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ECCB begins the process of rolling out banknotes made from polymer

ECCB begins the process of rolling out banknotes made from polymer
ROSBERT HUMPHREY, the Acting Director of the Currency Management Department at the ECCB

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NEW MONEY IS coming to town in May/June of this year as the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank(ECCB) begins the process of rolling out a new family of banknotes made from polymer.

During an informational session at the ECCB agency office last Friday, Rosbert Humphrey, the Acting Director of the Currency Management Department at the ECCB said the bank will co-circulate the polymer (a thin, transparent and flexible plastic film made from polypropylene) notes with the paper banknotes, and to begin with the 50 and 100 dollar bills in May/ June of this year.

“In August/September we will be issuing the 20s, and the 10s, and in 2020 around June, we will be issuing the 5s,” Humphrey said.

“The reason for the time difference is based on the existing stuff that we have in our vault we are not withdrawing paper and putting polymer into circulation. As soon as a denomination is depleted we will put polymer in circulation, and both of them will co-circulate,” he stated.

The motivation for the bank in issuing these notes has been for “durability, security and cleanliness” of the bills.

The plastic will be more resistant to moisture and dirt, and less likely to tear. However, the bank issues a caution that the notes should not be ironed or exposed to high temperatures for long periods of times.

The ECCB asks that persons do not crease or fold the banknotes, as they may be used to doing with the paper notes.

“These creases would become permanent in polymer, and deem the note unfit for circulation. If you happen to do that by mistake or error, you know, you just bend it the other way and it unfolds,” Humphrey disclosed. Stapling notes will also make them susceptible to tearing, and should be avoided.

And Humphrey said the polymer notes will have features designed to make them even more difficult to counterfeit.

These features include a holographic strip which is printed on the 20, 50 and 100 dollar bills and will turn grey or black if anyone tries to counterfeit them. Additionally, there are tactile features with raised bumps of a different shape on each note which serves a dual purpose as it will tell the blind or visually impaired persons which note they are holding, a magnetic gravure thread, and micro text etc.

Changes to the notes are that they will be oriented portrait from top to bottom, as opposed to landscape as they are now. The Acting Director informed that the images and landmarks will remain the same on the polymer notes, save for their being modernized or ‘improved.’ The image for St Vincent and the Grenadines, the Admiralty Bay, is placed on the $10, and it will appear “slightly different.”

“On the $50 bill we have the Brimstone Hill in St Kitts …. We removed the Pitons St Lucia (from the $50 bill) and put them on the 100s, and included an image of Sir K Dwight Venner, the former Governor, on the 50s.”

Humphrey said old bills will be disposed of in an eco-friendly manner by exporting them to recyclable plants where items such as plastic chairs, vases and pencils can be made

NEW MONEY IS coming to town in May/June of this year as the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank(ECCB) begins the process of rolling out a new family of banknotes made from polymer.

During an informational session at the ECCB agency office last Friday, Rosbert Humphrey, the Acting Director of the Currency Management Department at the ECCB said the bank will co-circulate the polymer (a thin, transparent and flexible plastic film made from polypropylene) notes with the paper banknotes, and to begin with the 50 and 100 dollar bills in May/ June of this year.

“In August/September we will be issuing the 20s, and the 10s, and in 2020 around June, we will be issuing the 5s,” Humphrey said.

“The reason for the time difference is based on the existing stuff that we have in our vault we are not withdrawing paper and putting polymer into circulation. As soon as a denomination is depleted we will put polymer in circulation, and both of them will co-circulate,” he stated.

The motivation for the bank in issuing these notes has been for “durability, security and cleanliness” of the bills.

The plastic will be more resistant to moisture and dirt, and less likely to tear. However, the bank issues a caution that the notes should not be ironed or exposed to high temperatures for long periods of times.

The ECCB asks that persons do not crease or fold the banknotes, as they may be used to doing with the paper notes.

“These creases would become permanent in polymer, and deem the note unfit for circulation. If you happen to do that by mistake or error, you know, you just bend it the other way and it unfolds,” Humphrey disclosed. Stapling notes will also make them susceptible to tearing, and should be avoided.

And Humphrey said the polymer notes will have features designed to make them even more difficult to counterfeit.

These features include a holographic strip which is printed on the 20, 50 and 100 dollar bills and will turn grey or black if anyone tries to counterfeit them. Additionally, there are tactile features with raised bumps of a different shape on each note which serves a dual purpose as it will tell the blind or visually impaired persons which note they are holding, a magnetic gravure thread, and micro text etc.

Changes to the notes are that they will be oriented portrait from top to bottom, as opposed to landscape as they are now. The Acting Director informed that the images and landmarks will remain the same on the polymer notes, save for their being modernized or ‘improved.’ The image for St Vincent and the Grenadines, the Admiralty Bay, is placed on the $10, and it will appear “slightly different.”

“On the $50 bill we have the Brimstone Hill in St Kitts …. We removed the Pitons St Lucia (from the $50 bill) and put them on the 100s, and included an image of Sir K Dwight Venner, the former Governor, on the 50s.”

Humphrey said old bills will be disposed of in an eco-friendly manner by exporting them to recyclable plants where items such as plastic chairs, vases and pencils can be made.

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