FIJI’S NEW FLORA AND FAUNA DESIGN BANKNOTES AND COINS
The Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) is proud to announce that Fiji’s new flora and fauna design banknotes and coins were officially unveiled by the President of Fiji, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau at the Novotel Convention Centre, Lami. The President also unveiled a new Fiji Dollar (FJD)2 coin to replace the FJD2 note and Fiji’s first polymer or plastic banknote. The latter is a FJD5 denomination note in a new vibrant green colour. The introduction of the new banknotes and coins marks a milestone for the RBF and for the evolution of Fiji’s currency. This is one of the biggest currency design changes that the RBF has undertaken in recent times.
RBF Governor said Fiji’s new currency now features its endemic flora and fauna and that these replace the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The Governor said portraits of the British Royal Family were iconic features on Fiji’s banknotes and coins since 1934 and it will forever be grateful to the Royal Family for this generous gesture over the past 78 years. The Governor said that Fiji needs to look ahead and embrace change, especially when it is a change that embraces its very own heritage and unique biodiversity. The new design banknotes and coins will feature some species that are not found anywhere else in the world. A number of them are critically endangered and some are sadly believed to be extinct, since they have not been sighted for some time.
For the first time, the RBF will be issuing a new FJD2 coin and a polymer banknote in the FJD5 denomination. The Governor said it is only prudent to undertake these structural developments over time to achieve cost efficiencies where possible given the rising cost of metals and raw materials required to produce currency. He emphasized that a FJD2 coin is estimated to last at least 15 years in circulation compared to the current FJD2 banknote which has an average life of less than one year. It is estimated that by coining the FJD2 note the RBF and Fiji will save approximately FJD0.2 million annually.
De La Rue Currency (DLR), United Kingdom, the world’s largest integrated commercial banknote printer was awarded the banknotes tender and one of the world’s leading coin mints, the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM), was awarded the coins tender. The quantities ordered in the initial tenders are expected to ensure sufficient supply of banknotes and coins for approximately 8 years. The Governor also extended the Reserve Bank’s sincere appreciation to DLR and RCM for their guidance and technical support during the banknote and coin design and production process. He said that the new banknotes and coins will be issued into circulation from 2 January 2013.