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Central Bank issues new improved ₡5,000 banknotes

Shopping season and aguinaldos—Christmas bonuses— are coming, and the Central Bank of Costa Rica (BCCR) announced the issuing of new ₡5,000 banknotes that will be circulating in coming days with improved security measures.

Bank officials said in a news release that all changes seek to increase security measures and facilitate verification of the bill’s authenticity.

The BCCR made four changes on the front side of the bill, but the banknotes in general will look almost the same as current ones.

The most noticeable is a change to the security thread embedded in the banknote paper that will be similar to the one currently used in the ₡10,000, ₡20,000 and ₡50,000 bills. The new thread will be a thicker red one with a 3D effect visible when turning the bill.

The new bills will also display the signatures of the new president and general manager of the Central Bank.

The serial number will be updated from Series A to Series B, and the bills will display the date when the bank approved the new modifications in 2012.

The BCCR began the distribution of print information describing the changes to banks, financial firms, businesses and to the general public.

The print information also includes a series of tips asking people to “touch, watch and turn” the bills, meaning that all previous and new security measures can help them identify counterfeit banknotes. Verification measures include touching the texture on the “5 Mil Colones text” and the “5000” printed on the bill.

Another is to hold the bill against the light and look for the watermarked image of President Alfredo González on the right; the image should look exactly the same as the one printed on the left side of the bill.

For the new bills, the bank advices people to turn them to observe a “movement effect” in the symbols printed in the red security thread and the color change on the Costa Rica’s map on the top right. See the effects in the following video:

The BCCR noted that all current bills from the A series will continue circulating and will have the same value as the ones from the new B series.

Central Bank data indicate that on average, the bank receives up to 700 claims every month related to counterfeit money.

The bank collected more than 17,000 counterfeit banknotes last year, totalling about ₡169 million (some $301,000).

Contact L. Arias at larias@ticotimes.net

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