145 mm x 65 mm (5-11/16” x 2-9/16”)
HISTORY: Unlike most of the Melanesian islands through the South Pacific, Vanuatu has been inhabited since before 2000 BC. When discovered by early European explorers, the social mores of the inhabitants were well established. In the 1880s, France and the United Kingdom claimed parts of the archipelago. By 1909, the islands were jointly managed as the New Hebrides. In 1980, however, the Republic of Vanuatu was founded as a country in its own right. The Central Bank of Vanuatu was formed in January 1981, and in May 1989 was renamed “RESERVE BANK OF VANUATU.” The vatu replaced the French franc and Australian dollar. On June 9, 2014, they issued a 2000-vatu note (a new denomination).
OBVERSE: This beautiful 2000-vatu note was printed on a transparent polymer film, a plus in a tropical climate. To the left is a transparent conch, while the center shows an aerial view of a lagoon and distant islands. On the right is an especially nice rendering of the Vanuatu coat of arms. The original design was the work of Australian artist Rick Frazer in the founding year of 1980. A Melanesian warrior stands at the foot of Ambae, the largest of Vanuatu’s 25 volcanos, holding a spear. Behind are two nameles (palm fern fronds), tokens of peace, while the round boar’s tusk, in the background, is a highly prized symbol of prosperity. On the ribbon below is the national motto, “LONG GOD YUMI STANAP,” translated from the creole Bislama language as (depending on varying sources) “We Stand With God” or “In God We Stand.”
REVERSE: Front and center is a male and female pair of Vanuatu white-eye (or yellow-fronted white-eye) birds. Behind are several nameles, and in the distance is a grove of merbau trees. To the lower right of center is another bird, only found in Vanuatu, the Vanuatu megapode (also known as the Vanuatu scrubfowl). To the right is the reverse of the transparent conch.