Venezuelan bolívar: Wikis


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Venezuelan bolívar
Bolívar fuerte venezolano (Spanish)
[[Image:|126px|2 to 100 Bs.F]] Bolívar fuerte coins
Bolívar fuerte coins
ISO 4217 Code VEF
User(s)  Venezuela
Inflation 26%
Source [2], June 2009
Pegged with U.S. dollar = Bs. F 4.3
(Greatly different black market rate; see article text)[1]
1/100 céntimo
Symbol Bs. F
Plural bolívares fuertes
Freq. used 5, 10, 25, 50 céntimos, 1 Bs.F.
Rarely used 12½ and 1 céntimo
Banknotes 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 Bs.F.
Central bank Banco Central de Venezuela

The bolívar fuerte (plural: bolívares fuertes, ISO 4217 code: VEF; locally abbreviated as Bs. F) is the new currency of Venezuela since 1 January 2008. It is subdivided into 100 céntimos[2] and replaced the bolívar (plural: bolívares, ISO 4217 code: VEB; locally abbreviated as Bs.) at the rate of Bs.F 1 = Bs.1000 due to inflation.





The bolívar was adopted by the monetary law of 1879, replacing the short-lived venezolano at a rate of 5 bolívares = 1 venezolano. Initially, the bolívar was defined on the silver standard, equal to 4.5 g fine silver, following the principles of the Latin Monetary Union. The monetary law of 1887 made the gold bolívar unlimited legal tender, and the gold standard came into full operation in 1910. Venezuela went off gold in 1930, and in 1934 the bolívar exchange rate was fixed in terms of the U.S. dollar at a rate of 3.914 bolívares = 1 U.S. dollar, revalued to 3.18 bolívares = 1 U.S. dollar in 1937, a rate which lasted until 1941. Until February 18, 1983 (now called Black Friday (Viernes Negro) by many Venezuelans), the bolívar had been the region's most stable and internationally accepted currency. Since then, however, it has fallen prey to high devaluation.

From 1 March 2005, the former currency was officially pegged to the U.S. dollar at a fixed exchange rate of 2,150 bolívares to the dollar by the BCV.[3]

The value is being changed by the government from the fixed exchange rate of 2,150 bolívares (2.15 bolívares fuertes) to 2,600 bolívares (2.6 bolívares fuertes) for some imports (certain foods and healthcare goods) and 4,300 bolívares (4.3 bolívares fuertes) for 'unnecessary' imports like cars, petrochemicals, and electronics. [4]

Bolívar fuerte

The government announced on 7 March 2007 that the bolívar would be revalued at a ratio of 1 to 1000 on 1 January 2008 and renamed the bolívar fuerte in an effort to facilitate the ease of transaction and accounting.[5] The new name is literally translated as "strong bolívar",[6][7] but also references an old coin called the Peso fuerte worth 10 Spanish reales.[8].

The name "bolívar fuerte" is only used temporarily to distinguish it from the older currency that is being used along with the bolívar fuerte. This duality will last until 2009.

The Central Bank of Venezuela is promoting the new currency with an ad campaign and the slogan: "Una economía fuerte, un bolívar fuerte, un país fuerte" (lit. "a strong economy, a strong bolívar, a strong country").[5] Nevertheless, the black market value of the bolívar fuerte has been significantly lower than the fixed exchange rate of 2.15 (in February of 2008 it was as high as 7.0 to 1).[1] It is illegal to publish this "parallel exchange rate" in Venezuela.[1]



In 1879, silver coins were introduced in denominations of 15, ½, 1, 2, and 5 bolívares, together with gold 20 bolívares. Gold 100 bolívares were also issued between 1886 and 1889. In 1894, silver ¼ bolívar coins were introduced, followed by cupro-nickel 5 and 12½ céntimos in 1896.

In 1912, production of gold coins ceased, whilst production of the 5 bolívares ended in 1936. In 1965, nickel replaced silver in the 25 and 50 céntimos, with the same happening to the 1 and 2 bolívares in 1967. In 1971, cupro-nickel 10 céntimo coins were issued, the 12½ céntimos having last been issued in 1958. A nickel 5 bolívares was introduced in 1973. Clad steel (first copper, then nickel and cupro-nickel) was used for the 5 céntimos from 1974. Nickel clad steel was introduced for all denominations from 25 céntimos up to 5 bolívares in 1989.

In 1998, after a period of high inflation, a new coinage was introduced consisting of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500 bolívar denominations.

The former coins were:

  • 10 bolívares
  • 20 bolívares
  • 50 bolívares
  • 100 bolívares
  • 500 bolívares
  • 1000 bolívares (introduced in 2006, recalled due to the coins using the old Coat of Arms)

All the coins had the same design. On the obverse the left profile of the Libertador Simón Bolívar is depicted, along with the inscription "Bolívar Libertador" within a heptagon, symbolizing the seven stars of the flag. On the reverse the coat of arms is depicted, circled by the official name of the country, with the date and the denomination below. In 2001, the reverse design was changed, putting the denomination of the coin at the right of the shield of the coat of arms, semicircled by the official name of the country and the year of its emission below.

Bolívar fuerte

Coins are in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 12½, 25, 50 céntimos, and 1 bolívar. However, the coin of 1 céntimo is not widely used as most prices are rounded up to the next 5 céntimos.



In 1940, the Banco Central de Venezuela began issuing paper money, introducing by 1945 denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500 bolívares. 5 bolívar notes were issued between 1966 and 1974, when they were replaced by coins. In 1989, notes for 1, 2 and 5 bolívares were issued.

As inflation took hold, higher denominations of banknotes started being introduced: 1,000 bolívares in 1991, 2,000 and 5,000 bolívares in 1994, and 10,000, 20,000 and 50,000 bolívares in 1998. The first 20,000 banknotes were made in a green color similar to the one of the 2,000 banknotes, which caused confusion, and new banknotes were made in the new olive green color.

The following is a list of a former Venezuelan bolívar banknotes.

Pre-1998 series banknotes (from various series)
Image Denomination Emission Year Obverse Reverse
Venezuelan banknote, 500 bolívares. Obverse Venezuelan banknote, 500 bolívares. Reverse 500 bolívares 1981 Simón Bolívar A branch of orchids
Venezuelan banknote, 1,000 bolívares. Obverse Venezuelan banknote, 1,000 bolívares. Reverse 1000 bolívares 1991 Simón Bolívar Signing of the Venezuelan Declaration of Independence
Venezuelan banknote, 2,000 bolívares. Obverse Venezuelan banknote, 2,000 bolívares. Reverse 2000 bolívares 1994 Antonio José de Sucre The Battle of Junín
Venezuelan banknote, 5,000 bolívares. Obverse Venezuelan banknote, 5,000 bolívares. Reverse 5000 bolívares 1994 Simón Bolívar and his coat of arms A reproduction of the painting El 19 de Abril de 1810 by Juan Lovera
[3] [4] 10,000 bolívares 1998
1998-2007 Series
Venezuelan banknote, 1,000 bolívares; new design. Obverse Venezuelan banknote, 1,000 bolívares; new design. Reverse 1000 bolívares 1998 Simón Bolívar A branch of orchids, the Cerro El Ávila, and the Panteón Nacional
Venezuelan banknote, 2,000 bolívares; new design. Obverse Venezuelan banknote, 2,000 bolívares; new design. Reverse 2000 bolívares 1998 Andrés Bello A picture of frailejones and a view of the Pico Bolívar
Venezuelan banknote, 5,000 bolívares; new design. Obverse Venezuelan banknote, 5,000 bolívares; new design. Reverse 5000 bolívares 2000 Francisco de Miranda Picture of two angelfishes and a panorama of the Guri Dam.
Venezuelan banknote, 10,000 bolívares. Obverse Venezuelan banknote, 10,000 bolívares. Reverse 10,000 bolívares 2000 Antonio José de Sucre A Marpesia petreus butterfly and the Supreme Tribunal of Justice
Venezuelan banknote, 20,000 bolívares. Obverse Venezuelan banknote, 20,000 bolívares. Reverse 20,000 bolívares 2000 Simón Rodríguez and the Angel Falls in the background A Blue-and-yellow Macaw and the Angel Falls
Venezuelan banknote, 50,000 bolívares. Obverse Venezuelan banknote, 50,000 bolívares. Reverse 50,000 bolívares 1998 José María Vargas The Student's Square in the Ciudad Universitaria and the clock in it

Bolívar fuerte

Banknotes are in denominations of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 bolívares.

2008 Series
Image Denomination Emission Year Obverse Reverse
Venezuelan banknote, 2 bolívares. Obverse Venezuelan banknote, 2 bolívares. Reverse 2 bolívares 2008 Francisco de Miranda Orinoco River Dolphins with Coro Dunes in background
Venezuelan banknote, 5 bolívares. Obverse Venezuelan banknote, 5 bolívares. Reverse 5 bolívares 2008 Pedro Camejo Giant Armadillo with plains in background
Venezuelan banknote, 10 bolívares. Obverse Venezuelan banknote, 10 bolívares. Reverse 10 bolívares 2008 Cacique Guaicaipuro American Harpy Eagle with Ucaima Falls in background
Venezuelan banknote, 20 bolívares. Obverse Venezuelan banknote, 20 bolívares. Reverse 20 bolívares 2008 Luisa Cáceres de Arismendi Hawksbill turtle with Macanao Mountain in background
Venezuelan banknote, 50 bolívares. Obverse Venezuelan banknote, 50 bolívares. Reverse 50 bolívares 2008 Simón Rodríguez Spectacled Bear with Laguna Santo Cristo in background
Venezuelan banknote, 100 bolívares. Obverse Venezuelan banknote, 100 bolívares. Reverse 100 bolívares 2008 Simón Bolívar Red Siskin with Cerro El Ávila in background
Current VEF exchange rates

See also


  1. ^ a b c Simon Romero (February 9, 2008). "In Venezuela, Faith in Chávez Starts to Wane". New York Times.  
  2. ^ Rueda, Jorge (2008-01-01). "Venezuela Introduces New Currency". ABC News. Retrieved 2008-02-04.  
  3. ^ List of BCV official exchange rates (2000 - present)
  4. ^ "Venezuela will slash value of currency, the bolivar". BBC. Retrieved 2010-01-09.  
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ tevision advertisements[1] for the new currency repeatedly use "fuerte" as meaning "strong" such as in "Una economía fuerte" (a strong economy) and "¡Aquí hay fuerza!" (There's strength in this!)
  7. ^ Rueda, Jorge (2008-01-01). "Venezuela cuts three zeros off bolivar currency". Reuters. Retrieved 2008-02-04.  
  8. ^ Numismatic Catalog of Venezuela. "Coins in Pesos Fuerte". Retrieved 2008-02-04.  

External links


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