Since 1897 the colón is the official currency of Costa Rica. It is divided into 100 centimos and was named after Christopher Columbus, who in Spanish is called Cristóbal Colón.
The current value of 1 USD is 498 colones.
Since 2011 in process of the Reformation of the banknotes all bills are gradually replaced by new ones and supplemented by 20,000 and 50,000 notes.
6 new bills will replace the old ones; in July 2011 the new 1000 and 2000 notes were issued, in September 2012 the 5,000, 10,000 and 50,000 notes. The process of issueing new banknotes and destroying the old ones is planned to be finished by bringing out the 20,000 notes by year’s end.
The new notes each have a different color. The sizes differ as well, so that even blind people can easily identify the bills. In addition, new security features have been added.
Every front is covered by a famous figure of the democratic, political, economic, educational or cultural life. The back is adorned with an ecosystem represented by various animals.
These figures shall point out Costa Rica’s natural wealth, as well as his natural relationship to our environment and nature´s great biodiversity.
The 1.000 bill, for example, shows Braulio Carrilo Colina at the front who was a president in the first half of 19th century twice. On the back side the Guanacaste tree, the national tree of Costa Rica and name giver of the the province of Guanacaste, as well as a deer are depicted.
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