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Costa Rica’s new coin to enter circulation

A new coin that celebrates Costa Rica’s bicentennial will enter circulation this week, reports.

The Central Bank (BCCR) has minted about 5 million of the coins, each valued at 500 colónes (about $0.80). They have been distributed to commercial banks, where they can then enter circulation.

“It fulfills our dream that Costa Ricans have in their hands a piece of the history that we are building together,” President Carlos Alvarado said of the new coin. “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, including 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

Individuals in possession of cotton-based banknotes should note that they will soon lose their value as legal tender:

  • January 1, 2022: ₡20,000 and ₡50,000 banknotes
  • March 1, 2022: ₡5,000 banknote
  • May 1, 2022: ₡2,000 banknote

They will be replaced by banknotes of the same denominations, printed on a plastic-like polymer. The cotton bills should be exchanged or deposited at a bank, the BCCR says.

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