Definitions

Colombian peso

Colombian peso

The peso is the currency of the Republic of Colombia. Its ISO 4217 code is COP and it is also informally abbreviated as COL$. However, the official peso symbol is $. See Currency of Colombia for more detail on Colombia's monetary history.

History

The peso has been the currency of Colombia since 1837. It replaced the real at a rate of 1 peso = 8 reales and was initially subdivided into 8 reales. In 1847, Colombia decimalized and the peso was subdivided into ten reales, each of 10 decimos de reales. The real was renamed the decimo in 1853, although the last real coins were struck in 1880. The current system of 100 centavos to the peso was first used in 1819 on early banknotes but did not reappear until the early 1860s on banknotes and was not used on the coinage until 1872.

In 1871, Colombia went on to the gold standard, pegging the peso to the French franc at a rate of 1 peso = 5 francs. This peg only lasted until 1886. From 1888, printing press inflation caused Colombia's paper money (issued by the National Bank and denominated in peso moneda corriente) to fall in value relative to the coinage. In 1904, the Treasury took over the issuance of paper money. In 1907, the coinage peso was pegged to the British pound at a rate of 5 pesos = 1 pound and the exchange rate between coins and paper money was fixed at 100 peso moneda corriente = 1 coinage peso. Between 1907 and 1914, coins were issued denominated in "peso p/m", equal to paper pesos. In 1910, the Junta de Conversion began issuing paper money and, in 1915, a new paper currency was introduced, the peso oro. This was equal to the coinage peso and replaced the old peso notes at a rate of 100 old paper pesos = 1 peso oro. In 1931, when the U.K. left the gold standard, Colombia shifted its peg to the U.S. dollar, at a rate of 1.05 pesos = 1 dollar, a slight devaluation from its previous peg.

Although it never appeared on coins, Colombia's paper money continued to be issued denominated in peso oro until 1993, when the word oro was dropped. Since 2001, the Colombian senate has debated whether to redenominate the currency by introducing a new peso worth 1000 old pesos. Such a plan has yet to be adopted.

Coins

Between 1837 and 1839, the Republic of New Grenada introduced silver ¼, ½, 1, 2 and 8 reales coins along with gold 1, 2 and 16 pesos. These were mostly continuations of coins issued before 1837 in the name of the Republic of Colombia but with the escudo denominations replaced by pesos. In 1847, the currency was decimalized and coins were introduced in denominations of ½ and 1 decimo de real in copper and 1, 2, 8 and 10 reales in silver. ¼ and ½ real coins followed in 1849 and 1850. In 1853, silver ½ and 1 decimo, and gold 10 pesos coins were introduced, followed by 2 decimos in 1854 and 1 peso in 1855, both in silver. In 1856, gold 5 pesos coins were added.

Between 1859 and 1862, coins were issued by the Grenadine Confederation in silver for ¼, ½ and 2 reales, ¼, ½ and 1 decimo, and 1 peso, and in gold for 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 pesos. The United States of New Grenada issued silver 1 decimo and 1 peso in 1861.

Beginning in 1862, coins were issued by the United States of Colombia. Silver coins were struck in denominations of ¼, ½, 1, 2 and 5 decimos and 1 peso, together with gold 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 pesos. With the introduction of the centavo in 1872, silver 2½, 5, 10, 20 and 50 centavos were issued, followed by cupro-nickel 1¼ centavos in 1874 and cupro-nickel 2½ centavos in 1881.

In 1886, the country's name reverted to the Republic of Colombia. The first issues were cupro-nickel 5 centavos. Except for silver 50 centavos (also denominated 5 decimos) issued between 1887 and 1889, no other denominations were issued until 1897, when silver 10 and 20 centavos were introduced. Silver 5 centavos were issued in 1902

In 1907, following the stabilization of the paper money, cupro-nickel 1, 2 and 5 pesos p/m were introduced and issued until 1916. In 1913, after the pegging of the peso to sterling, gold 2½ and 5 pesos coins were introduced which were of the same weight and composition as the half sovereign and sovereign. Gold 10 pesos were also issued in 1919 and 1924, with the 2½ and 5 pesos issued until 1929 and 1930, respectively.

In 1918, the 1, 2 and 5 pesos p/m coins were replaced by 1, 2 and 5 centavos coins of the same size and composition. In 1942, bronze 1 and 5 centavos coins were introduced, followed by bronze 2 centavos in 1948. Between 1952 and 1958, cupro-nickel replaced silver in the 10, 20 and 50 centavos.

In 1967, copper-clad-steel 1 and 5 centavos were introduced, together with nickel-clad-steel 10, 20 and 50 centavos and cupro-nickel 1 peso coins, the 2 centavos having ceased production in 1960. In 1977, bronze 2 pesos were introduced. Between 1978 and 1981, production of the 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 centavos and 1 peso coins ended, although aluminium-bronze 25 centavos were struck in 1979 and 1980. Higher denominations were introduced in the following years of high inflation. 5 pesos coins were introduced in 1980, followed by 10 pesos in 1981, 20 pesos in 1982, 50 pesos in 1986, 100 pesos in 1992, 200 pesos in 1994, 500 pesos in 1993 and 1000 pesos in 1996. However, due to massive counterfeiting problems, the 1000 pesos was withdrawn by stages. By 2002, the coin was out of circulation.

Currently Circulating Coins
Image Value Technical parameters Description
Reverse Obverse Diameter Thickness Mass Composition Obverse Reverse
20 pesos 17.2 mm 1.15 mm 2 g 70% copper
30% zinc
Simón Bolívar Value
50 pesos 21 mm 1.3 mm Coat of arms of Colombia bordered with the words República de Colombia Value
100 pesos 23 mm 1.55 mm 5.31 g Aluminium bronze
92% copper
6% aluminium
2% nickel
Coat of arms of Colombia bordered with the words República de Colombia Value
200 pesos 24.4 mm 1.7 mm 7.08 g 65% copper
20% zinc
15% nickel
Quimbaya civilization figurine Value

500 pesos 23.5 mm 2 mm 7.43 g Rim: 92% copper
6% aluminium
2% nickel
Centre: 65% copper
20% zinc
15% nickel
El arbol de Guacari Guacari's tree, in recognition of the efforts by the people of Guacari, Valle del Cauca to preserve the environment and protect the ecology

Value

All the coins have in the lower part of the reverse the year of production.

Banknotes

Between 1857 and 1880, five of Colombia's then provinces, Bolívar, Cauca, Cundinamarca, Panama and Santander issued paper money. Denominations included 10 and 50 centavos, 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 50 and 100 pesos.

In the early 1860s, the Tesori Jeneral de los Estados Unidos de Nueva Granada issued notes in denominations of 20 centavos, 1, 2, 3, 10, 20 and 100 pesos, with all denominations also given in reales. In 1863, Treasury notes of the Estados Unidos de Colombia were introduced for 5, 10 and 20 centavos, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 pesos.

More than sixty private banks issued notes between 1865 and 1923. Denominations issued included 10, 20, 25, 50 centavos, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 25, 50, 100 and 500 pesos. Uniquely, the Banco de Colombia issued notes denominated in both pesos and sterling, due to the peg of 1 peso = 4 shillings.

In 1881, the Banco Nacional introduced notes for 20 centavos, 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 pesos. These were followed by 50 centavos notes in 1882 and 10 centavos in 1885. 1000 pesos notes were introduced in 1895 and 500 pesos in 1900. In 1904, the Treasury took over paper money production, issuing 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 pesos notes, followed by 1000 pesos in 1908. In 1910, the Junta de Conversion introduced 50 and 100 pesos notes, followed by 1, 2, 5 and 10 pesos in 1915.

Regional issues were reintroduced in 1898 and were issued until 1920. Antioquia, Bolivar, Magdalena, Santander and Tolima issued notes, with denominations including 10, 20, 50 centavos, 1, 2½, 5, 10, 20 and 50 pesos.

In 1923, the Banco de la Republica took over paper money production and introduced notes denominated in peso oro. The first were provisional issues, overprinted on earlier notes of the Casa de Moneda de Medallin, in denominations of 2½, 5, 10 and 20 pesos. Regular issues followed for 1, 2, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 pesos oro. 20 pesos notes were introduced in 1927.

In 1932 and 1941, silver certificates were issued for 1 and 5 pesos plata, although 1 and 5 pesos oro notes continued to be produced. Treasury notes for 5 and 10 pesos oro were issued in 1938, followed by ½ pesos oro between 1948 and 1953. ½ peso oro notes were also produced by the Banco de la Republica in 1943 by cutting in half 1 peso notes.

The Banco de la Republica introduced 200 and 1000 pesos oro notes in 1974 and 1979, respectively, whilst 1 and 2 pesos oro notes ceased production in 1977, followed by 10 pesos oro in 1980, 5 pesos oro in 1981, 20 pesos in 1983 and 50 pesos in 1986. 500 pesos oro notes were introduced in 1986 with 10,000 pesos oro following in 1992. Production of 100 pesos oro notes ended in 1991, followed by that of the 200 and 500 pesos oro in 1992 and 1993, respectively. From 1993, the word oro was dropped. 20,000 pesos notes were introduced in 1996 and 50,000 pesos in 2000.

On November 17, 2006, the 1000 and 2000 pesos notes were reduced in size from 70×140 to 65×130 mm, because these notes are frequently replaced due to heavy use.

Currently Circulating Banknotes
Image Value* Dimensions Description
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse
1000 pesos USD $0.50 140 × 70 mm
130 × 65 mm
Jorge Eliécer Gaitán Jorge Eliécer Gaitán (body until the chest) and a crowd
2000 pesos USD $1.00 Francisco de Paula Santander The door of the Casa de la moneda
5000 pesos USD $2.50 Jose Asuncion Silva Outdoors and a fragment of the poem Nocturnal
10,000 pesos USD $5.00 Policarpa Salavarrieta Guaduas main plaza, place of birth of Policarpa Salavarrieta
20,000 pesos USD $10.00 Julio Garavito Armero The Moon, a reference to the Garavito Crater
50,000 pesos USD $25.00 Jorge Isaacs A paragraph of La María
*Assuming exchange rate of 2,000 pesos = USD $1.00

See also

References

External links

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