The lempira was named after the 16th-century cacique Lempira, a ruler of the indigenous Lenca people, who is renowned in Honduran folklore for leading the (ultimately unsuccessful) local native resistance against the Spanish conquistador forces. He is a national hero, and is honoured on both the 1 lempira note and the 20 and 50 centavos coins.
The lempira was introduced in 1931, replacing the peso at par. In the late 1980s, the exchange rate was two lempiras to the United States dollar (the 20-centavos coin is called a daime as it was worth the same as a U.S. dime). As of June 20, 2017, the lempira was quoted at 23.44 HNL to 1 USD.
In 1931, coins were introduced in denominations of 5, 20 & 50 centavos, and 1 lempira. One-, 2- and 10-centavos coins were added in 1935, 1939 and 1932, respectively. The silver 1-lempira coins ceased production in 1937, with the other silver coins (20 & 50 centavos) replaced by cupro-nickel in 1967. The 1- and 2-centavos coins were discontinued in 1974 and 1998, respectively.
Coins currently in circulation are
The Bank of Honduras and the Banco Atlantida issued the first lempira banknotes in 1932. They were in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 lempiras. The Central Bank of Honduras took over production of paper money in 1950, introducing 50 and 100 lempiras notes in 1950, followed by the 500-lempiras note in 1995.
In January, 2010, a new 20-lempira note was introduced to market made by a polymer base, 60 million notes were issued.
Banknotes in circulation are
|L1||Red||156 × 67 mm||Lempira||Copán|
|L2||Purple||Marco Aurelio Soto||Amapala|
|L5||Gray||Francisco Morazán||Battle of 'La Trinidad'|
|L10||Brown||José Trinidad Cabañas||Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras|
|L20||Green||Dionisio de Herrera||Presidential palace|
|http://flagpedia.net/data/currency/hnl/50lempira.jpg||L50||Blue||Juan Manuel Gálvez||Central Bank of Honduras|
|L100||Orange||José Cecilio del Valle||Casa Valle|
|L500||Violet||Ramón Rosa||San Juancito|
|Current HNL exchange rates|
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