduced a new 50,000-peso note on Aug. 18, according to a press release issued by the bank. 

Various shades of violet and light and dark blue dominate the note, which features the image of Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist Gabriel García Márquez, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982. Márquez is widely thought to be one of the most influential writers in the Spanish language. 

In addition to his bust on the face, a second vignette shows him standing amid a flock of hovering butterflies. The back shows two standing natives; “Ciudad Perdida” (Lost City) in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, an archaeological site that is considered the heart of the Tayrona culture; a nautilus shell; and the seal of the bank.

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Among the security features on the 148- by 66-millimeter note are a solid security thread and yellow-to-green windowed security thread, a watermark of García Márquez, devices with movement and color-changing aspects, other effects visible only under fluorescent or ultraviolet light, and tactile elements.

This is the third release in Colombia’s new series and will circulate simultaneously with the previous series. The note’s face value is worth about $17.30 in U.S. currency.

An interactive website showing the security and artistic features of the new issue is here

About Gabriel García Márquez

The Colombian House of Representatives approved legislation on Dec. 17, 2014, directing the central bank to print notes featuring Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s portrait. The legislation did not stipulate which denomination nor when the notes would be issued for circulation.

The author, who died at the age of 87 on April 17, 2014, was known for his “magical realism” style of writing. He wrote One Hundred Years of Solitude and other novels.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982 for his novels and short stories.

He is considered to be Colombia’s most famous writer but he lived much of his life in Mexico, where he died.

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