No report of fake 'Shearer' in circulation - BOJ

July 27, 2017

The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) told THE STAR that neither the police nor the commercial banks have reported counterfeit $5,000 notes in circulation, but it is aware of the images being circulated via social media.

Protocol and media liaison officer Melanie Lawes, in response to queries from THE STAR, said that all banknotes contain public security features, which enable members of the public to readily verify if they are real.

The public is advised to check the watermark, which is found in the clear section of each note. The watermark for each denomination is unique as it is a reproduction of the portrait, which is featured on the note.

The other security feature, the security thread, is embedded in the banknotes, and has a reflected characteristic that cannot be reproduced by photocopiers.

Additionally, the denomination appears as a text on the thread, which is visible when held up to the light.

Though several persons told our news team that they shy away from using the $5,000 note, according to the BOJ, the primary objective of the banknote has been met.


Steady increase


"This denomination was never intended to be used for low value, routine transactions. Instead, it is intended to facilitate higher value transactions that would require multiples of $1,000 banknotes," said the BOJ. "Initially, in September 2009 when the note was introduced, members of the public were reluctant to use it largely because of their fear of losing significant value whenever a single note is lost."

The bank said however, this fear has been dissipating as evidenced by the steady increase in circulation.

The $5,000, popularly known as 'the Shearer' for its image of former prime minister Hugh Shearer, now represents 21.88 per cent of the total value of banknotes- notes in circulation.

This has increased steadily from 17.42 per cent and 9.35 per cent at the end of June 2016 and June 2015, respectively.

Notably at the end of June 2010, the ratio was 6.9 per cent.

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