By means of resolution of Monetary Meeting JM-160-2006 of the 20.12.06,
the printing of 60 million new polymer banknotes in the denomination of
Q1 was approved.
To print the banknotes, the companies of Giesecke & Devrient, Note
Printing Australia, Joh. Eschedé and Canadian Bank Note Co. were invited
to participate. On the 19.01.07, printing contract was awarded to the
Canadian Bank Note Co. for the printing of 60 million banknotes of Q1.
Advantages: Polymer notes are three to four times more durable compared
with the life span of paper bank notes, thus lowering production costs.
Polymer notes also provide a clearer printing definition, while the
notes are cleaner and more hygienic than paper bank notes.
Currently the following countries use polymer bank notes: Australia,
Bangladesh, Brazil, Brunei, China, Chile, Indonesia, Malaysia, Kuwait,
Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Papua New Guinea, Romania,
Samoa, Singapore, Salomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam,
Zambia, and now Guatemala.
The design and characteristics of the new Quetzal polymer bank note
resemble that of paper bank note. An important characteristic is the
incorporation of a transparent window, made possible through the polymer
substrate. Durability of polymer notes is considered to 3 to 4 times
that of paper notes. Although the cost of manufacture of polymer notes
is greater than that of paper notes, in the long term this cost is
compensated by the polymer notes' durability.
Issue of new bank notes: 60 million new notes are scheduled to be placed
in circulation over a period of two years. Because of their durability,
they will remain in circulation for 6 years. It is expected that the
distribution of the new notes will begin on the 20.08.07. The new Q1
polymer notes will circulate simultaneously with Q1 paper notes.