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New Caledonia

New Caledonia is a French overseas collectivity dispersed in the southwest Pacific Ocean. The group of islands is part of the Melanesia subregion located south of Vanuatu and east of Australia. It consists of the main island of Grande Terre, the Chesterfield Islands, the Isle of Pines, the Loyalty Islands, the Belep islands, and several remote islets.  

A huge portion of New Caledonia is covered by lush evergreen forests while its lower lands are embellished with savannahs. Its 24,000-square-kilometer New Caledonia lagoon is among the world’s largest lagoons and was called a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. The nation has one of the leading economies based on services, nickel mining, and assistance from France. Forestry, fishing, and agriculture also make a substantial contribution to the GDP, while the production of some drinks, cement, fencing wire, as well as fishing and pleasure cruisers, have an immaterial economic impact because of its limited local market. Like other French overseas collectivities, New Caledonia’s official currency is the CFP franc which was launched in December 1945 along with Africa’s CFA franc. The CFP franc is fractioned into 100 centimes.  

In 1969, the production of paper money was taken over by the Institut d’Emission d’Outre-Mer, Noumea. This Paris-based national public institution issued unified banknotes for its territories in the Pacific. Its first banknotes were printed either with Nouvelles Hebrides or PAPEETE and featured portraits of locals and town scenes. The 5,000 franc banknote depicts navigator Louis Antoine de Bougainville. These earlier issues don’t bear the state title “Republique francaise”

In 1985, the institution introduced a 10,000 franc banknote to all its French Pacific Territories, followed by 500, 1000, and 5000 franc banknotes released between 1992 and 1996. In February 2014, a new set of notes was introduced which replaced the old banknotes that had been issued since 1969.

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