BANKNOTES OF COLOMBIA
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The History of the Colombian Peso
The peso has been the currency of Colombia since 1837. It was introduced at a value of 8 reales. In 1847, Colombia decimalized and the peso was subdivided into ten reales, renamed decimos in 1853. The current system of 100 centavos to the peso was introduced in 1872.
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. The exchange rate was fixed at 100 peso moneda corriente = 1 coinage peso in 1907 and between then 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. 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.
The Colombian peso's ISO 4217 code is COP and it is also informally abbreviated as COL$. Prices in Colombia are written using the peso symbol "$" which is the same as the dollar sign.
Colombian coins are issued in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 pesos. A 1000 pesos coin was introduced in 1996 but due to massive counterfeiting problems it was soon withdrawn.
Banknotes currently circulate in denominations of 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000, 20000 and 50000 pesos. On 17 November 2006: the Bank of the Republic of Columbia introduced new versions of the 1000 and 2000 pesos banknote. The new versions, dated 2005, are similar in design to the previous versions. However the new banknotes were downsized to from 70 mm x 140 mm to 65 mm x 130 mm as an economy measure.
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Page created: 20 June 2006
Last Update: 12 April 2007
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