Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Old Sol

A country's currency is a great historical storyteller that shows the various influences on country, and it's economic strength, during its history. Here's a little read on Peru's money (Peruvian Money History)*.

The current Peruvian currency is El Nuevo Sol (Literally translated as: The New Sun) as of yesterday, it's traded here in Cajamarca as 2.79 soles per US dollar. It was adopted in 1991 to replace "the inti" and to help solve Peru's hyperinflation at the time, and before the Inti,  they used the the Sol. 

So, there have been 3 different coins since 1985. The Sol, then the Inti, then the Nuevo Sol. Therefore, I was impressed when a volunteer showed me some Soles (the original type) that his host-family had given to him. One had the date of 1945. It was neat because, although finding a 1945 penny might not be tough for us, finding a currency that has been twice replaced, in a developing country I think would be a little harder. Here are the coins:

* When I was in Ecuador, I always found their story of switching to the US Dollar after a "perfect storm" of bad economic events very interesting. Asking around people told me about a debilitating combination of the El Nino weather event, a plague hitting the shrimp farms, and debts being called in to other nations, and other things... all happening at the same time.