Customs

The Beautiful and Changing Peruvian Currency

A New 1 Sol Coin Showing Machupichu

As time has gone on, Peru’s coins have changed. Before our current set of coins that are called soles (which means suns in Spanish) we used to use money called Intis (suns in Quechua). This money only was used for a short time, historically. Around 1985, the person who was governed our country was Alan Garcia Perez. During a decade during his government and after our country underwent a difficult economic crisis in which our money was devalued constantly. It was losing value day by day over a period of about five years.

When our government changed in 1990, and Alberto Fujimori took over as president, his government had to rapidly take action to build confidence in the economy among the public during a time of severe crisis.

At that time they created a new coinage, a new money, with a different value, in order to build confidence among the population. They returned to the sol that we still use today. As it turns out, this change, along with the political and economic changes initiated by the Fujimori government and the global system, favored Peru.

A new sol, as they are formally called (many people actually use this terminology while others just say sol), is worth 100 céntimos. In fact we have coins of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 céntimos, along with 1/S — as we graphically represent the sol — 2/S, and 5/S coins. We then have bills worth 10/s, 20/S, 50/S, 100/S, and 200/S. Even though the 1 and 5 céntimo coins are in circulation you almost never see them away from the city of Lima leading to the common idea that they no longer circulate.

Not long ago the Central Reserve Bank of Peru created 17 new coins in the value of 1/S. These are especially for collectors. They are made to show high aesthetic value and importance cultural symbols of our country. They show beautiful places that are also sacred to us on one face of the coin. They were brought out one by one to the Peruvian people, until all 17 were available. Many people now have them saved in their homes as collections of something sacred to their family and to our nation.

Here are the names of these beautiful and award winning collectors items that are Peruvian coins of new sol. They are: 1) the huaca de la luna (temple of the moon in), 2.) kuntur wasi, 3) piedra se saywite (the finely carved Saywite stone, 4) the temple of kotosh, 5) Paracas textile art, 6) the sacred and ancient city of Caral, 7) the Vicashuman Temple of the Sun, 8) the Great Pajaten, 9) The Huaytara Inca Temple, 10) Machupicchu, 11) The Royal Felipe Fortress, 12) Tunanmarca, 13) The Monastery of Santa Catalina, 14) The Chullpa Towers of Sillustani, 15) The Raymundi Stela, 16) The Carajia Sarcaphagus, 17) the Golden Tumi, or sacrifical knife.

When these coins were released their beauty and artistic value surprised and thrilled many people. They mark a kind of arrival of our country on a global stage of legitimacy and value.

 

 

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