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The Jamaican $5,000 Bank Note – Facts and Features

by Deon Clarke | Associate Writer

What would you do with $5,000 right now? I bet you could think of a few things or a lot of things depending on your currency.

The $5,000 banknote in Jamaica is the highest value banknote in Jamaica (worth USD 33 currently). For a lot of persons, this represents half of a week’s pay. So can you imagine if you lost one of them or even get scammed through counterfeit! Certainly, we can’t have that.

I personally know of someone who went to a remittance agency and received what he thought to be genuine 5,000 dollar notes. He went to a local shop during the course of the day to purchase a few items valuing about $1,200. He got his correct change and just as he stepped out, he was called back and told that the note was no good.

Naturally, he compared it with the remaining ones he had and realized that particular one was different. The remittance agency advised him that all their notes are checked three times (once using a UV light) so he had not received the counterfeit note from them. As you can imagine, he had to bear the loss, just like that. It was a hard one to swallow. One thing I know for sure, that will never happen to him again, :-).

Have you ever really taken the time to know the features of the notes you hold so dear? What if you ended up with a counterfeit one, how would you know? Do you know you could be charged for circulating a counterfeit note as it is illegal? How would you declare your innocence? These are all very important questions. Have no fear, today I will be showing you what features to look for and some facts about the Jamaican $5,000 bill so you can be in the know.


  • The Bank of Jamaica started issuing these $5,000 banknotes in 2009. This was rolled out on September 24th, 2009.

  • The portrait of the most honourable Hugh Lawson Shearer, trade union leader and the third Prime Minister of Jamaica (1967-1972) is shown as the head on the five thousand Jamaican dollars bill.

  • The reverse side of the Jamaican $5000 note shows a picture of Highway 2000, which is the motorway that connecting, Kingston, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay.

  • The Jamaican Coat of Arms is displayed on this note and all notes and coins.



  • The engraved lines of the portrait of the most honourable Hugh Lawson Shearer, former Prime Minister of Jamaica.

  • The vertical black serial number that increases in size. It should match the red horizontal serial number on the right.

  • The wide Optiks silver thread bearing the images of the Jamaican coat of arms (it’s reversed on the front). The thread is found inside the paper and not on top of it.

  • When you hold the note up to the light, the complete thread has “BOJ 5000” repeated vertically and can be seen on both sides.

  • When the note is viewed under UV light, two parallel bars of fluorescent green lights can be seen along the edge of the Optiks thread.

  • Under UV light, the yellow background of the coat of arms shows a red map of Jamaica on a green background.

  • You can actually feel the numbers on the corners and the texts with “BANK OF JAMAICA” and “FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS”.

  • When you hold the note up to the light, you can see the watermark image of the most honourable Hugh Shearer and a bright 5000 electrotype beside it.

  • When the note is held up to the light, you can see that a chequered image of a leaf becomes complete.


  • When the note is held up to the light, the leaf pattern is completed just like on the front.

  • The honeycomb pattern on the left side of the note should be smooth-looking and have one colour.

  • The image of Highway 2000.

  • The silver metallic oval that is created by the Optiks. In this oval, you should see at least one complete image of the Jamaican coat of arms.

  • The 18mm wide Optiks thread along with images of the Jamaican coat of arms can be seen when the note is held up to the light. The “BOJ 5000” text can also be found at the edges.

  • Under UV light, the “BOJ 5000” text can be seen along the thread

  • The fine engraved lines of the frangipani flowers (Plumeria Rubra)

    There you have it. As you can see, there are several security features on this note. How many of these can you find? Be sure not to rely on just one, study them with care so you can ensure the note you have in your possession is a genuine one.

    Happy Searching!

    I also recommend you read Where Is Jamaican Money Printed?



    • “5000 Security Feature”, Bank of Jamaica,
    • “Jamaica’s New 5,000 Bank Note Rolls Out Today!”, My-Island-Jamaica,
    • "5000 Jamaican Dollars banknote (Hugh Shearer)", Leftover Currency,

    Editor's Note
    What would you like to know about Jamaica? Leave your question here! With well over 2000 questions already answered, chances are we can assist :-)

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