|Escudo português (Portuguese)|
|Symbol|| (⟨$⟩ is used when double-barred cifrão is not available)|
|Freq. used||50000, 1,00000, 2,00000, 5,00000, 10,00000 (2001)|
|Freq. used||100, 500, 1000, 20, 50, 100, 20000 (2001)|
|Central bank||Banco de Portugal|
|Mint||Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda|
|Since||19 June 1989|
|Fixed rate since||31 December 1998|
|Replaced by €, non cash||1 January 1999|
|Replaced by €, cash||1 January 2002|
|This infobox shows the latest status before this currency was rendered obsolete.|
The Portuguese escudo was the currency of Portugal prior to the introduction of the euro on 1 January 1999 and the removal of the escudo from circulation on 28 February 2002. The escudo was subdivided into 100 centavos. The word escudo derives from the scutum shield.
Amounts in escudos were written as escudos centavos with the cifrão as the decimal separator (for example: 2500 means 25.00, 10050 means 100.50). Because of the conversion rate of 1,000 réis = 1, three decimal places were initially used (1 = 1000).
The currency replaced by the escudo in 1911 was denominated in Portuguese reals (plural: réis) and milréis worth 1,000 réis. The milréis was equivalent to 2.0539 grams fine gold from 1688 to 1800, and 1.62585 g from 1854 to 1891. Gold escudos worth 1.6 milréis (or 1600; not to be confused with the 20th-century currency) were issued from 1722 to 1800 in denominations of 1⁄2, 1, 2, 4 and 8 escudos.
The escudo (gold) was again introduced on 22 May 1911, after the 1910 Republican revolution, to replace the real at the rate of 1,000 réis to 1 escudo. The term mil réis (thousand réis) remained a colloquial synonym of escudo up to the 1990s. One million réis was called one conto de réis, or simply one conto. This expression passed on to the escudo, meaning 1,000.
The escudo's value was initially set at 67500 = 1 kg of gold. After 1914, the value of the escudo fell, being fixed in 1928 at 10825 to £1 sterling. This was altered to 11000 to £1 stg in 1931. A new rate of 2750 escudos to the U.S. dollar was established in 1940, changing to 2500 in 1940 and 2875 in 1949.
Inflation throughout the 20th century made centavos essentially worthless by its end, with fractional value coins with values such as 050 and 250 eventually withdrawn from circulation in the 1990s. With the entry of Portugal in the Eurozone, the conversion rate to the euro was set at 200482 to €1.
The escudo was used in the Portuguese mainland, the Azores and Madeira, with no distinction of coins or banknotes. In Portugal's African colonies, the escudo was generally used up to independence, in the form of Banco Nacional Ultramarino and Banco de Angola banknotes (rather than those of the Bank of Portugal used in Portugal proper), with Portuguese and in some cases local coins circulating alongside:
- Angolan escudo
- Cape Verdean escudo
- Mozambican escudo
- Portuguese Guinean escudo
- São Tomé and Príncipe escudo
Of the above, only Cape Verde continues to use the escudo.
The mintage period for the various denominations of the gold escudo (worth 1.6 milréis or 1600) introduced in 1722 was different: 1⁄2 escudo through 1821, 2 escudos through 1789, and 4 escudos through 1799. The eight-escudo coin was only struck between 1722 and 1730.
In 1920, bronze 5 centavos and cupro-nickel 010 and 020 coins were introduced, followed, in 1924, by bronze 010 and 020 and aluminium-bronze 050 and 1 coins. Aluminium bronze was replaced with cupro-nickel in 1927.
In 1932, silver coins were introduced for 250, 500 and 1000. The 250 and 500 were minted until 1951, with the 1000 minted until 1955 with a reduced silver content. In 1963, cupro-nickel 250 and 500 were introduced, followed by aluminium 010, bronze 020 and 050 and 1 in 1969. Cupro-nickel 1000 and 2500 were introduced in 1971 and 1977, respectively. In 1986, a new coinage was introduced which circulated until replacement by the euro. It consisted of nickel-brass 100, 500 and 1000, cupro-nickel 2000 and 5000, with bimetallic 10000 and 20000 introduced in 1989 and 1991.
Coins in circulation at the time of the changeover to the euro were:
- 100 (0.50 cent)
- 500 (2.49 cents)
- 1000 (4.99 cents)
- 2000 (9.98 cents)
- 5000 (24.94 cents)
- 10000 (49.88 cents)
- 20000 (99.76 cents)
Coins ceased to be exchangeable for euros on December 31, 2002.
Also, people still referred to escudos at the time of the changeover in multiples of the older currency real (plural réis). Many people called the 250 coins dois e quinhentos (two and five-hundreds), referring to the correspondence 250 = 2500 réis. Tostão (plural tostões) is yet another multiple of real, with 1 tostão = 10 réis.
The Casa da Moeda issued notes for 005, 010 and 020 between 1917 and 1925 whilst, between 1913 and 1922, the Banco de Portugal introduced notes for 050, 100, 250, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000, 50000 and 1,00000. 050 and 100 notes ceased production in 1920, followed by 250, 5 and 10 in 1925 and 1926. 5,000 notes were introduced in 1942.
Banknotes in circulation at the time of the changeover to the euro were:
The last series of escudo banknotes could be returned to the central bank Banco de Portugal and converted to euros until 28 February 2022.
Escudo banknotes celebrated notable figures from the history of Portugal. The final banknote series featured the Age of Discovery, with João de Barros, Pedro Álvares Cabral, Bartolomeu Dias, Vasco da Gama, and Henry the Navigator.
The last 10000 banknote depicted Fernando Pessoa, the famous Portuguese writer and poet.
|Banknotes of the Portuguese escudo (1995–2000 "Portuguese seafarers & explorers" Issue)|
|Image||Value||Equivalent in Euros (€)||Main color||Obverse||Reverse||Watermark|
|||50000||€2.49||Olive and Violet||João de Barros||Allegory of the Age of Discovery||João de Barros|
|||1,00000||€4.99||Brown and Purple||Pedro Álvares Cabral||Sailing ship, animals of Brazil||Pedro Álvares Cabral|
|||2,00000||€9.98||Blue and deep blue-green||Bartolomeu Dias; Cruzado coin of Dom João II||Sailing ship, compass card, map||Bartolomeu Dias|
|||5,00000||€24.94||Green and brown-violet||Vasco da Gama||Sailing ship, Vasco da Gama with authorities in Calicut||Vasco de Gama|
|||10,00000||€49.88||Red and dark brown||Henry the Navigator (Infante Dom Henrique)||Sailing ship||Henry the Navigator (Infante Dom Henrique)|
Conto was the unofficial multiple of the escudo: 1 conto meant 1,00000, 2 contos meant 2,00000 and so on. The original expression was conto de réis, which means 'one count of réis' and referred to one million réis. Since the escudo was worth 1,000 réis (the older currency), therefore one conto was the same as a thousand escudos. The expression remained in usage after the advent of the euro, albeit less often, meaning €5, roughly worth 1,00000.
Occasionally paus, literally meaning 'sticks', was also used to refer to the escudo ("Tens mil paus?" – 'Do you have 1,000 escudos/sticks?'). During the move from escudos to euros the Portuguese had a joke saying that they had lost three currencies: the escudo, the conto, and the pau.
- Hayes, Peter (1 April 2015). How Was It Possible?: A Holocaust Reader. University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 9780803274914. Retrieved 8 April 2018 – via Google Books.
- "Use of the euro". European Central Bank. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
- Cuhaj 2009, p. 1147.
- Cuhaj 2013, p. 1253.
- Cuhaj 2013, p. 1254.
- Cuhaj 2013, pp. 1254–55.
- Cuhaj, George S., ed. (2009). Standard Catalog of World Gold Coins 1601–present (6 ed.). Krause. ISBN 978-1-4402-0424-1.
- Cuhaj, George S., ed. (2013). Standard Catalog of World Coins 1701–1800 (6 ed.). Krause. ISBN 978-1-4402-3884-0.
- Overview of the Portuguese escudo from the BBC
- Portuguese escudo coins
- Historical banknotes from Portugal (in English and German)
- ^ 1999 by law, 2002 de facto.