The Dominican Republic (Republica Dominica) is the country that occupies two-thirds of the eastern portion of Hispaniola, an island located in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean region. It shares the island with Haiti. The country is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and the Caribbean Sea to the south. Its capital is Santo Domingo. Like many former Spanish colonies, the Dominican Republic uses its own version of the peso (Peso dominicano) as its currency and Spanish as its official language.
The Dominican Republic’s currency before the peso dominicano was the peso oro, or the golden peso. The peso oro is the first national currency of the Dominican Republic. The Banco Central de la Republica Dominicana (Central Bank of the Dominican Republic) is the only authorized institution to issue banknotes and coins within the territory. The first family of national banknotes were the 1, 5, and 10 peso oro banknotes issued from 1947 to 1955. These notes had similar designs to the US dollar and printed by the American Bank Note Company (ABNC). The obverse side featured historically prominent figures in the front and the national emblem, the head of Enriquillo wearing Libertad, and the denomination at the back. Instead of security threads and watermarks, the security features of the notes were randomly scattered colored planchettes. In 1959, the new family of banknotes switched printers to Waterlow & Sons, Limited (W&S). The W&S and ANBC printed banknotes were all withdrawn in 1967. After the death of President Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina in 1961, the country entered a period of economic instability. Due to the hoarding of silver coins, the State Council ordered the printing of “paper coins”, the only banknotes that were printed in the country. These paper coin banknotes (also known as the fractional issue notes) still retained the US dollar design but featured important buildings instead of people on the front. In 1964, the Central Bank authorized new notes with increased anti-counterfeiting measures, more modern designs, smaller sizes, and different colors. However, these banknotes, printed by Thomas De La Rue & Co. Ltd., were circulated in 1966 due to political instability and US intervention. In 1977, newly designed banknotes were introduced. These notes added new security features, including watermarks, solid security threads, embedded fibers, and intaglio printing. The 1977 family of banknotes also featured the mahogany flower on all the denominations, and only the 1, 5, and 10 peso oro banknotes featured historically significant people on the front. Larger denominations featured landmarks that had a similar theme on both sides. In 1992, the Central Bank issued commemorative banknotes to honor the Quincentennial of the Discovery and Evangelization of the Americas. The first banknote of the series, the 500-peso note, was the only note designed entirely by Dominicans and featured Christopher Columbus. Other denominations had similar designs as the preceding issues, only adding a commemorative overprint on the front. In 1994, commemorative 1-peso oro banknotes were issued to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the constitution. These 1-peso oro banknotes featured the flag of the Dominican Republic, the Book of Constitutions, and Juan Pablo Duarte on the obverse side and a sugar refinery plant on the reverse side. In 2000, a family of newly designed peso oro banknotes were introduced to the public. These peso oro banknotes featured more historical figures in front—some notes even had two or three people, along with mahogany flowers and the bank seal—and cultural and historical landmarks at the backside. In 2011, the Peso Dominicano was adopted as the national currency and the Central Bank issued the first family of Dominican peso notes, which retained the previous peso oro designs. The Central Bank issued new Peso Dominicanos banknotes with enhanced security features and a new bank logo in 2017. The Central Bank of the Dominican Republic issued two commemorative notes to celebrate its milestone years: a 100-peso oro banknote commemorating the Bank’s 55th anniversary in 2002; and a 500-Peso Dominicano banknote during the Bank’s 70th anniversary. These notes feature the Bank’s commemorative logo on one side of the note—the 55th anniversary logo on the reverse side of the 100-peso oro note, and the 70th anniversary logo on the obverse side of the 500-Peso Dominicano note.