Paper Money

Bahamas issues new $5 bank note as part of currency evolution

The Central Bank of the Bahamas released its new $5 bank note Sept. 23. It is the seventh note in the CRISP Evolution family of bank notes.

Images courtesy of the Central Bank of the Bahamas.

The Central Bank of the Bahamas released its new $5 note Sept. 23. It is the seventh note in the CRISP Evolution family of bank notes.

This one, like the $1 note released in 2017, is printed on the Hybrid substrate made by Giesecke + Devrient’s, allowing it to last longer and stay cleaner in circulation than the previous notes printed on cotton. Hybrid is a material meant for low denomination, high use notes, especially in places with challenging climates. It is made of a cotton substrate covered with polyester foils on both sides. This, says Giesecke + Devrient’s, makes Hybrid paper durable, robust and highly resistant to soiling while maintaining the feel of cotton paper and offering strong protection against counterfeiting.

The new bank note is mostly yellow in color, with shades of red, lilac, green, and blue, with the same dimensions as the existing bank notes. On the face is a portrait of the late Sir Cecil Wallace-Whitfield and an image of a hibiscus in the center. The back has a vignette of Bahamian artist Delton Barrett’s likeness of a Junkanoo cowbeller in full costume.

Wallace-Whitfield was leader of the opposition Free National Movement, a group he formed in 1970 after he became disillusioned with the ruling Progressive Liberals. He is one of the generation of Bahamian founding fathers who led the fight for majority rule and equality.

The Junkanoo is an African-inspired Mardi Gras-type street parade with music and dancing performed to the accompaniment of goatskin drums and cowbells. The elaborate costumes are made of cardboard, aluminum rods, crepe paper, chicken wire, sequins and glue. They can portray anything from dragons and bats to the queen. Some of them can reach 18 feet high and weigh anywhere from 200 to 400 pounds.

The Crisp Evolution family now consists of 50-cent, $1, $3, $5, $10, $20, and $50 denominations. All are 156 by 67 millimeters in size. The current $100 note is part of the predecessor CRISP family.

CRISP stands for Counterfeit Resistant Integrated Security Product. The Central Bank of the Bahamas began issuing the first CRISP bank note series in August 2005. CRISP Evolution is a second generation derivative.

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