THE Reserve Bank of Fiji did not issue the new polymer $5 notes on Wednesday to avoid confusion between the old green $2 and new green polymer $5 banknotes.
The central bank's deputy governor, Inia Naiyaga told this newspaper that the new polymer $5 banknotes are also green in colour.
"To ensure there is no confusion between the old green $2 and new green polymer $5 banknotes, the RBF will firstly withdraw the old green $2 by March 31 and then proceed to issue the new green $5 banknotes," Mr Naiyaga said.
Mr Naiyaga said RBF had made the changes because they experienced quality issues in lower denomination banknotes.
"To achieve cost savings, we have coined the $2 note and we are now introducing the $5 note in polymer substrate to achieve greater durability."
He said their current experiences showed higher denomination banknotes lasted well in circulation hence the reason to introduce polymer substrate banknotes in the lower $5 denomination only.
"The old green $2 and old brown $5 notes will be gradually withdrawn from circulation."
He added that public education programs were being devised to educate the public of the withdrawal of the older design banknotes of these two denominations.
Meanwhile, the New Zealand Mint has minted a new gold bullion coin — the final Fijian coin to carry the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.
"This is an investment gold coin but it has collector intrigue value to it too in the fact that it is the last coin by Fiji to bear the QEII effigy," NZ Mint chief executive Simon Harding said in a statement.
The pure gold 1 oz investment coin is valued at $2206 and was produced by NZ Mint under licence from the Fijian government.