header Notes Collection

1 Dollar 1990, Belize

in Krause book Number: 51
Years of issue: 01.05.1990
Edition: Prefix AA-AD 3 871 677
Signatures: Governor: Mr. Alan Slusher (02.1986 – 11.1990), Financial secretary: Mr. Keith Arnold, Director: Mr. Derek Courtenay
Serie: 1990 Issue
Specimen of: 01.05.1990
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 158 x 68,5
Printer: TDLR (Thomas de la Rue & Company), London

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

1 Dollar 1990




Sleeping Giant - the sculpture by Belize sculptor George Gabb.

sleeping giant

George Gabb's epic art piece, The Sleeping Giant, has become the face of the Belize Documentary Series called Belize Legends. For many Belizeans at home and abroad, it portrays a humble and proud people, who many have come to believe presents a laid back personality, that appears quite submissive and apathetic. Until it wakes up and breaks up the circus. There is a Belizean saying that goes: "Belize brukup bigga circus dan dat!"

Oh, what a day when the Sleeping Giant awakes!


1 Dollar 1990

Portrait of the Queen

HM The Queen Elizabeth II. The photograph that was used of the Queen was taken in April 1975 by the late Reading-based photographer Peter Grugeon and later released for official use during the Silver Jubilee in 1977. It is one of the more popular images of The Queen. (Peter Symes).

Her Majesty is depicted wearing Grand Duchess Vladimir's tiara, Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee necklace, the Royal Family Orders of King George VI and George V and Queen Alexandra's Wedding Earrings.


The Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara.

No tiara is complete without a fascinating backstory, and this one's even got a daring escape. Made by Bolin, it glittered at the Russian royal court on the head of Grand Duchess Vladimir until the revolution, when it was left behind as the family fled. A British agent and friend smuggled it out of Russia to rejoin the exiled Grand Duchess and her collection. After her death, the tiara was bought from her daughter by Queen Mary. It's worn often today by the Queen with pearl or emerald drops, or occasionally with no drops. The pearl drop option has been the most popular with the Queen in recent years, probably owing to her love of white gowns in the evening and accompanying white jewels.

Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee necklace

To mark Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887, a committee of ladies was formed to raise money for a commemorative statue of Victoria’s late husband Prince Albert. The committee’s fundraising was quite successful, and they ended up raising far more than was required for the statue. An agreement was formed with the Queen that the excess should go to the St. Katherine’s Fund for Nurses. At the same time, some members of the committee decided that a portion of the funds should be used to purchase a necklace for the Queen - and this was also approved by Her Majesty.

The trouble was, the committee did not agree on the necklace. Some felt it would be wrong to spend the funds which had been previously devoted to charity on something else. Much discussion and debate ensued, as is described in depth in Hugh Roberts’ book The Queen’s Diamonds. (My favorite tidbit: Queen Victoria, angry that she wouldn’t get her promised necklace, shot down the prospect of a diamond badge commemorating the nursing fund by declaring she would “at once exchange it for another jewel”.

In the end, a compromise was reached and this necklace, made for £5000 (far less than the necklace originally proposed) from gold, diamonds, and pearls by Carrington & Co. was presented to Queen Victoria in 1888. It features a central quatrefoil diamond motif with a large pearl in the middle, topped by a crown and underlined with a drop pearl. The next four links in either direction are graduated trefoil motifs; the central piece and the six largest trefoils can also be worn as brooches.

Queen Alexandra’s Cluster Earrings

She is also wearing Queen Alexandra’s Cluster Earrings. The wedding gift from the future King Edward VII to his bride, Alexandra of Denmark. Also known as Queen Alexandra's Cluster Earrings, these two button earrings have large pearls surrounded by diamonds - 10 larger stones each plus smaller filler stones to create a full diamond ring. Like the brooch, these passed to the Queen via Queen Mary. They're now worn primarily at evening functions. "From her Majesty's Jewel vault".

Royal Family Orders.

King George IV started a practice in the British royal family which continues today: the awarding of family orders. These are diamond-set portraits of the monarch suspended from a silk bow (the color varying by reign), and they are today given to female royal family members of the sovereign's choosing as a personal gift.

Royal Family Order George V

Queen Elizabeth was first given her grandfather George V's order, set on pale blue silk.

Royal Family Order George VI

Followed by her father George VI's, on pink silk, and she wears them both today. (A royal lady can wear all the family orders she has at once.) The orders are positioned on the left shoulder. They are worn for the most formal events, and can usually be seen on the Queen when she's at a tiara event.

In most renditions of this portrait, the Royal Family Order of King George VI is apparent below the left-hand shoulder of Her Majesty, while the uppermost portion of the Royal Family Order of King George V is apparent in only some renditions of the portrait. (Her majesty's Jewel Vault)

Panulirus argus

On the left side is Caribbean spiny lobster.

Caribbean spiny lobsters, Panulirus argus (Latreille, 1804), aka Florida spiny lobsters, grow to about 60 cm. in length. Like the other 20 members of the genus Panulirus, such as the Australian, California, and Chinese spiny lobsters, they lack the large pinching claws of their Maine lobster relatives. Their primary defense are the spines that cover its shell, which help protect them from predators. Caribbean spiny lobsters use a second pair of antennae in sensory perception, which are found folded along side their body when it's not in use. These lobsters have a striped body, brown-gray in color with yellow spots on the segmented tail. They also have compound eyes [external link] and can detect orientation, form, light, and color. If startled, these lobsters will kick their large abdominal tails rapidly to swim away backwards to safety.

Inhabit tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico. This nocturnal species inhabits coral reefs where they hide during the day in crevices under ledges. (Marinebio)


Also in the design of blue and gold tones, in lower left corner, is Royal Triggerfish. Triggerfishes are about 40 species of often brightly colored fishes of the family Balistidae. Often marked by lines and spots, they inhabit tropical and subtropical oceans throughout the world, with the greatest species richness in the Indo - Pacific. Most are found in relatively shallow, coastal habitats, especially at coral reefs, but a few, such as the aptly named oceanic trigger fish (Canthidermis maculata), are pelagic.

Chaetodipterus faber

Centered are The Atlantic spadefish (Chaetodipterus faber) is a species of marine fish endemic to the western Atlantic Ocean. They are commonly found in shallow waters off the coast of the southeastern United States and in the Caribbean. The Atlantic spadefish has a very deep, compressed, disk-shaped body and a blunt snout. he body is silver in color with irregular black vertical bands that fade gradually with age. The Atlantic spadefish is known by numerous colloquial names, including angelfish, white angelfish, threetailed porgy, ocean cobbler, and moonfish.

coat Belize

On the left side is the coat of arms of Belize.

The Coat of Arms of Belize was adopted upon independence, and the current coat of arms is only slightly different from that used when Belize was a British colony.

The circular border of the coat is formed by twenty-five leaves. Within the circle is a mahogany tree, in front of which is a shield tierced per pall inverted. Within the shield are the tools of a woodcutter in the upper sections and a ship in the lower one. These are symbolic of the importance of mahogany in the XVIII and XIX century Belizean economy.

The shield is supported by two wood-cutters of different races. The one on the left is holding an axe, while the one on the right is holding an oar. Again the importance of the mahogany and its importance to boat building are represented. At the bottom is the national motto: "SUB UMBRA FLOREO" (Under The Shade I Flourish).

Jade head

In the upper left corner is the sun god of Maya Indians - Kinich Ahau (Jade head).

Kinich Ahau - The Maya Sun God. Ever since its discovery, the jade head has been the subject of much controversy among Belizeans. For years most of us have believed that, shortly after its discovery, this unique Maya masterpiece was spirited out of the country and never returned to its rightful home.

The fact is that this priceless jade head is always in Belize under secure guard except when it is loaned for specific archaeological exhibitions abroad. The jade head was discovered at in the Belize District's Maya site of Altun Ha in 1968 by Dr. David Pendergast of the Royal Ontario Museum of Canada.

The head, along with forty other objects, had been placed within a large tomb that was located below the stair block on the Temple of the Masonry Altars. At the center of the tomb were the remains of an elderly adult male. This elite person was likely an important ruler of the site during his lifetime and may have commissioned an artist to produce the large carved object. We do not know the exact date that the head was carved, but analysis of cultural remains within the tomb suggests that the burial, and accompanying grave goods, were deposited in the structure sometime between 600 and 650 A.D.

Despite its small size and seemingly marginal location, Altun Ha was an ancient Maya community of great complexity and wealth. It was an important link in the coastal trade routes, and had contact with the distant city of Teotihuacan in present-day Mexico at an early time in Maya history. The earliest evidence of settlement at Altun Ha dates to 200 B.C, although it is highly probable that nomadic hunter and gathering tribes lived in the area long before then.

Weighing 9.75 pounds and standing almost 6 inches high, the jade head remains the single largest carved jade object yet discovered in the Maya area. Its crossed eyes, fang-like elements on either side of the mouth, and the ahau glyph on the forehead all identify the head as a representation of the Maya sun god Kinich Ahau. Along with Chac (rain god) and Yum Kax (corn god), Kinich Ahau was among the most important deities in the Maya pantheon. Picture: Three different views of the Kinich Ahau jade head.

The Altun Ha jade head is truly a remarkable object and exquisite work of art. It is the only one of its kind in all of Mesoamerica. Because it was carved with nothing more than stone tools, we know that it may have taken many months, if not years, to produce. It was also carved from one large solid piece of jade that was imported from the Motagua River Valley region of Guatemala. Jade was also the most precious of stones to the Maya. Beside its exotic origins, its green colour reflected that of water and the corn plant, the two most precious, life sustaining substances to the ancient Maya of northern Belize.

As it undoubtedly was to the prehistoric inhabitants of Altun Ha, the jade head continues to be a most important icon to the people of Belize today. It is prominently displayed on all Belize currency and has become an important symbol of our young nation. It is truly a remarkable work of art and everyone should make every effort to view it whenever it goes on display. (

On the right is the see-through feature which, when held up to the light, forms the complete design of the blue marlin.

Denominations in numerals are in three corners. in words is centered, at the top.


1 Dollar 1990


The main picture on the reverse of the note depicts an underwater reef scene. Among the corals and fishes illustrated are:

Montastraea cavernosa

1) The Great star coral (Montastraea cavernosa) is a colonial stony coral found in the Caribbean seas. It forms into massive boulders and sometimes develops into plates. Its polyps are the size of a human thumb and fully extend at night. Great star coral colonies form massive boulders and domes over 5 feet (1.5 m.) in diameter in waters of shallow and moderate depths. In deeper waters, this coral has been observed growing as a plate formation. It is found throughout most reef environments, and is the predominant coral at depths of 40-100 feet (12.2-30.5 m.).

This coral occasionally has a fluorescent red or orange color during daytime; it has recently been suggested that this color is due to phycoerythrin, a cyanobacterial protein. It appears that, in addition to symbiotic zooxanthella, this coral harbors endocellular symbiotic cyanobacteria, possibly to help it fix nitrogen. However more recently "Oswold et al" (2007) showed an absence of functional phycoerythrin in M. Cavernosa.

Gorgonia ventalina

2) Gorgonia ventalina, the purple sea fan, is a species of sea fan, an octocoral in the family Anthothelidae.

It is a fan-shaped colonial coral with several main branches and a latticework of linking smaller branches. The skeleton is composed of calcite and gorgonion, a collagen-like compound. The calyces in which the polyps are embedded are in two rows along the branches. Many of the smaller branches are compressed in the plane of the fan, a fact that distinguishes this species from the Venus sea fan (Gorgonia flabellum). It often has small accessory fans growing out sideways from the main fan. It grows to 1.5 meters (5 feet) tall and is variable in colour, being whitish, yellow or pale purple. The main branches are often purple and the fan is orientated at right angles to the current.

Gorgonia ventalina is found in the western Atlantic and Caribbean Sea with a range extending from Bermuda and Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to Curaçao. It grows near the shore in shallow water in areas with strong wave action and on deeper outer reefs with strong currents down to a depth of about 15 meters (49 ft).

Acropora palmata

3) Elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) is considered to be one of the most important reef-building corals in the Caribbean. This species is structurally complex with many large branches. The coral structure closely resembles that of elk antlers. These branches create habitats for many other reef species, such as lobsters, parrot-fish, snapper shrimps and other reef fish. Elkhorn coral colonies are incredibly fast-growing, with an average growth rate of 5 to 10 cm. (2.0 to 3.9 in.) per year and can eventually grow up to 3.7 m. (12 ft.) in diameter. The color of this coral species ranges from brown to a yellowish-brown as a result of the symbiotic zooxanthellae living inside the tissue of this coral species. Zooxanthellae are a type of algae which photosynthesize to provide the coral with nutrients. The zooxanthellae are also capable of removing waste products from the coral. Historically, the majority of elkhorn coral reproduction has occurred asexually; this occurs when a branch of the coral breaks off and attaches to the substrate, forming a new colony, known as fragmentation. The degree to which local stands reproduce by fragmentation varies across the Caribbean, but on average, 50% of colonies are the result of fragmentation rather than sexual reproduction. Sexual reproduction occurs once a year in August or September when coral colonies release millions of gametes by broadcast spawning.

Elkhorn coral exist in the Caribbean, the Bahamas, and Florida Keys. Its range reaches as far north as Biscayne National Park, Florida, and as far south as Curaçao and Venezuela. However, at least in part as a result of climate change, the range of elkhorn coral has expanded northward along the Florida peninsula and into the northern parts of the Gulf of Mexico.

Elkhorn corals are found primarily in shallow waters with temperatures between 26 and 30 °C (79 and 86 °F), and with significant water movement. They are one of the most abundant species in waters ranging from 1 to 5 m. (3.3 to 16.4 ft.) deep, and a few colonies have been reported from waters as deep as 20 m. (66 ft.) (e.g. Navassa Island).

Deploria spp

4) Two species of the Brain coral - Deploria spp.

Brain coral is a common name given to corals in the family Faviidae, so called due to their generally spheroid shape and grooved surface which resembles a brain. Each head of coral is formed by a colony of genetically identical polyps which secrete a hard skeleton of calcium carbonate; this makes them important coral reef builders like other stony corals in the order Scleractinia.

Brain corals are found in shallow warm-water coral reefs in all the world's oceans. They are part of the phylum Cnidaria, in a class called Anthozoa or "flower animals". The lifespan of the largest brain corals is 900 years. Colonies can grow as large as 1.8 m. (6 ft.) or more in height.

Brain corals extend their tentacles to catch food at night. During the day, they use their tentacles for protection by wrapping them over the grooves on their surface. The surface is hard and offers good protection against fish or hurricanes. Branching corals, such as staghorn corals, grow more rapidly, but are more vulnerable to storm damage.

Like other genera of corals, brain corals feed on small drifting animals, and also receive nutrients provided by the algae which live within their tissues. The behavior of one of the most common genera, Favia, is semiaggressive, it will sting other corals with its extended sweeper tentacles during the night. The genus and species have not been defined through the scientific classification segment.Haemulon chrysargyreum

5) Smallmouth grunt (Haemulon chrysargyreum). Fish with an elongated, cylindrical, body and a notched tail. Body with five or six horizontal yellow stripes over a bluish silver to silvery-white background. Fish have pale phases. Mouth noticeably smaller than in other grunts. Fins yellow.

Size up to 23 cm. Prefer shallow reefs, down to 25 meters. Drift in small schools near the bottom, in the shelter of coral formations.

Distribution: Common Florida, occasional Bahamas and Caribbean; also south to Brazil.

Epinephelus striatus

6) The Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus) is one of the large number of perciform fishes in the family Serranidae commonly referred to as groupers. It is the most important of the groupers for commercial fishery in the West Indies, but has been endangered by overfishing.

The Nassau grouper is a US National Marine Fisheries Service Species of Concern.

It is a medium to large fish, growing to over a meter in length and up to 25 kg. in weight. It has a thick body and large mouth, which it uses to "inhale" prey. Its color varies depending on an individual fish's circumstances and environment. In shallow water (up to 60 ft.), the grouper is a tawny color, but specimens living in deeper waters are pinkish or red, or sometimes orange-red in color. Superimposed on this base color are a number of lighter stripes, darker spots, bars and patterns, including black spots below and behind the eye, and a forked stripe on the top of the head.

The Nassau grouper lives in the sea near reefs; it is one of the largest fish to be found around coral reefs. It can be found from the shoreline to nearly 100-m-deep water. It lives in the western Atlantic Ocean, from Bermuda, Florida, and the Bahamas in the north to southern Brazil, but it is only found in a few places in the Gulf of Mexico, most notably along the coast of Belize.

Equetus lanceolatus

7) The jack-knifefish or spotted drum (Equetus lanceolatus) is a small fish, typically between 6 and 9 inches, that can occasionally be found on coral reefs in the middle western Atlantic Ocean, in the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, Florida and the Bahamas.

When jack-knifefish are young, they generally lives in rocks and coral hidden from predators. Generally they inhabit reef areas. This species of fish can live with other types of small fish, as it is not aggressive. Like other fishes of its family, it can produce "croaking" or "drumming" sounds.

Jack-knifefish are typically black and white or dark brown and white.

Chaetodipterus faber

8) The Atlantic spadefish (Chaetodipterus faber) is a species of marine fish endemic to the western Atlantic Ocean. They are commonly found in shallow waters off the coast of the southeastern United States and in the Caribbean. The Atlantic spadefish has a very deep, compressed, disk-shaped body and a blunt snout. he body is silver in color with irregular black vertical bands that fade gradually with age. The Atlantic spadefish is known by numerous colloquial names, including angelfish, white angelfish, threetailed porgy, ocean cobbler, and moonfish.Carpilius corallinus

9) Carpilius corallinus or Batwing Coral Crab is a species of crab.

One of the most beautiful crabs in the area. The carapace is smooth and heavy, with no teeth, except for a blunt one at the lower right and left hand corner. The ground color is pale to brick red with scarlet spots and meandering lines of small white or yellow spots. The ends of the fingers and claws are darker.

Size: the largest crab in the Caribbean, the carapace can be up to 15 cm. in width.

The Batwing Coral Crab is widespread throughout the tropical waters of the western Atlantic Ocean from the coast of Florida until Brazil including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.

Tapirus bairdii

On the side strip, on the left side, is Baird's tapir (Tapirus bairdii). It is a species of tapir native to Central America and northern South America, one of four Latin American species of tapir. The tapir is the largest land mammal in Central America. Like the other Latin American tapirs (the mountain tapir and the South American tapir), Baird's tapir is commonly called danta by people in all areas. In the regions around Oaxaca and Veracruz, it is referred to as the anteburro. Panamanians, and Colombians call it macho de monte, and in Belize, where Baird's tapir is the national animal, it is known as the mountain cow.


Above him is the rainbow Toucan. Toucans are members of the family Ramphastidae of near passerine birds from the Neotropics. They are brightly marked and have large, often colorful bills. The family includes five genera and about forty different species. The name of this bird group is derived from the Tupi word tukana, via Portuguese. Toucans are native to Southern Mexico, Central America, the northern portion of South America, and the Caribbean region. They generally live in tropical and sub-tropical regions.

Prosthechea cochleata

Above is Prosthechea cochleata or Black Orchid - the national flower of Belize.

Native to Central America, the West Indies, Colombia, Venezuela, and southern Florida.

Each oblong discoid pseudobulb bears one or two linear nonsucculent leaves. The flowers are unusual in that though the labellum is usually below the column in the orchids, in the members of Prosthechea the labellum forms a "hood" over the column. This makes the flower effectively upside down, or non-resupinate. Whereas the species usually has one anther, Prosthechea cochleata var. triandra is an endangered variety that has three anthers and is autogamous, allowing its existence in Florida where no appropriate pollinators appear to be present.

On the left is the see-through feature which, when held up to the light, forms the complete design of the blue marlin.


Lower, in red color, is design of the craving of an arch, from the site of Xunantunich, situated in the Cayo District.

Denominations in numerals are in three corners. in words in lower right corner.


TDLR Portrait Bradbury Wilkinson Portrait

The De La Rue engraving, as well as reflecting the differences mentioned in Portrait 17a, also represents The Queen with a more cheerful aspect, achieving this through slight differences around Her eyes and lips.

Bradbury Wilkinson's version of this portrait has less shading on The Queen's neck just above Her necklace, than is apparent on the De La Rue engravings (Portrait 17b). There are other subtle variations to the second version, noticeably in the patterns on Her Majesty's dress.

Culture of Belize dates back to the origins of the Maya Indians, whose descendants still live in the country. Priceless historical heritage which - the temples and palaces of the great civilization. Most major centers of the Maya extant are: Shunantunich (on the border with Guatemala), Altun Ha, Caracol, Quay, Lamanai and others. These ancient cultural centers are not known until the end and they represent great value for historians and archaeologists. Stepped pyramids, huge masks and reliefs on temple walls Lamanai, mysterious and picturesque Lubaantun, in which was found the famous, the controversial scientists crystal skull. In the town of Cahal Pech can see a lot of famous Maya's "false arches", constituting one of the mysteries and the characteristics of Maya architecture. Altun Ha, one of the largest archaeological centers in the country, known for its burial, in which were found exquisite ornaments of jade and sea shells.

Also of interest are national parks and reserves of the country, including the world's only jaguar reserve.