|Peso argentino (Spanish)|
|ISO 4217 code||ARS|
|Central bank||Central Bank of the Republic of Argentina|
|Coins||1, 5, 10, 25, 50 centavos, 1 peso|
|Banknotes||2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 pesos|
The peso (originally established as the peso convertible) is the currency of Argentina, identified by the symbol $ preceding the amount in the same way as many countries using dollar currencies. It is subdivided into 100 centavos. Its ISO 4217 code is ARS. Several earlier currencies of Argentina were also called "peso"; as inflation progressed a new currency with a few zeroes dropped and a different qualifier (peso national currency, peso law 18188, peso argentino...) was introduced. Since 1969 thirteen zeroes have been dropped (a factor of ten trillion).
In recent times the official exchange rate hovered around 3 pesos per United States dollar from 2002 to 2008, was around 4 pesos from 2009 to 2011, surpassed 6 pesos in November 2013, sat at 6.5 pesos per dollar during December 2013. As of 5 February 2014, the exchange rate is about 8 pesos per dollar.
- 1 History
- 2 Coins
- 3 Banknotes
- 4 Exchange rates
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 Further reading
- 8 External links
Amounts in earlier pesos were sometimes preceded by a "$" sign and sometimes, particularly in formal use, by symbols identifying that it was a specific currency, for example $m/n100 or m$n100 for pesos moneda nacional. The peso introduced in 1992 is just called peso (sometimes peso convertible), and is written preceded by a "$" sign only. Earlier pesos replaced currencies also called peso, and sometimes two varieties of peso coexisted, making it necessary to have a distinguishing term to use, at least in the transitional period; the 1992 peso replaced a currency with a different name, austral.
Peso before 1826
The peso was a name often used for the silver Spanish eight-real coin. Following independence, Argentina began issuing its own coins, denominated in reales, soles and escudos, including silver eight-real (or sol) coins still known as pesos. These coins, together with those from neighbouring countries, circulated until 1881.
Peso fuerte, 1826–1881
In 1826, two paper money issues began, denominated in pesos. One, the peso fuerte ($F) (ISO 4217: ARF) was a convertible currency, with 17 pesos fuertes equal to one Spanish ounce (27.0643 g) of 0.916 fine gold. This was changed in 1864 when the rate dropped to 16 pesos fuertes per gold ounce. It was replaced by the peso moneda nacional at par in 1881.
Peso moneda corriente, 1826–1881
The non-convertible peso moneda corriente (everyday currency) ($m/c) was also introduced in 1826. It started at par with the peso fuerte, but depreciated with time.
Although the Argentine Confederation issued 1-, 2- and 4-centavo coins in 1854, with 100 centavos equal to 1 peso = 8 reales, Argentina did not decimalize until 1881. The peso moneda nacional (m$n or $m/n) (ISO 4217: ARM) replaced the earlier currencies at the rate of 1 peso moneda nacional = 8 reales = 1 peso fuerte = 25 peso moneda corriente. Initially, one peso moneda nacional coin was made of silver and known as patacon. However, the 1890 economic crisis ensured that no further silver coins were issued. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Argentine peso was one of the most traded currencies in the world.
Gold and silver pesos, 1881–1969
The Argentine gold coin from 1875 was the gold peso fuerte, one and two-thirds of a gram of gold of fineness 900, equivalent to one and a half grams of fine gold, defined by law 733 of 1875. This unit was based on that recommended by the European Congress of Economists in Paris in 1867 and adopted by Japan in 1873 (the Argentine 5 peso fuerte coin was equivalent to the Japanese 5 yen).
The monetary system before 1881 has been described as "anarchistic" (anarquía monetaria). Law 1130 of 1881 put an end to this; it established the monetary unit as the peso oro sellado ("stamped gold peso", ISO 4217: ARG), a coin of 1.612 grams of gold of fineness 900 (90%), and the silver peso, 25 g of silver of fineness 900. Gold coins of 5 and 2.5 pesos were to be used, silver coins of one peso and 50, 20, 10 and 5 centavos, and copper coins of 2 and 1 centavos.
Peso moneda nacional, 1881–1969
The depreciated peso moneda corriente was replaced in 1881 by the paper peso moneda nacional (national currency, (m$n or $m/n) at a rate of 25 to 1. This currency was used from 1881 until 1969 The design was changed in 1899 and again in 1942.
Initially the peso m$n was convertible, with a value of one peso oro sellado. Convertibility was maintained off and on, with decreasing value in gold, until it was finally abandoned in 1929, when m$n 2.2727 was equivalent to one peso oro.
Peso ley, 1970–1983
Peso argentino, 1983–1985
The peso argentino ($a) (ISO 4217: ARP) replaced the previous currency at a rate of 1 peso argentino to 10,000 pesos ley (1 million pesos m$n). The currency was born just before the return of democracy, on June 1, 1983. However, it rapidly lost its purchasing power and was devalued several times, and was replaced by a new currency called the austral in June 1985.
The austral ("₳") (ISO 4217: ARA) replaced the peso argentino at a rate of 1 austral to 1000 pesos (one billion pesos m$n). During the period of circulation of the austral, Argentina suffered from hyperinflation. The last months of President Raul Alfonsín's period in office in 1989 saw prices move up constantly (200% in July alone), with a consequent fall in the value of the currency. Emergency notes of 10,000, 50,000 and 500,000 australes were issued, and provincial administrations issued their own currency for the first time in decades. The value of the currency stabilized soon after President Carlos Menem was elected.
Peso convertible, from 1992 to now
The current peso (ISO 4217: ARS) replaced the austral at a rate of 1 peso = 10,000 australes (ten trillion pesos m$n). It was also referred to as peso convertible since the international exchange rate was fixed by the Central Bank at 1 peso to 1 U.S. dollar and for every peso convertible circulating, there was a U.S. dollar in the Central Bank's foreign currency reserves. After the various changes of currency and dropping of zeroes, one peso convertible was equivalent to 10,000,000,000,000 (1013) pesos moneda nacional. However, after the financial crisis of 2001, the fixed exchange rate system was abandoned.
Since January 2002, the exchange rate fluctuated, up to a peak of four pesos to one dollar (that is, a 75% devaluation). The resulting export boom produced a massive inflow of dollars into the Argentine economy, which helped lower their price. For a time the administration stated and maintained a strategy of keeping the exchange rate at between 2.90 to 3.10 pesos per U.S. dollar, in order to maintain the competitiveness of exports and encourage import substitution by local industries. When necessary, the Central Bank emits pesos and buys dollars in the free market (sometimes large amounts, in the order of 10 to 100 million USD per day) to keep the dollar price from dropping, and had amassed over 27 billion USD in reserves before the 9.81 billion USD payment to the IMF in January 2006.
The effect of this may be compared to the neighboring Brazilian real, which was roughly on a par with the Argentine peso until the beginning of 2003, when both currencies were about three per U.S. dollar. The real started gaining in value more than the peso due to Brazil's slower buildup of dollar reserves; by December 29, 2009 a real was worth almost 2.2 pesos.
In 1992, 1-, 5-, 10-, 25- and 50-centavo coins were introduced, followed by 1 peso in 1994. The 1-centavo coins were last minted in 2001 and they have been withdrawn from circulation.
|1 centavo||Argentina 1 centavo|
|5 centavos||Argentina 5 centavos|
|10 centavos||Argentina 10 centavos|
|25 centavos||Argentina 25 centavos|
|50 centavos||Argentina 50 centavos|
|1 pesos||Argentina 1 peso|
|2 pesos||Argentina 2 pesos|
Commemorating the National Constitutional Convention, 2-peso and 5-peso nickel coins were issued in 1994.
|50 centavos (1996)||50 centavos (50th anniversary of UNICEF)|
|50 centavos (1997)||50 centavos (50th anniversary of the death of Eva Perón and the attainment of voting rights by women)|
|50 centavos (1998)||50 centavos (The establishment of Mercosur)|
|50 centavos (2000)||50 centavos (Death of General Martín Miguel de Güemes)|
|50 centavos (2001)||50 centavos (Death of José de San Martín)|
|1 peso (1996)||1 peso (50th anniversary of UNICEF)|
|1 peso (1997)||1 peso (50th anniversary of the death of Eva Perón and the attainment of voting rights by women)|
|1 peso (1998)||1 peso (The establishment of Mercosur)|
|1 peso (2001)||1 peso (Death of General José de Urquiza)|
|2 pesos (1994)|
|5 pesos (1994)|
|2 pesos (2007)||2 pesos commemorating the Falklands War (Malvinas War)|
Some 2-peso coins were emitted in 1999 to commemorate the centennial of the birth of world-famous writer and poet Jorge Luis Borges; they had an image of Borges' face on one side, and a labyrinth and the Hebrew letter aleph on the other. In addition, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the death of Eva Perón, on September 18, 2002 a new 2-peso coin with her face was created. It was said that this coin would replace the old AR$2 banknote if inflation continued to be high. None of the 2-peso coins are currently in wide circulation.
Some other 50- and 1-peso coins exist commemorating different events, including the 50th anniversary of the creation of UNICEF (1996); the attainment of voting rights by women (1997); the establishment of Mercosur (1998); and the death of José de San Martín (2001).
In 2010, commemorating the bicentennial anniversary of the May Revolution, several 1-peso coins were issued, all featuring the same obverse, different from the main series, and images of different places on the reverse, such as Mar del Plata, the Perito Moreno Glacier, mount Aconcagua, the Pucará de Tilcara, and El Palmar.
The problem of change
Small denomination currency and particularly coins are sometimes difficult to come by in Argentina, especially in Buenos Aires. The problem has developed to a stage in which some shop owners will not sell items if the transaction involves giving the purchaser change in coins. It has also been exacerbated by ATMs, which tend to give out only 100 peso notes, and by bus companies, some of which will take only coins in payment and sell these at a 5–10% markup on the black market rather than depositing them at banks. This situation has improved in the years following the Argentine economic crisis (1999–2002). Nowadays nearly all bus lines in Buenos Aires have a SUBE (Sistema Único de Boleto Electrónico) smartcard reader, allowing passengers to pay electronically without coins.
In 1992, banknotes were introduced in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 pesos. The 1-peso note was replaced by a coin in 1994. The pictures below are outdated, since they bear the legend "Convertibles de curso legal" (meaning that value was fixed to the same amount in US dollars). New bills, printed since 2002, do not have this text. As most bills have been replaced, it is rare to find ones marked as convertible except in the large $100 denominations. All bills are 155 × 65 mm in size.
|$2||Blue||Bartolomé Mitre; replica of a handwritten manuscript of Historia de Belgrano y de la Independencia Argentina and contrapuerta of his house||Casa de Tucumán||Bartolomé Mitre and his initials||November 26, 1997|
|$5||Green||José de San Martín; replica of his will and reproduction of Abrazo de Maipú, painting by Pedro Subercaseaux depicting the hug shared by San Martín and Bernardo O'Higgins that sealed Chile's independence||Monument to the Army of the Andes, Cerro de la Gloria; Order of the Liberator General San Martín medal||José de San Martín and his initials||June 22, 1998|
|$10||Brown||Manuel Belgrano; replica of a 1812 report by him to the government of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata and reproduction of La Patria Abanderada by Alfredo Bigatti at the National Flag Memorial||National Flag Memorial; drum —in remembrance of drummer boy Pedro Ríos who died at the Battle of Tacuarí— and typical textile pattern from the Argentine Northwest||Manuel Belgrano and his initials||January 11, 1999|
|$20||Red||Juan Manuel de Rosas; reproduction of Retrato de Manuelita Rosas by Prilidiano Pueyrredón, which depicts his daughter Manuela Rosas||Battle of Vuelta de Obligado; reproduction of the military trophies included in the 8 reales coin of 1840||Juan Manuel de Rosas and his initials||January 18, 2000|
|$50||Black||Domingo Faustino Sarmiento; reproduction of a manuscript of Vida de Dominguito, biography of his adopted son who died at the Battle of Curupayty||Casa Rosada; motifs to his various activities: La Porteña locomotive, European immigration and Facundo (1845), a cornerstone of Latin American literature||Domingo Faustino Sarmiento and his initials||July 19, 1999|
|$100||Violet||Julio Argentino Roca; replica of a letter Roca sent to Miguel Cané —then ambassador to Austria— and evocation of Argentine progress under the sun of the future||Conquest of the Desert —painting La Conquista del Desierto by Juan Manuel Blanes; evocation of Roca as a statesman and military man: hand-written sheets of paper, the saber and a laurel branch||Julio Argentino Roca and his initials||December 3, 1999|
|These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimeter.|
|Current ARS exchange rates|
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- Casa de Moneda de la República Argentina - Argentine mint
- Economy of Argentina
- Historical exchange rates of Argentine currency
- PriceStats index according to The Billion Prices Project @ MIT
- La Argentina, con la cuarta mayor inflación del mundo.
- Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (Spanish)
- (Spanish) Historia de la moneda
- Billetesargentinos.com.ar (Spanish), Billegesgarentinos.com.ar (English) Billetes argentinos site. Spanish version is more detailed.
- Brazilian-Argentine Exchange Rate
- Bao, Sandra et al. (2010). South America on a shoestring. Victoria, OR: Regis St. Louis. ISBN 978-1-74104-923-7.
- Sistema Único de Boleto Electrónico
- Banco Central de la República Argentina. "Notes". Banco Central de la República Argentina. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
- Krause, Chester L., and Clifford Mishler (1991). Standard Catalog of World Coins: 1801–1991 (18th ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 0873411501.
- Pick, Albert (1994). Standard Catalog of World Paper Money: General Issues. Colin R. Bruce II and Neil Shafer (editors) (7th ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 0-87341-207-9.
- Cunietti-Ferrando, Arnaldo J.: Monedas de la Republica Argentina desde 1813 a nuestros Dias. Cooke & Compañia. Editores Numismaticos, Buenos Aires, 1978.
- Cunietti-Ferrando, Arnaldo J.: Monedas y Medallas. Cuatro siglos de historia y Arte. Coins and Medals. Four centuries of history and art. Manrique Zago ediciones, Buenos Aires, 1989.
- Janson, Hector Carlos: La Moneda Circulante En El Territorio Argentino 1767-1998. Buenos Aires, 1998.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Money of Argentina.|
- (Spanish) Argentine Notes; site has Spanish and English versions, more detail in Spanish
- (Spanish) Base de datos de Rodolfo Frank - El valor de la moneda
- Images of historic and modern Argentine coins
- (Spanish) Cotización del dólar en Argentina