New notes for Fiji mean a new look for their currency all together, from the Royal Monarchy now to flora and fauna, these notes are beautiful and interesting additions. Fiji has officially dropped Queen Elizabeth II off their new currency that was unveiled December 12th 2012 and started circulating January 2nd 2013. They decided to instead decorate their notes with local flora and fauna. The Royal Family, who are revered by ordinary Fijians, have been featured on Fiji’s currency since 1934 (starting with King George V 78 years ago!!). But Ratu Epeli Nailatkiau, the Fijian President, said “today that it was time for the country to move on.”
So the notes in the new series starts with 5 dollars for the first time instead of 2 dollars. The $2 banknote has been replaced with a coin leaving the new set to include $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100: The $5 note is a beautiful green polymer bill (the only polymer note in the set) on the front this new design features Fiji’s endemic Kulawai (Red-throated Lorikeet), the smallest member of the parrot family. Like the note, the Kulawai is predominantly green. The last confirmed sighting of the bird was in 1993 and searches in the last few years have all come up empty. A clear window with an image of an i-Taukei man is featured on the note. An image of a Kato ni Masima (salt basket) is also featured on the front of the note. On the back the note features Fiji’s endangered Crested Iguana, endemic Balaka Palm, Masiratu flower and Mount Valili in Vanua Levu. The ten dollar notes front design features Fiji’s endemic Beli (Lever’s Goby). Beli are widespread and found in all the high islands, their presence in any river is an indicator of good habitat quality. An image of i Buburau-ni-bete (duck dish) is also featured on the front. Back design features the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva in 1914 (which is a popular place to stay for famous people including Queen Elisabeth II) The new $20 note design features one of the world’s iconic rare birds, the Kacauni Gau (Fiji Petrel) which is known to nest only on Gau Island in Fiji. Experts believe that no more than 50 pairs survive. The Kacau ni Gau has a very distinctive flight style which helps to make it stand out.
An image of a Foa (Rotuman coconut scraper) is also featured on the front. The back design features fishing, forestry, sugarcane and mining industries of Fiji. Mount Uluinabukelevu in Kadavu is also featured in the background. The front design features on the new fifty note the Tagimoucia flower which is perhaps Fiji’s best known flower and has, in the past, been recommended as the national flower. An image of a Wasekaseka (Whale’s tooth necklace) is also featured on the front. Back design features a culture and heritage theme with descriptions of a traditional Tabua and Yaqona Vakaturaga ceremony. Lastly the $100 note design features on the front Fiji’s Nanai (Cicada). Fiji has the richest fauna of cicadas in the south west Pacific with 19 species, all of which are common. Cicadas are well known for their loud calls, some of which resound through Fiji’s forests. Maka is the common Fijian name for cicadas. An image of a Buli kula (Golden Cowrie) is also featured on the front. The back design features the map of Fiji with 180º Meridian Line marking the dawn of a new day; three happy natives also appear on the back of the note.