The Research

Curated by Manuel Chacón

January, 2014 – January, 2015

The rich and diverse motifs used to design the new family of Costa Rican banknotes were showcased in an exhibition titled The New Family of Costa Rican Banknotes.

The study of these banknotes led to an exhibit highlighting the resources chosen to design each banknote. It also offered detailed data regarding choice of color, size, and security measures, as well as the issuance process.

This exhibition sought to show how a new family of banknotes is conceived and designed, focused on the process of defining and selecting the denominations, designs, motifs, and security measures as a unit.

This new banknote family was the second to be issued in Costa Rican history. Banknotes of the first family, issued in 1964, were created, substituted or eliminated individually until the new banknote family was issued in 2009.

The Exhibition

 Visitors were allowed a first glance at the first banknote specimens, as well as the original drawings by illustrator Fernando Zeledón, the pre-Columbian seals that served as reference for the security band designs, and the banknotes that came before the new family was issued .

The characters selected — all distinguished historical figures —, and their contributions to Costa Rican history, were showcased at the beginning of the tour. Costa Rican natural biodiversity was another motif used in the design. Visitors were allowed to observe the original drawings of the ecosystems represented in the obverse and reverse of each banknote.

The pre-Columbian ceramic seals — whose designs inspired the iridescent bands and security threads on the banknotes — were also displayed.