In terms of currencies, South America is a very colorful continent. Almost all countries have their own currency.
Here more about the individual currencies, where they come from and how they have changed over time, which currencies have disappeared and which have been added.
History of currencies in South America
In South America, there are a total of 14 different currencies besides the US dollar and the euro which are also accepted.
- the Argentine,
- the Uruguayan,
- the Colombian
- the Chilean peso,
- the boliviano,
- the Brazilian real (its sub-unit is called centavos),
- the Falkland pound,
- the Guyana dollar,
- the Guarani in Paraguay,
- the Nuevo Sol in Peru,
- the Suriname dollar in Suriname,
- the Bolivar in Venezuela.
French Guiana and Ecuador, on the other hand, have seen currency changes in recent history.
In French Guiana, the euro has been the national currency since 2001. In Ecuador, the sucre was the national currency until 2000. In 2000 it was replaced with the US dollar.
Colombia used to have gold coins called escudos. In 1837 they were replaced with the current currency, the Colombian peso. This is divided into Centavos, but only in theory. The lowest values of a coin in circulation today are 100 and 200 pesos.
In Peru, the Nuevo Sol has been the national currency since 1991. Before that there was the Inti, but it completely lost its value due to strong inflation.
The Brazilian peso has existed in Brazil since 1994. It replaced the cruzeiro. Nowadays you can pay with Mastercard or Visa in almost all countries, which was unthinkable until a few years ago.
It should be noted, however, that natural disasters and similar events can make a payout difficult. For example, if there was an earthquake in Venezuela in 2014, all payments were impossible until the natural disaster was remedied.
Chile introduced the Chilean peso in 1975. Before that, there were two national currencies in circulation, the Escudo and the Condor.
In Bolivia there is the national currency Boliviano (BOB) in 1987. Before that, people paid in Bolivia with the Bolivian peso. Initially, the currency of Bolivia was changed to US dollars at a ratio of 1: 1. Today this ratio is already 8: 1.