• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Costa Rica to Roll Out ‘Big Money’

June 26, 2009

The Central Bank of Costa Rica (BCCR) is preparing to unroll a new series of bills in the coming year, including the first-ever denominations in 20,000 and 50,000 colones.

The last time the bank issued new bills was in 1998, and officials stressed the need to keep pace with anti-counterfeiting measures and to make the money accessible to people with visual impairments.

“We want to improve the security of our money,” said Marvin Alvarado, director of the treasury department. “At this moment, we are not taking advantage of the technology that exists today in the production of currency. Right now, counterfeiters can reproduce (our money) with ease.”

The other reason for the new money, Alvarado said, is to make the bills more distinguishable from one another through differing markings and sizes, in order to prevent confusion.

The new ¢20,000 and ¢50,000 bills – about $35 and $88, respectively – will be introduced as soon as late March 2010, with the other bills following suit.

With many pulperías (corner stores) and taxis denying ¢10,000 bills and asking for smaller change, some wonder how often the larger denominations would even be used.

“We don’t expect a high circulation with the 20 and 50 thousand (colon) bills,” Alvarado said. “But there are certain sectors of the economy where these sizes are very important. A ¢50,000 bill is less than $100.”

BCCR officials are considering using the plastic material Nicaragua introduced in May (NT, May 29) to replace some of Costa Rica’s paper bills.

The bills will feature six important figures in Costa Rica history, including the late former President José Figueres Ferrer, public education advocate Mauro Fernández and writer María Carvajal (Carmen Lyra). The other side will be decorated with nature scenes, including rain forests, coral reefs and wetlands.

The existing currency will be phased out as the new currency is introduced next year. But for those tourists who unintentionally are still carrying colones as they prepare to head home, Alvarado said not to worry. The old currency can be exchanged at the Central Bank “indefinitely.”

–Chrissie Long

 

You may be interested

IMF approves $1.8 billion loan for Costa Rica
Costa Rica
1351 views
Costa Rica
1351 views

IMF approves $1.8 billion loan for Costa Rica

The Tico Times - March 1, 2021

The IMF approved a 36-month credit agreement for $1.778 billion dollars with Costa Rica, the entity reported Monday, which immediately…

Immigration to headline talks between Biden, Lopez Obrador
Guatemala
1037 views
Guatemala
1037 views

Immigration to headline talks between Biden, Lopez Obrador

AFP - March 1, 2021

The flow of migrants and trade, legal and illegal, across the US-Mexican border will be the focus Monday when President…

Costa Rica has administered nearly 150,000 vaccine doses
Costa Rica
16385 views
Costa Rica
16385 views

Costa Rica has administered nearly 150,000 vaccine doses

Alejandro Zúñiga - March 1, 2021

Costa Rica has administered 149,812 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, the Presidency said Monday. The nearly 150,000 jabs mean…