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Costa Rica unveils new bicentennial coin

The Central Bank of Costa Rica on Tuesday unveiled a new coin that celebrates the country’s bicentennial.

The 500-colón piece (about $0.80) will enter circulation in November, and the Central Bank will mint about 5 million of the coins.

“It fulfills our dream that Costa Ricans have in their hands a piece of the history that we are building together,” said President Carlos Alvarado. “Five million coins will be issued to remind each person of our history, struggles, achievements and aspirations.

“Let us thus celebrate our bicentennial, materializing in a small coin that Costa Rica is made of biodiversity, great legacies and above all: freedom, peace and democracy.”

Among the unique designs on the coin, Costa Ricans will find:

  • The independence torch.
  • A map of Costa Rica, which for the first time in a coin includes Isla del Coco.
  • A bimetallic design, a first in Costa Rica.
  • A lenticular metal print that displays “500” or “BCCR,” depending on the angle at which it’s viewed.
  • The words “Liberty,” “Peace” and “Democracy.”

The 5-million-coin production means nearly every Costa Rican can have one. They are legal tender, though the Central Bank will also produce additional decorative versions.

The new coin is significantly smaller than the existing 500-colón currency and is designed for easy identification, even for those who have vision problems.

Costa Rica’s colorful currency

The Central Bank in 2010 began phasing out Costa Rica’s old bills and put into circulation the new banknotes, which you can view below:

1000 bill
2000 bill
5000 bill
10000 bill
20000 bill

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