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May 6, 2014
Star News


Jamaican currency devalues as ...DOLLAR SOLD FOR BIG BUCKS
Diandra Grandison, Staff Reporter

In a time when the value of the Jamaican dollar is decreasing, persons from overseas are profiting from its sale by selling the currency online for far more than it is worth.

On the popular online auction and shopping website, eBay, the local currency, ranging from coins and notes, some no longer in use, is being sold. But what is somewhat surprising is the price tag placed on the currency.

A seller from Canada posted on eBay the sale of a $500 note, for US$29.95 or more than $3,200 with a charge of US $2.50 for shipping.

The seller, in a bid to sway prospective buyers, posted a fraudulent caption, stating that the note is 'rare' and 'uncirculated.'

"You are looking at a $500 Jamaican Dollar Radar Bank Note. The bill is uncirculated and in excellent condition. This note is rare for it's a commemorative edition and as a radar note plus it's uncirculated!" The seller stated.

A 'radar bank note' is when the serial number on the bill reads the same forwards or backwards.

country's Golden Jubilee

The "rare commemorative edition" the seller referred to, is the image on the reverse side of the note, which has a group of children from Central Branch Primary, which was taken in 1962, and is currently in circulation after it was issued to commemorate the country's Golden Jubilee.

Another eBay seller advertised for sale 100 pieces of Jamaican $50 notes at a cost of US$259.99 or more than $28,000, stating that the Singapore based distributor "does not ship to Jamaica".

A Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) representative said although there is awareness that people sell the currency, they were not aware of the currency's sale on eBay.

"Persons sell Jamaican currency all over, it is a brand," she continued, "but I am not aware of persons selling it for so much money online."

When asked if the BOJ charges regular rate for the currency even if they are out of circulation, she responded, "yes, we charge regular rate, even if, for instance, they want to purchase the paper $20, we charge them the regular $20."

She added, however, that the souvenir coins would come at a higher price.

"The souvenir coins, for instance, the 50th Anniversary of Independence coins, would be more expensive, because they are made from either gold or silver."

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