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Argentine Pesos

Pesos: The Argentine Money

Author: Diego – Buenos Aires 4U / Posted on February 26, 2021

In this post we present our national currency: the “Argentine Peso”. It is always very interesting and informative to research the history of the currency of the country you visit, since its behavior exhibits the strengths and weaknesses of that country. In the case of Argentina in particular this fact is perfectly clear.

When Argentina became independent in 1816, various types of local currencies coexisted until the year 1881 when the Monetary Unification Law was enacted, this law determined that the monetary unit of Argentina was the “Peso Moneda Nacional” (National Currency Peso). Due to inflation, this first unified currency of Argentina was slowly losing its value, until in 1970 it was decided to replace it with a new monetary sign called “Peso Ley” (Law Peso). Between 1975 and 1982 the devaluation of the “Peso Ley” was huge and it was decided to change the Argentine currency once again. With the return of democracy in 1983, after ending a terrible military dictatorship that lasted 7 long years, the “Peso Argentino” (Argentine Peso) was created. But this new national currency was going to last only two years, since an accelerated inflation of 650% per year forced economic measures to be taken. As part of an anti-inflationary plan, the “Austral” was born in 1985, which unfortunately was not going to be successful either due to uncontrolled hyperinflation, which reached 5000% in 1989. A new Argentine currency was created in 1992, it is called just “Peso”. This is the currency which is currently available, and it is the one that will be offered to you in our country when you want to change your money.

In summary, Argentina had 5 different monetary signs since the enactment of the Monetary Unification Law of 1881.

Monetary unit:

Valid since:

Peso Moneda Nacional

November 5, 1881

Peso Ley

January 1, 1970

Peso Argentino

June 1, 1983

Austral

June 15, 1985

Peso

January 1, 1992

I recommend you to know and become familiar with the different coins and bills which are currently circulating in our country:

Coins First Series 1992: 0.01 cents (Laurels of glory), 0.05 cents (“Sol de Mayo” or “Sun of May” which represents the birth of our nation), 0.10 cents (Argentina shield), 0.25 cents (Cabildo or City Hall in Buenos Aires), 0.50 centavos (House where the Independence was declared in Tucumán Province) and 1 peso (“United Provinces” shield, this is how Argentina was known in its origins).

Argentine coins

Coins Series 2010 “Bicentennial of Argentina” with outstanding landscapes of Argentina: 1 peso (“Pucará de Tilcara” or Tilcara fortress), 1 peso (“El Palmar” or palm grove), 1 peso (“Mar del Plata” which is the main beach in Argentina), 1 peso (Perito Moreno glacier) and 1 peso (Aconcagua mountain) / Coin Series 2016 “Bicentennial of Argentine Independence”: 2 pesos (Bicentennial of the May Revolution).

Argentine peso coins

Coins Series 2017 “Trees of the Argentine Republic”: 1 peso (Jacarandá or jacaranda tree), 2 pesos (Palo Borracho or silk floss tree), 5 pesos (Arrayán or myrtle) and 10 pesos (Caldén: this tree is endemic to Argentina).

Newest Argentine coins

The banknotes in circulation today are those corresponding to the second, third and fourth series (the first series of 1992 has already been withdrawn).

Banknotes of the Second Series 1997: 10 pesos (Manuel Belgrano and Monument to the Flag), 20 pesos (Juan Manuel de Rosas and “Vuelta de Obligado” combat), 50 pesos (Domingo Faustino Sarmiento and Government House) and 100 pesos ( Julio Argentino Roca and “Campaña del Desierto” or desert campaign).

Argentine banknotes

Banknotes of the Third Series 2016 “We have a Homeland”: 10 pesos (Manuel Belgrano, Juana Azurduy and the first swearing of the Argentine flag), 50 pesos (Malvinas, Georgias and Sandwich del Sur Islands, Darwin Cemetery and ARA General Belgrano Cruise) and 100 pesos (María Eva Duarte de Perón and “Ara Pacis” or monument of Peace).

Argentine banknotes 2

Banknotes of the Fourth Series 2016 “Autochthonous Fauna of the Argentine Republic”: 20 pesos (Guanaco and Patagonia Region), 50 pesos (Cóndor and Cuyo Region), 100 pesos (Taruca and Northwest Region), 200 pesos (Southern Right Whale and Argentine Sea), 500 pesos (Yaguareté and Northeast Region) and 1000 pesos (Hornero and Central Region).

Argentine Pesos with fauna 1

Argentine Pesos with fauna 2

These photographs show the 6 native fauna animals chosen to be represented on the newest Argentine banknotes. They have been chosen because they are undisputed representatives of each of the 6 geographical regions in which our country is divided.

Fauna in the banknotes

Remember that in Argentina, if you do not want to exchange money, you also have the option of paying with your debit or credit card, both widely used payment methods. When exchanging money, make sure to do it in a safe place or with a trusted person, and pay close attention to these bills since I have heard of people who have been given old series of pesos bills that have already gone out of circulation. Currently the bill with the highest value we have is the 1,000 pesos, but due to the high inflation we suffer, when you arrive in Argentina it is very likely that there will be bills of greater value or a totally different currency, in these lands you never know.

If upon arrival in our country you decide to exchange your money for ours, I recommend you to analyze very carefully the exchange rate that they offer you since you will find many different rates (if you want to know more about the different exchange rates in our country I recommend that you read the following post: “Dollar exchange rate in Argentina”).

Author: Diego – Buenos Aires 4U / Posted on February 26, 2021

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