GRAND CAYMAN (30 March 2011) The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) will introduce a new series of banknotes, the D series, beginning the week of 4 April. The new series represents the first complete redesign of Cayman Islands banknotes since local currency was introduced in 1972, and incorporates innovative features to significantly increase protection against counterfeiting and to make the notes more durable.
All six denominations – the $1, $5, $10, $25, $50, and $100 banknotes – have been redesigned, carrying new images, patterns and, in the case of one denomination, a new colour. At the same time, many of the familiar elements of the previous notes have been kept for continuity.
Visually, the D series places heavy emphasis on the Cayman Islands’ environmental heritage, with most of the notes featuring indigenous fauna and flora from the three Islands. The jurisdiction’s expansion from its sea-faring tradition into a modern financial services centre is also depicted. Each note bears an updated portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, along with the Cayman Islands crest, and all the notes now carry an outline of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. (Formerly, only the $25 had an image of the Islands.)
In keeping with the change brought about by the 2009 Constitution, the signature of the Minister of Finance now appears on each note, rather than that of the Financial Secretary as was the case with the C series of banknotes previous. The signature of CIMA’s Managing Director also appears on each note. The predominant colours of the C series have been kept, except for the $50, which is now predominantly purple.
The new family of notes has been in development since 2007. CIMA’s Chairman, Mr. George McCarthy, OBE, JP, said: “The Board felt that it was timely to carry out a complete update of the banknotes, first, to modernise a design that had not changed substantially since the initial 1972 design, and, second, to take advantage of the latest security features available. Both the previous and current Cabinet agreed to this initiative. The length of the process, from conception to issuing, reflects how extensive the redesign has been and the many components of such a project.”
Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon. McKeeva Bush, OBE, JP, has welcomed the new issue: “I am pleased with the design of these new banknotes, which are a stunning reminder of our Islands’ natural treasures. I am happy too that the new series is being issued under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance. This serves as a marker of our recently updated constitution while the Queen’s portrait acknowledges our continued British Overseas Territory status.”
As with all CI currency, CIMA will issue the new D series through the local retail banks. The issuing will be done on a phased basis. Managing Director, Mrs. Cindy Scotland, explained: “The public can expect to see the $5 and $25 notes first. The other denominations will follow as the notes that are now in circulation are gradually withdrawn from circulation. All previously-issued banknotes continue to be legal tender.”
Mrs. Scotland also noted the importance of the new security features: “Much thought and work went into enhancing the security elements and increasing the number of different features on each denomination. While counterfeiters will always try, the new notes will be significantly harder to forge, especially if people know what to look for and are vigilant. I urge everyone to take time to get really familiar with the notes so they can better identify attempted counterfeits.”
During this week (28 March to 1 April) , CIMA is partnering with the Chamber of Commerce on Grand Cayman and District Administration on Cayman Brac to host training sessions on the new series for banks, retailers and law enforcement. A representative of the banknote printers, De La Rue, will lead these presentations. Throughout the coming weeks, CIMA will also disseminate informational material through the news media and in public places. This includes posters showing the denominations and flyers highlighting the notes’ visible security features. The posters will be on display in post offices and other high-traffic locations. Additionally, the material will be accessible on CIMA’s website.