Kingston – Jamaica is introducing a new $2 000 banknote on which late former prime ministers Edward Seaga and Michael Manley, will appear together.
It is among a series of new or upgraded notes which will go into circulation later this year to honour seven national heroes and four former prime ministers.
Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke said the new notes are part of the work being done by the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) to upgrade or refresh the currency in circulation to save cost through increased durability of banknotes, enhance the security of banknotes to reduce the risk of counterfeiting, enhance the banknote features to better meet the needs of the visually impaired, and ensure that the colour and other distinctions among banknotes of different denominations are clear.
He said that the new or upgraded notes last 50 per cent longer than the current ones.
“The BOJ advised me that the introduction of a $2 000 note is necessary and would bring greater efficiency to the currency structure, allowing cash transactions to be settled easier. With the introduction of the $2 000 note alongside the $1 000 and $5 000 notes, persons will require fewer notes to settle transactions,” he told the House of Representatives.
The Finance Minister pointed out that by policy, Jamaica’s banknotes feature national heroes and deceased prime ministers or premiers. However, the existing banknotes, comprising $50, $100, $500, $1,000, and $5,000, feature only two out of seven national heroes and three of four deceased prime ministers.
“Our heroes no longer appear on our banknotes. In this 60th year of our Independence, this aspect of the national project must be restored. Our National Heroes must, once again, appear on our banknotes,” he said.
As such, National Heroes Paul Bogle and George William Gordon, who were on Jamaica’s original banknotes, will now appear together on the upgraded $50 note.
Marcus Garvey, who was on Jamaica’s 50 cent banknote, will now appear alone on the upgraded $100 banknote. Nanny of the Maroons and Sam Sharpe will appear together on the upgraded $500 note.
Sir Alexander Bustamante and Norman Manley, who were founding fathers of modern Jamaica, will appear together on the upgraded $1,000 banknote.
Former prime ministers Donald Sangster and Hugh Shearer will appear together on the upgraded $5 000 note.
Clarke said that the BOJ will be holding sensitization sessions so that the new security features can be understood and that the visually impaired community can become familiar with the features that differentiate the banknotes. (CMC)