Pictures of cash not allowed says money regulator

| 04/10/2009

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) is warning businesses that they cannot use images of local currency without its permission. It said that all Cayman currency is copyrighted for the benefit of CIMA and use in advertisements is restricted to ensure that there is no chance of illegal reproduction and that the Queen’s portrait is not improperly displayed. Head of Currency, Deborah Ebanks said that the strict controls are about protecting the public from fraud so any use of imagery of the currency must be cleared by CIMA first. Unlike other iconic currency Cayman’s money does not appear on souvenirs or T-shirts.

“With today’s technology and our troubling economic times, CIMA is committed to making sure that Cayman’s currency is not tampered with or used to defraud consumers,” she said. “We ask all businesses interested in promoting their services using CI currency to please follow the guidelines for reproducing the images found on our website.” 

The use of the currency in imagery is protected under section 31 of the Monetary Authority Law, which reads: “A person who, without lawful authority or excuse (the proof whereof shall be on the person accused), defaces, mutilates or perforates any currency note or coin which under this Law is made legal tender in the Islands is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of one thousand dollars and to imprisonment for 3 months. Photographic reproduction of coins for advertisements, etc. requires the written consent of the Monetary Authority.”

Unlike other currencies such as the GB pound or the US dollar which are iconic in their own rights and reproduced on everything from mugs to T-Shirts, the CI dollar is not used in any kind of promotional material.

If a business wants to reproduce the notes for advertisements the Authority says they must seek permission and designs are normally expected to meet certain criteria. Notes whether in black and white or colour, must not be the same size as actual notes. If they are smaller they can be up to half as long and half as wide. If they are to be larger, they must be at least twice as long and twice as wide and reproductions of parts of notes must be in the same proportions. As an additional protection against misuse, notes should be shown on the slant and not flat to camera. They should also form part of a larger pictorial design.

CIMA says that reproductions of notes for educational training purposes must also be approved and should satisfy the same size criteria as those for advertisements but may be shown flat to the camera provided that they have the word "specimen" in solid black capitals across them.

The Authority does not permit any physical reproductions of its coins in metal or other material because it needs to ensure that reproductions cannot be used to defraud the public.

It also says in its regulations that pictures of coins cannot distort the Queen’s portrait.

CIMA Said for more information on using Cayman currency in advertisements, businesses should review the guidelines posted on the Authority’s website at: in the Currency section under ‘Reproduction Guidelines’ or by calling 949-7089.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone not realize the conflict of interest in the newly formed company owned jointly by CIMA’s Managing Director and a staff member of CIMA, who holds the position of Head of Currency?  This is so wrong and unprofessional.  Did the CIMA board approve this?  We expect better from the Managing Director and the board of an Authority such as CIMA. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I totally agree it is unprofessional….but these days everything seems to be "okay"

  2. Joe Average says:

    I have $20 U.S. bill I would like to trade for a coffee cup o.b.o.

  3. Common sense says:

    Phew. Let’s come up with yet another trivial piece of foolishness to take our minds off what’s really going on in this country. Who cares what you put on your coffee mug if you can’t afford the coffee to put in it!