New banknotes expected in Jamaica by early December  

The new Jamaican banknotes are expected to arrive in the country by the week of December 5, Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke, has announced.

However, Jamaicans will have to wait until approximately mid-2023 to begin spending the new banknotes.

Clarke provided an update while responding to a query on Tuesday from a Twitter user in relation to the availability of the newly designed banknotes.

The new series comprises six denominations, including a new $2,000 note. They will be printed on polymersubstrate, a more durable substrate than the current banknotes.

While revealing that the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) has advised that the newly designed notes are expected to arrive by the first full week of December, Clarke said individuals will have to wait until ATMs are retrofitted and ready.

“The @CentralBankJA advises that the new banknotes will be in Jamaica by the week of Dec 5.  ATM’s are now being retrofitted and the public sensitized before the new banknotes are publicly issued. That process is expected to last between 3 to 6 months,” Clarke tweeted.

“The BOJ will begin issuing new banknotes as soon as ATMs are ready,” he added.

During his budget presentation in March, the minister announced that national heroes whose images were removed from banknotes will have their images restored in the major overhaul of the country’s banknotes, which will introduce new and multiple security features.

Clarke said the notes would last 50 per cent longer than the current banknotes, and, they would feature the pictures of two individuals, instead of the usual one, with a $2,000 bill featuring former prime ministers, Edward Seaga and Michael Manley.

Both men were both contemporaries and political rivals, and the use of their photographs on the newly created banknote is aimed at a symbol of unity.

The $1,000 bill will bear the photographs of Sir Alexander Bustamante and Norman Manley.

Additionally, former prime ministers Hugh Shearer and Donald Sangster will appear together on the upgraded $5,000 note, while national heroes Sam Sharpe and Nanny of the Maroons will appear together on the upgraded $500 bill.

National heroes Paul Bogle and George William Gordon will appear together on the upgraded $50 note.

However, National Hero Marcus Garvey will appear alone on the upgraded $100 banknote.

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