Banknote Production

Cayman Islands Introduces New Banknote Series

For the first time since introducing a local currency nearly 40 years ago, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) is introducing a complete redesign of the region’s banknotes.

All six denominations – the $1, $5, $10, $25, $50, and $100 banknotes – have been redesigned. Each bill now carries new images, new patterns and, in the case of one denomination – the $50 note – a new colour: purple.
The new series has been in development since 2007, and comprises some necessary changes according to CIMA’s Chairman, George McCarthy.

“The Board felt that is was timely to carry out a complete update of the banknotes, first, to modernize a design that had not changed substantially since the initial 1972 design, and, second, to take advantage of the latest security features available,” McCarthy said this week.

Though the new banknote series will feature some familiar security features such as serial numbers, the Caymen Islands crest, the outline of all three islands grouped together, and the signatures of the Minister of Finance and the Managing Director of the Monetary Authority, the new notes also come equipped with some new security features such as:

- a metallic window security thread imprinted with the acronym CIMA weaving in and out from top to bottom on the front of the $1, $5, and $10 banknote.
- a holographic stripe imprinted with images that move when titled including the Cayman Islands crest and the number 25, 50, or 100 depending on the denomination.
- a watermark depicting a turtle, visible when the banknote is held to the light
- the CIMA Electrotype – a process used in duplication to ensure a higher quality product
- an embedded thread that appears on the upper three denominations as a solid line when the note is held up to the light
- see through images that appear only partially filled in, but becomes completely filled in when the note is held up to the light
- an iridescent band that runs from top to bottom the front of the lower three denominations
- an a latent image – a dark horizontal band that appears interlaced with the note’s denomination when held to the light.

In addition to all these high-tech security devices, one of the most prominent security features on the new series is an ultraviolet image known as a “Gemini.” In natural light, the Gemini is seen as an outline of an object on the back of each note near the top left-hand corner. However, when the note is placed under ultraviolet light, the image appears in a different colour. Each denomination has a unique Gemini image.

The upgrades to the security features were one of the main reasons for the redesign, CIMA said.

“Much thought and work went into enhancing the security elements and increasing the number of different features on each denomination,” said Cindy Scotland, CIMA’s Managing Director. “While counterfeiters will always try, the new notes will be significantly harder to forge, especially if people know what to look for and are vigilant. I urge everyone to take time to get really familiar with the notes so they can better identify attempted counterfeits.”

The first notes in the series to be introduced into circulation will be the $5 and the $25 notes. The public can expect to see some of these new banknotes as early as April 4, 2011. The rest of the denominations will follow, though no specific timeline has been given.

To learn more about all the changes made to the Cayman Islands currency, read this detailed brochure.

Cayman 27: “Fifty Dollar Bill Turns Purple.”


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