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News & Notes

The World's First Note Featuring a Master Blaster?

04 Jan 2024
The World's First Note Featuring a Master Blaster?

In December 2023, the East Caribbean States issued a commemorative $2 banknote celebrating the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank's (ECCB's) 40th anniversary. It is the first two-dollar denomination in East Caribbean States history.

And in May 2024, this banknote has won the International Bank Note Society's (IBNS') Banknote of the Year for 2023!

In commemoration of ECCB's 40th anniversary, the $2 note showcases a portrait of the legendary cricketer, Sir Vivian Richards, known as "the Master Blaster." Sir Viv led the West Indies side that won the Cricket World Cup in 1979, and is considered the finest batsman of his generation.

Ruby red elements within the portrait honor the 40th milestone anniversary of the central bank, and the anniversary logo is featured on both front and back.

Printed on De La Rue's Safeguard polymer substrate, the new $2 has a clear window and features aqua-blue-tinted holographic foil. The note's security features also include Argentum, a highly-reflective silver ink that first debuted on Libya's 5 Dinar note issued in early 2021. On the EC$2, a large blue sea turtle on the bottom front is adorned with the Argentum integrated into the polymer substrate. (My scan immediately below does no justice to the Argentum feature and its reflectivity. See the image from De La Rue down further to see Argentum and the holographic foil more clearly.)

Image of the East Caribbean States new $2 commemorative banknote

The aquatic theme continues on the back of the note, with an underwater scene with coral, fish and more sea turtles. A map of the East Caribbean States showing the islands comprising the monetary union, which are outlined in UV ink.

It's a wonderful, brightly colored note with iridescent security features punctuating the complex window forms along the bottom. Seeing Viv Richards in action is different than most staid portraits traditionally featured on banknotes.

It joins the other East Caribbean notes issued in 2019 on Safeguard polymer, though it's a bit smaller in size than those notes. The design is more distinct than the rest of the series—which tend to get a bit muddied on the reverse sides—and is more advanced in its security features than those now five-year-old notes.

All-in-all it's a great addition to any collection—the ECCB and De La Rue definitely hit a home run on this one. Or should I say, a six!

Add one to your collection

Learn more about this banknote (external links):

Key Design Elements and Security Features (video by the ECCB)
What You Should Know About the EC$2 (PDF) 
Eastern Caribbean Central Bank's press release 


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