Thursday 24 September, 2020

Central Bank releases updated polymer designs

Pictured: The $100 polymer bill came into circulation in December 2019 as the old cotton-based note was demonetised on Decmber 31, 2019. Photo by Darlisa Ghouralal.

Pictured: The $100 polymer bill came into circulation in December 2019 as the old cotton-based note was demonetised on Decmber 31, 2019. Photo by Darlisa Ghouralal.

The new polymer bank notes set for release later this year have a fresh new look.

The Central Bank on Wednesday unveiled updated concept designs for the new polymer banknote series.

The elements of the refreshed design are consistent with the $100 polymer notes that replaced the old cotton-based notes which ceased to be legal tender on December 31, 2019.

The new bank notes in the $50, $20, $10, $5 and $1 quantities feature T&T Coat of Arms, the national flag above the bills’ denominations and a clear window which can be seen from the front and back of the note.

The new details released on Wednesday show the designs on the anterior of the bills. The designs released in February this year featured the obverse only.

Pictured: Concept designs for the new polymer banknote series via the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago.

While the bills retain some of the elements of the current cotton-based notes in circulation, there are notable changes.

Each of the bills maintain the Twin Towers in the design, however, the iconic towers have been moved from the centre of the note to the left side.

All bills will keep the local birds featured on the notes currently in circulation: the Red Capped Cardinal ($50), the Hummingbird ($20), the Cocrico ($10), the Blue crowned mot-mot ($5) and the Scarlet Ibis ($1).

The Pointe-a-Pierre refinery on the right side of the back of the $1 note has been replaced with an image of the Red House.

To the right side of the reverse of the $5 bill the existing image of people shopping for fresh market produce has been tweaked slightly.

Both the $20 and $50 denominations are similar in that they feature three elements as opposed to the two on the designs of the lower quantities. Both bills retain the images in the right corner but they have been moved over to the centre. The local birds now show up on the right side of the notes’ designs.

The old cotton-based bills will continue to be legal tender at least until the end of 2021. The new polymer notes will co-circulate with the existing notes during the demonetisation period.

The Central Bank previously indicated that some denominations of the new notes will be available from September 2020.

Polymer notes are more durable, cleaner options to cotton-based notes and offer increased levels of security as it is more difficult for counterfeiters to forge. These notes need to be replaced less frequently than the cotton-based ones, which redounds to overall cost savings. 

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