The Republic of Nicaragua (Republica de Nicaragua in Spanish) is the largest Central American country. It is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Costa Rica to the south, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras to the north. The country’s name is derived from Nicarao, the name of chief who ruled the tribe that lived around Lake Nicaragua during the early 16th century. Nicaragua is the only Latin American country to be colonized by both Spain and Britain. Its capital, Managua, is the largest city and houses one-sixth of the population.
The official currency of Nicaragua is the Nicaraguan Cordoba. One Cordoba is equivalent to 100 centavos. The Cordoba is named after Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba, founder of Leon and Granada. The Banco Central de Nicaragua (Central Bank of Nicaragua) was established in September 1960 and began operations on January 1961. The Series A Cordoba notes of 1962 all had the same size, security planchettes, and were printed with imprints by the American Bank Note Company. The reverse side of these notes all feature a portrait of Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba. The 1968 Series B notes were printed by De La Rue, added solid security threads, and did not include the 500 and 1,000 Cordoba notes. The 1972 Series C notes had a new design: instead of Cordoba’s portrait, the reverse side featured mostly agricultural activities. The 1 Cordoba was replaced as a coin and the 2 Cordoba note was introduced. The 1978 Series D issues had updated serial numbers but had the same designs as its predecessor. The 1979 Series E notes were issued on August 8. These notes had new designs: the obverse side portrayed different portraits of military and revolutionary heroes and the reverse side depicted historical events, landmarks, and the national flower. The 1985 Series G introduced the 5,000 Cordoba note. In 1987, the Central Bank issued provisional notes that used existing notes with overprints of the new denomination and bank initials in the corners on both sides. The new denominations were 20,000, 50,000, 100,000, and 500,000 Cordobas printed over the 20, 50, 500, and 1,000 Cordoba notes respectively. In 1988, Nicaragua revalued the Cordoba at a rate of 1,000:1 but did not change the name. Though the new Cordoba notes were issued in 1988, they were dated 1985.Along with the new Cordoba notes, Nicaragua also abandoned the practice of printing series letters. These notes were printed by the German State Printing Office of the German Democratic Republic. However, due to hyperinflation the Central Bank issued provisional and emergency notes in between 1988 to 1990, with the new denominations printed over existing notes and introducing larger denominations. On August 13, 1990, Nicaragua revalued its currency again but at a rate of 5,000,000:1. Though the currency name did not change, the revalued Cordoba was sometimes called Cordoba oro. The Cordoba oro notes did not have a cohesive design due to having three different printers for various denominations, even for centavos. However, the reverse side of these notes mostly featured the same element: the Nicaraguan national emblem with a rainbow, a Phrygian cap, and five volcanoes in a triangle encircled by the words Republica de Nicaragua- America Central. In 1994, the centavo notes were replaced by coins and two more printers were employed to print banknotes. In 2002, a new family of banknotes were issued. These notes had a cohesive design with portraits of significant Nicaraguans in front and the national emblem and scenic views at the back. In 2007, a new family of notes were introduced. The 10, 20, and 200 Cordoba notes were printed on a polymer substrate while the 50, 100, and 500 Cordoba notes continued being printed on paper. These notes had heightened security features and did not feature any portraits. Instead, two different landmarks were featured on both sides of the notes. In 2010, a commemorative 50 Cordoba note was issued to honor the 50th anniversary of the Banco Central de Nicaragua. In 2012, a commemorative 100 Cordoba note was issued to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the currency. In 2015, the Banco Central introduced a new family of Cordoba notes. All denominations were printed on a polymer substrate except for the 500 Cordoba note which was printed on a cotton paper substrate. These notes featured landmarks from different provinces in front and cultural vignettes at the back. In 2016, a new design of the 1,000 Cordoba note was introduced. It was first released with a commemorative design honoring the 100th death anniversary of the poet Ruben Dario, and a regular issue was introduced the following year. In 2017, the 500 and 1,000 Cordoba notes were printed on polymer substrate.