A year ago, I wrote about the new designs for the Costa Rica currency. The new 20,000s were released some time ago, but everything else was put on hold when they realized the new designs were not secure enough. Well, today, Banco Central released the new 1,000s and 2,000s!

new costa rica 2000 bill design

New design for the front of the Costa Rican 2000 colones bill.

I’m excited to see the new brightly colored designs, but it’s going to be a little inconvenient because the old bills are being rotated out of circulation, soon.

We can use the old 1000 and 2000 colones bills until August 31, 2011. Between August 31 and October 31, the old bills can only be exchanged or deposited into any bank. After October 31, 2011, the old bills can only be exchanged for new bills in Banco Central.

This might not sound like a big inconvenience to someone living outside of Costa Rica, but if you live here you know that restrictions like this can be a huge hinderance in your daily routine.

I imagine there will be plenty of times when I receive the old money as change and there will be nothing I can do about it except routinely go to Banco Central to exchange money. And the lines at the banks will be longer because everyone else will be doing the same thing.

Might as well go ahead and add this to my weekly routine – 2 or 3 more hours a week at the bank, waiting to exchange money.

I wonder how long it will take for the old bills to work their way out of circulation?

New design for 50000 Colones, back

I’m most excited about the 50,000 colones bill because it is purple with a butterfly!