The new bills are a yellow 5,000-colon note that bears the face of Alfredo González Flores, who was president from 1914 to 1917. The Heredia native was deposed in a coup before completing his term.
The new green 10,000-colon note bears the image of José Figueres Ferrer, who led a coup or civil war sparked by election fraud in 1948 against the government of Rafael Calderón Guardia.
Figueres is best known for abolishing the Costa Rican army and walking a fine line between East and West in his three presidential terms.
Ricardo Jiménez Oreamuno is on the blue 50,000-colon bill. He, too, was president three times and held a number of other public posts in the first
half of the 20th century, including court president.
The rear of the 50,000-colon note is a cloud forest with a blue morpho butterfly, mushrooms and a type of orchid.
The 10,000-colons note features a rainforest with a three-toed sloth, orchids and mushrooms.
The reverse of the 5,000 note is a mangrove with a crab and a white-faced monkey.
Public acceptance of the new 20,000-colon note was limited because it represents about $40 U.S. The 50,000-colon note will be worth about $100. Until the 20,000-colon note appeared, the largest denomination was 10,000 colons, which created a stack of bills when someone had to carry the equivalent of $2,000 or $3,000 in cash.
The current bills will be honored through the end of the year. All of the new bills are made of cotton-fiber paper. The new 1,000-colon note, which is made of plastic has generated some criticisms.