The peso (established as the peso convertible) is the currency of Argentina, identified by the symbol $ preceding the amount in the same way as many countries using dollar currencies. It is subdivided into 100 centavos. Its ISO 4217 code is ARS.
Since the late 20th century, the Argentine peso has experienced a substantial rate of devaluation, reaching 25% in 2017. The official exchange rate for the United States dollar hovered around 3:1 from 2002 to 2008, climbing to 6:1 between 2009 and 2013. By January 2018, the rate had risen to 20:1.
Amounts in earlier pesos were sometimes preceded by a "$" sign and sometimes, particularly in formal use, by symbols identifying that it was a specific currency, for example $m/n100 or m$n100 for pesos moneda nacional. The peso introduced in 1992 is just called peso (until 2002 peso convertible), and is written preceded by a "$" sign only. Earlier pesos replaced currencies also called peso, and sometimes two varieties of peso coexisted, making it necessary to have a distinguishing term to use, at least in the transitional period; the 1992 peso replaced a currency with a different name, austral.
The peso was a name often used for the silver Spanish eight-real coin. Following independence, Argentina began issuing its own coins, denominated in reales, soles and escudos, including silver eight-real (or sol) coins still known as pesos. These coins, together with those from neighbouring countries, circulated until 1881.
In 1826, two paper money issues began, denominated in pesos. One, the peso fuerte ($F) (ISO 4217: ARF) was a convertible currency, with 17 pesos fuertes equal to one Spanish ounce (27.0643 g) of 0.916 fine gold. It was replaced by the peso moneda nacional at par in 1881.
The non-convertible peso moneda corriente (everyday currency) ($m/c) was also introduced in 1826. It started at par with the peso fuerte, but depreciated with time.
Although the Argentine Confederation issued 1-, 2- and 4-centavo coins in 1854, with 100 centavos equal to 1 peso = 8 reales, Argentina did not decimalize until 1881. The peso moneda nacional (m$n or $m/n) replaced the earlier currencies at the rate of 1 peso moneda nacional = 8 reales = 1 peso fuerte = 25 peso moneda corriente. Initially, one peso moneda nacional coin was made of silver and known as patacón. However, the 1890 economic crisis ensured that no further silver coins were issued. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Argentine peso was one of the most traded currencies in the world.
The Argentine gold coin from 1875 was the gold peso fuerte, one and two-thirds of a gram of gold of fineness 900, equivalent to one and a half grams of fine gold, defined by law 733 of 1875. This unit was based on that recommended by the European Congress of Economists in Paris in 1867 and adopted by Japan in 1873 (the Argentine 5 peso fuerte coin was equivalent to the Japanese 5 yen).
The monetary system before 1881 has been described as "anarchistic" (anarquía monetaria). Law 1130 of 1881 put an end to this; it established the monetary unit as the peso oro sellado ("stamped gold peso", ISO 4217: ARG), a coin of 1.612 grams of gold of fineness 900 (90%), and the silver peso, 25 g of silver of fineness 900. Gold coins of 5 and 2.5 pesos were to be used, silver coins of one peso and 50, 20, 10 and 5 centavos, and copper coins of 2 and 1 centavos.
The depreciated peso moneda corriente was replaced in 1881 by the paper peso moneda nacional (national currency, (m$n or $m/n), ISO 4217: ARM) at a rate of 25 to 1. This currency was used from 1881 until January 1, 1970 The design was changed in 1899 and again in 1942.
Initially the peso m$n was convertible, with a value of one peso oro sellado. Convertibility was maintained off and on, with decreasing value in gold, until it was finally abandoned in 1929, when m$n 2.2727 was equivalent to one peso oro.
The peso argentino ($a) (ISO 4217: ARP) replaced the previous currency at a rate of 1 peso argentino to 10,000 pesos ley (1 million pesos m$n). The currency was born just before the return of democracy, on June 1, 1983. However, it rapidly lost its purchasing power and was devalued several times, and was replaced by a new currency called the austral in June 1985.
The austral ("₳") (ISO 4217: ARA) replaced the peso argentino at a rate of 1 austral to 1000 pesos (one billion pesos m$n). During the period of circulation of the austral, Argentina suffered from hyperinflation. The last months of President Raul Alfonsín's period in office in 1989 saw prices move up constantly (200% in July alone), with a consequent fall in the value of the currency. Emergency notes of 10,000, 50,000 and 500,000 australes were issued, and provincial administrations issued their own currency for the first time in decades. The value of the currency stabilized soon after President Carlos Menem was elected.
This section needs to be updated.(December 2015)
The current peso (ISO 4217: ARS) replaced the austral at a rate of 1 peso = 10,000 australes (ten trillion pesos m$n). It was also referred to as peso convertible since the international exchange rate was fixed by the Central Bank at 1 peso to 1 U.S. dollar and for every peso convertible circulating, there was a US dollar in the Central Bank's foreign currency reserves. After the various changes of currency and dropping of zeroes, one peso convertible was equivalent to 10,000,000,000,000 (1013) pesos moneda nacional. However, after the financial crisis of 2001, the fixed exchange rate system was abandoned.
Since January 2002, the exchange rate fluctuated, up to a peak of four pesos to one dollar (that is, a 75% devaluation). The resulting export boom produced a massive inflow of dollars into the Argentine economy, which helped lower their price. For a time the administration stated and maintained a strategy of keeping the exchange rate at between 2.90 and 3.10 pesos per US dollar, in order to maintain the competitiveness of exports and encourage import substitution by local industries. When necessary, the Central Bank issues pesos and buys dollars in the free market (sometimes large amounts, in the order of 10 to US$100 million per day) to keep the dollar price from dropping, and had amassed over US$27 billion in reserves before the US$9.81 billion payment to the International Monetary Fund in January 2006.
The effect of this may be compared to the neighboring Brazilian real, which was roughly on a par with the Argentine peso until the beginning of 2003, when both currencies were about three per U.S. dollar. The real started gaining in value more than the peso due to Brazil's slower buildup of dollar reserves; by December 29, 2009 a real was worth almost 2.2 pesos.
In December 2015, US dollar exchange restrictions were removed in Argentina following the election of President Macri. As a result, the difference between the official rate and the unofficial “blue” rate almost disappeared. The official exchange rate was on April 1, 2016, 14.4 to US$1. On November 10, 2017, it was 17.5.
In 1992, 1-, 5-, 10-, 25- and 50-centavo coins were introduced, followed by 1 peso in 1994. Two peso coins for circulation were introduced in 2010. The 1-centavo coins were last minted in 2001.
In 2017, there are plans to issue a new series of coins in $1, $2, $5 and $10 denominations.
|1 centavo||Argentina 1 centavo|
|5 centavos||Argentina 5 centavos|
|10 centavos||Argentina 10 centavos|
|25 centavos||Argentina 25 centavos|
|50 centavos||Argentina 50 centavos|
|1 peso||Argentina 1 peso|
|2 pesos||Argentina 2 pesos|
Commemorating the National Constitutional Convention, 2-peso and 5-peso nickel coins were issued in 1994.
|50 centavos (1996)||50 centavos (50th anniversary of UNICEF)|
|50 centavos (1997)||50 centavos (50th anniversary of the death of Eva Perón and the attainment of voting rights by women)|
|50 centavos (1998)||50 centavos (The establishment of Mercosur)|
|50 centavos (2000)||50 centavos (Death of General Martín Miguel de Güemes)|
|50 centavos (2001)||50 centavos (Death of José de San Martín)|
|1 peso (1996)||1 peso (50th anniversary of UNICEF)|
|1 peso (1997)||1 peso (50th anniversary of the death of Eva Perón and the attainment of voting rights by women)|
|1 peso (1998)||1 peso (The establishment of Mercosur)|
|1 peso (2001)||1 peso (Death of General José de Urquiza)|
|2 pesos (1994)|
|5 pesos (1994)|
|2 pesos (2007)||2 pesos commemorating the Falklands War (Malvinas War)|
Some 2-peso coins were issued in 1999 to commemorate the centenary of the birth of world-famous writer and poet Jorge Luis Borges; they had an image of Borges' face on one side, and a labyrinth and the Hebrew letter aleph on the other. In addition, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the death of Eva Perón, on September 18, 2002 a new 2-peso coin with her face was created. It was said that this coin would replace the old AR$2 banknote if inflation continued to be high. None of the 2-peso coins are currently in wide circulation.
Some other 50- and 1-peso coins exist commemorating different events, including the 50th anniversary of the creation of UNICEF (1996); the attainment of voting rights by women (1997); the establishment of Mercosur (1998); and the death of José de San Martín (2001).
In 2010, commemorating the bicentennial anniversary of the May Revolution, several 1-peso coins were issued, all featuring the same obverse, different from the main series, and images of different places on the reverse, such as Mar del Plata, the Perito Moreno Glacier, mount Aconcagua, the Pucará de Tilcara, and El Palmar.
Small denomination currency and particularly coins are sometimes difficult to come by in Argentina, especially in Buenos Aires. The problem has developed to a stage in which some shop owners will not sell items if the transaction involves giving the purchaser change in coins. It has also been exacerbated by ATMs, which tend to give out only 100 peso notes, and by bus companies, some of which will take only coins in payment and sell these at a 5–10% markup on the black market rather than depositing them at banks. This situation has improved in the years following the Argentine economic crisis (1999–2002). Nowadays nearly all bus lines in Buenos Aires have a SUBE (Sistema Único de Boleto Electrónico; Unified Electronic Ticket System) smartcard reader, allowing passengers to pay electronically without coins.
In 1992, banknotes were introduced in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 pesos. The 1-peso note was replaced by a coin in 1994. The pictures below are outdated, since they bear the legend "Convertibles de curso legal" (meaning that value was fixed to the same amount in US dollars). New bills, printed since 2002, do not have this text. As most bills have been replaced, it is rare to find ones marked as convertible except in the large $100 denominations. All bills are 155 × 65 mm in size.
|$2||Blue||Bartolomé Mitre; replica of a handwritten manuscript of Historia de Belgrano y de la Independencia Argentina and contrapuerta of his house||Museo Mitre||Bartolomé Mitre and his initials||November 26, 1997 - April 27, 2018|
|$5||Green||José de San Martín; replica of his will and reproduction of Abrazo de Maipú, painting by Pedro Subercaseaux depicting the hug shared by San Martín and Bernardo O'Higgins that sealed Chile's independence||Monument to the Army of the Andes, Cerro de la Gloria; Order of the Liberator General San Martín medal||José de San Martín and his initials||June 22, 1998|
|$5||Green||José de San Martín and the Order of the Liberator (Orden del Libertador)||José Artigas, Simón Bolívar, José de San Martín, and Bernardo O'Higgins||José de San Martín and his initials||October 1, 2015|
|$10||Brown||Manuel Belgrano; replica of an 1812 report by him to the government of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata and reproduction of La Patria Abanderada by Alfredo Bigatti at the National Flag Memorial||National Flag Memorial; drum —in remembrance of drummer boy Pedro Ríos who died at the Battle of Tacuarí— and typical textile pattern from the Argentine Northwest||Manuel Belgrano and his initials||January 11, 1999|
|$10||Brown, green, blue and purple||Manuel Belgrano||Juana Azurduy de Padilla and Manuel Belgrano on horseback with swords raised to the new flag on February 27, 1812 along the Paraná River||Manuel Belgrano and electrotype MB||April 4, 2016|
|$20||Red||Juan Manuel de Rosas; reproduction of Retrato de Manuelita Rosas by Prilidiano Pueyrredón, which depicts his daughter Manuela Rosas||Battle of Vuelta de Obligado; reproduction of the military trophies included in the 8 reales coin of 1840||Juan Manuel de Rosas and his initials||January 18, 2000|
|$50||Black||Domingo Faustino Sarmiento; reproduction of a manuscript of Vida de Dominguito, biography of his adopted son who died at the Battle of Curupayty||Casa Rosada; motifs to his various activities: La Porteña locomotive, European immigration and Facundo (1845), a cornerstone of Latin American literature||Domingo Faustino Sarmiento and his initials||July 19, 1999|
|$50||Blue||The Falkland Islands (Spanish: Islas Malvinas), South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands||Antonio Rivero, the Darwin Cemetery, light cruiser General Belgrano, the Falkland Islands, and the Dolphin gull (Leucophaeus scoresbii)||Falkland Islands and electrotype "IM" (Islas Malvinas/Falkland Islands)||2 March 2015|
|$100||Violet||Julio Argentino Roca; replica of a letter Roca sent to Miguel Cané —then ambassador to Austria— and evocation of Argentine progress under the sun of the future||Conquest of the Desert —painting La Conquista del Desierto by Juan Manuel Blanes; evocation of Roca as a statesman and military man: hand-written sheets of paper, the saber and a laurel branch||Julio Argentino Roca and his initials||December 3, 1999|
|$100||Violet||María Eva Duarte de Perón; based on the design of a 5-peso banknote planned to be released following her 1952 death, but unreleased due to the coup that deposed President Juan Domingo Perón||Ara Pacis||María Eva Duarte de Perón and her initials||September 20, 2012|
|These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimeter. For table standards, see the banknote specification table.|
In 2016, the Banco Central de la República Argentina issued a new series notes, with the 200 and 500 pesos banknotes as the newest denominations. A new 20-peso note and the 1000-peso note were issued in 2017, and new banknotes of 50-pesos and 100-pesos and new coins of $1, $2, $5, and $10 will be issued in 2018.
|$20||Red||Guanaco||Patagonian steppe||Guanaco and electrotype 20||3 October 2017|
|$50||Gray||Andean condor||Andes Region||Andean condor and electrotype 50||TBA|
|$100||Violet||Taruca||Northwest Region||Taruca and electrotype 100||TBA|
|$200||Blue||Southern whale (Ballena franca austral)||Drawing of Peninsular Valdes; map of Argentina; Compass indicating the South East (location of whales); tail of the whale||Whale and electrotype 200||26 October 2016|
|$500||Green||Jaguar (Panthera onca)||Paw prints; jaguar cub and adult in a stream running through the forest; map of Argentina with the Northeast region highlighted||Jaguar and electrotype 500||30 June 2016|
|$1000||Orange||Hornero||Central Region||Hornero and electrotype 1000||1 December 2017|
|These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimeter. For table standards, see the banknote specification table.|
|Current ARS exchange rates|
|From Google Finance:||AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD BRL INR|
|From Yahoo! Finance:||AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD BRL INR|
|From XE:||AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD BRL INR|
|From OANDA:||AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD BRL INR|
|From fxtop.com:||AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD BRL INR|
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