Posts tagged: bills

New Costa Rican bills — use old money by December

Costa Rica’s colorful and variously-sized paper money has always put the US greenback to shame. And at the end of August 2012, the county’s Central Bank will introduce three lovely new bills, for 5.000, 10.000 y 50.000 colones. At today’s exchange rate, those bills are equal to about US$10, $20, and $50.

Costa Rica’s currency is named after Christopher Columbus, known in Spanish as Cristóbal Colón, and is represented by a ₡ (a cent sign with two slashes).

Both new and old bills will be accepted by banks and businesses until the end of December, at which time the old bills will only be redeemable at the Central Bank headquarters in downtown San José.

The bills provide a mini-lesson in Costa Rican history and biodiversity.

Also see Costa Rican Money 101.

The yellow ₡5,000 note (worth about US$10) has Alfredo González Flores (appointed president in 1914 and ousted by a coup d’état in 1917) on the front and a white-faced monkey on the back.







The green ₡10,000 bill (worth about US$20) has the army-abolishing three-time President José Figueres Ferrer on the front and the do-nothing three-toed sloth on the back.







The purple ₡50,000 bill (worth about US$100) sports another three-time president, Ricardo Jiménez Oreamuno (who founded the Ministry of Health) on one side, with a Blue Morpho butterfly on the other.













These three bills complete the new “family” of bills that includes the new ¢1.000, ¢2.000, and ¢20.000, already in circulation. This new family has all the various visual elements in the same place on each bill, though each bill is a different color and a different size, which helps those with vision problems better identify which bill is which.

Central Bank Manager Félix Delgado told the newspaper La Nacion that the ¢1.000 bills suffer the most damage, since they are the most common. New ¢1.000 bills are of a polypropylene, three times as durable as the old cotton fiber paper, which absorbed dirt and humidity. Delgado added that some bills are intentionally damaged by the user: cut, burned with cigarettes, ironed, or dried in a microwave.