The Republic of Fiji is an island nation that lies in the northeast of New Zealand, in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago comprises about islands 110 inhabited islands and over 500 islets. Most of its islands were shaped because of volcanic activities that began some 150 million years ago.
Fiji became a British crown colony from 1874 until 1970 when it gained independence. With its lush forests, abundant mineral and fish resources, Fiji’s economy is one of the most developed in the Pacific. Sugar exports, remittances, and the tourism sector are the major contributors to the Fijian economy. The country has access to European Union markets for sugar but will be impacted by the EU’s attempt to cease sugar subsidies. Meanwhile, the tourism sector was hit by a coup that took place in December 2006. Tourist receipts decreased by 6% in 2007, causing the rise of unemployment.
Fiji’s official currency is the Fijian dollar which was introduced on January 15, 1969, replacing the pound at a rate of 1 pound to 1 dollar. The 1969 banknotes were printed by Thomas De La Rue bearing a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Pietro Annigoni.
Although the country gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1970, Fijian banknotes still featured the monarch on its banknotes. It was only on its 2013 issues that the banknote designs were replaced with Fijian flora and fauna. This family of notes is in more vibrant colors and was printed by De La Rue. Just like the preceding issues, these paper bills also carry the coat of arms of Fiji and a domodomo or a canoe masthead registration device. Additionally, most of the notes are equipped with a windowed security thread with a demetalized text and a domodomo, and a watermark that reflects a Fijian head, electrotype denomination, and Cornerstones.