As of today, a total of 8 new banknotes will be seen in Costa Rican shops and stores. The 5.000 , 10.000 and 50.000 bills have been waiting to come out for 2 years , in order to complete the new family of bills started by the Central Bank in 2010.
In total, the Central Bank put 10 million of the 50 thousand colones bills, 64 million of the 10.000 bills, and 20 million of the 5.000 colones bills out in the streets.
Little by little, the banks will absorb the “old” 5.000 and 10.000 bills, leaving only the new family of 6 banknotes. This process will also begin today. The “old” bills will be in circulation until December 31st of the present year. As of January 1st 2013 , the “old” bills can only be used in bank deposits , or exchanged in banks. As of May 1st of next year, only the Central Bank will exchange them.
Some of the new faces we will be seeing on the banknotes are Alfredo Gonzalez Flores , whose face will be on the 5.000 bill, and Jose Figueres Ferrer , who will be seen on the 10.000 bill. Once again, Ricardo Jimenez Oreamuno will appear on a bill, only this time it will be the bill with the highest denomination, the 50.000 colones bill.
The 50.000 colon bill is the highest denomination in Costa Rican history, and in the beginning will not have much circulation. The Central Bank states this type of bill was requested by people who perform very large transactions , and often had to carry large amounts in big cases in order to make these transactions in cash.
Carlos Melegatti, director of financial services in the BCCR (Costa Rican Central Bank) , said that every year, 4 billion colones are spent in the process of updating and renewing coins and bills, despite the fact that “plastic money” – credit and debit cards – are very popular in the market. However, these are still far from substituting cash, the traditional payment form in Costa Rica.