The Oriental Republic of Uruguay is on the southeastern coast of South America surrounded by Brazil, Argentina, Rio de la Plata, and the Atlantic Ocean. Covering an area of roughly 176,000 square kilometers, Uruguay is the second smallest nation on the continent.
The Uruguay Peso
The Uruguayan peso has been the official currency of Uruguay since the nation’s settlement by Europeans. It is subdivided into 100 centesimos. In 1896, the nation was financially stable but instability followed after World War I. Later, the country experienced inflation after suffering from economic difficulties caused by World War II.
On September 12, 1967, the Banco Central del Uruguay was formed. The first banknotes that were specifically produced for the Banco Central del Uruguay featured a portrait of political leader and the father of the Uruguayan nation Jose Gervasio Artigas from the painting by Uruguayan painter Juan Manuel Blanes called “Artigas en la Ciudadela”. Their reverse side illustrates historical events and landmarks. These notes were printed by Thomas De La Rue & Company Limited and were uniform in size of 155 x 69 mm.
The Nuevos Pesos
Between 1973 and 1974, a 10,000 peso banknote was introduced bearing the in-profile portrait of Jose Gervasio Artigas by artist Jose Luis Zorrilla de San Martin. Fast forward to 1975, the Nuevos pesos replaced the peso and also a new banknote series was issued. In addition, these notes have a unified design on the obverse that shows Artigas’ portrait that was on the preceding issue of the 10,000-peso note. In addition, the reverse of these notes displays the Palacio Estevez in Plaza Independencia in Montevideo.
In 1995, the Pesos Uruguayos replaced the Nuevos pesos. Recent versions of Uruguayan banknotes feature prominent Uruguayans such as journalist Jose Pedro Varela, politician Pedro Figari, musician and composer Eduardo Fabini, politician and rector Alfredo Vasquez Acevedo, poet Juana de Ibarbourou, and priest Damaso Antonio Larranaga.