In celebration of the country’s Golden Jubilee, the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) introduced a special series of 50th anniversary commemorative banknotes this week.
The series will consist of the five denominations currently in circulation: the $5000, $1000, $500, $100 and $50 and will feature the national logo for the 50th anniversary of independence. The notes will also feature a photograph of a group of children from the class of 1962 Central Branch Primary school depicting the national motto – an image that appeared on Jamaican banknotes that circulated between 1969 and 1994.
The new series contains the same security features as the previous series, but, according to The Gleaner, will be printed on a more durable substrate to ensure the notes last longer.
“The new substrate is expected to last two to three times longer than the cotton materials, which has a relatively short useful life in the country’s tropical climate and other circulation conditions,” The Gleaner reported.
At an event celebrating the launch of the new series, Minister of Finance and Planning, Peter Phillips, highlighted that banknotes still play a vital role in the economic life of Jamaica.
These banknotes are not just decorated pieces of paper, but are important payment instruments that also symbolise our sovereignty, our nationhood, the natural diversity of our country and our people, and our journey as an independent country,” he said. ““This is particularly important in a country such as ours, where a high percentage of our population still use cash as the principal form of payment to transact business.”
Jamaica’s Minister of Youth and Culture, Lisa Hanna, echoed Phillps’ sentiments saying that the banknotes are more than just a new series, they are representative of the country’s hard-fought financial independence.
“It is a cause for celebration, because people are able to keep something as a part of this year. I’m sure many of you remember when we did not have an independent currency, so today we can stand tall and proud fifty years later to commemorate our own currency,” she said.