The Central Bank of Costa Rica is in the final stages of recalling all ₡20, ₡10, and ₡5 “platedas” or silver plated coins. Coins can continue to be exchanged only at Central Bank’s office located in downtown San Jos´.
Withdrawal began on December 31, 2009 after the Central Bank announced that it was withdrawing the coins because they could not be distinguished by the blind. New coins will be issued on April 5 will be lighter than the previous coins and include the denomination in Braille Braille.
Reports indicate that merchants have stopped accepting the coins fearing that there would not be enough coins to meet the demand. The Central Bank released a statement assuring the public they had enough coins to meet the demand. Under 20-percent of the estimated 205 million coins in circulation have been turned in.
Withdrawn coins will be sold as scrap metal.
The Central Bank will be issuing new paper notes and other coins later in the year to standardize the size for each denomination. The sizes are expected to help the blind detect the denomination based on the size of the coin or note.
Interestingly, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing had performed a study Visual Impairment Study and Process to Create Meaningful Access to Denominate U.S. Currency. So far, the BEP has not acted on any issues in the report.
Image of platedas courtesy of ticotimes.net.