Nestled in the Caribbean Sea, Jamaica is an island country that lies approximately 191 kilometers west of Hispaniola and 145 kilometers south of Cuba. The country is one of the most populated countries in the Americas, with a population of roughly 2.9 million. Its tropical climate supports diverse ecosystems and makes the country home to a plethora of flora and fauna species.
Jamaica’s major economic sectors include mining, tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, petroleum refining, financial, and insurance services. The country has been using the Jamaican dollar for its internal commercial transactions. All of its banknotes except for the 5-pound note issued in 1960, bear the country’s coat of arms designed by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, William Sandcroft. The emblem depicts a Taino Indian man and woman standing on each side of a shield that carries a red cross and five superimposed golden pineapples, and a crocodile over the royal helmet and mantling on its crest. As a British colony from 1707 to 1962, the national emblem was considered a British legacy granted to Jamaica in 1661.
Although Queen Elizabeth II took over the throne in 1952, the first banknote to feature her portrait was only issued on March 17, 1960.
Following the establishment of the Bank of Jamaica in 1961, notes with the same color schemes as the preceding issues and a portrait of the reigning British monarch were released. The reverse design of these notes highlights the social, economic, and cultural heritage aspects of Jamaica. In 2002, the Bank of Jamaica issued a set of notes bearing a watermark that reflects a hummingbird and a star motif instead of pineapple. Additionally, they carry a 2-mm wide windowed security thread with the denomination. On the 2005 - 2009 issues, the hummingbird was replaced by the person depicted on the note and electrotype denomination. Finally, in 2013, the bank introduced another set of notes that have similar designs as the preceding regular notes but are on a Hybrid substrate. Additionally, the serial number on the right is presented in a wave pattern and the last three digits are on a dark background using Giesecke & Devrient’s LOOK or Laser Originated Optical Key security feature.