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Monday, 11 May 2015

185) Currency of Mexico: Pesos and Centavos (Part I): The History of Paper Money/Banknotes in Mexico:

185) Currency of Mexico: Pesos and Centavos (Part I):

The History of Paper Money/Banknotes in Mexico:

The Peso is the current currency of Mexico with the ISO code “MXN”. The Mexican Peso is subdivided into 100 Centavos which is symbolized with a slashed “c”. The Mexican Peso was the first currency in the world that used the “$” sign as its symbol, which the United States of America (USA) later adopted to denote its own dollar.

The literal English and Spanish translations for the word “Peso” is “weight” and Peso was originally the name of a coin that originated in Spain and became of immense importance internationally. The term Peso was originally used to refer to “pesos oro”, (meaning “gold weights”) or “pesos plata” (meaning “silver weights”). Historically, because of their Spanish connection, the term “Peso” is still used to denote the currencies of several former Spanish colonies.

Introduction and Acceptance of Paper Money in Mexico:

Unlike the circulation of Gold, Silver and Copper coins, it took many years and several attempts for Banknotes to be accepted and used as a payment medium in Mexico.

Initially, Banknotes were issued by Private Banks and were therefore a credit instrument. Their acceptance was voluntary and so their use and acceptance depended on each individual.

One of the features of these Banknotes was that they were payable in legal tender: in other words, people could exchange them for coins (which at the time were made from precious/fine metal) whenever they so wished.

Later on, Banknotes were also issued by the Government and it became compulsory to accept them as such, and it was not necessary to exchange them for metal coins.

Over time, metal coins began to be minted in base/industrial metals (in place of precious metals) and became fiduciary money owing to a decrease in their intrinsic value; and after being declared legal tender, Banknotes became the paper money that is used to this day.

In Mexico, the usage of paper money dates back to the beginning of the early nineteenth century.

First introduction of Banknotes in Mexico:

In 1810, Mexico’s War of Independence began for the purpose of ending Spanish rule in New Spain.

The War ended on 27.09.1821, with the Army of the Three Guarantees’ taking over Mexico City. The cessation of fighting led to New Spain’s Viceroyalty being thrown into turmoil.

During the war of Independence, many Spaniards returned to their homeland while those who stayed behind in New Spain, hid their fortunes. Production at precious metal mines (gold, silver & copper) was reduced both due to miners joining the insurgent troops and attacks and counter-attacks by opposing forces.

Transfers of gold and silver from the Royal Mines to Mexico City diminished because the roads were not safe. This triggered a deep economic crisis and reduced the metal content of coins.

Due to the need to have a payment medium, a large amount of necessity coins emerged (these coins were so named, because they were made to alleviate the need for currency during this time).

Some of these coins were made of gold, but most of them were made of silver and copper.

Interestingly, some pieces of cardboard issued in San Miguel el Grande Guanajuato were also circulated, in lieu of metallic coins.

These cardboard pieces were hand written in black ink in the denomination of half a real (currency of the period) dated July or August 1813 and signed “Gonzalez”, “Malo” and a third illegible one.

It is believed that these signatures belonged to traders or some officials and are regarded as the oldest forerunners of Mexican Banknotes.

In 1821, following Independence, Mexico became a monarchy, led by Augustin de Iturbide. After eleven years of armed combat the First Mexican Empire began its reign with an economy in shreds. Agriculture and mining were in a decline. Industry was only just beginning, was stagnant and devoid of investments.

Iturbide used different strategies to tackle the situation. He gave mining huge facilities, resorted to forced loans and reduced taxes and the wages of the military and civilians. The measures failed and he lost face as Emperor.

On 20.12.1822, he subsequently resorted to the issuance of paper currency.

These Banknotes are the first ones officially issued in Mexico and are printed on one side only (Uniface Banknotes), in white almost square paper and bear the inscription “IMPERIO MEXICANO” (meaning “Mexican Empire”). These Banknotes were issued in denominations of 1, 2 and 10 pesos.

These Banknotes were rejected by the public because they did not like or trust them, on the one hand because people were used to using gold and silver coins and on the other, because their acceptance was obligatory.

In 1823, after the fall of the Mexican Empire, Mexico became a Federal Republic. The new Regime tried to correct the errors of the Empire and won public confidence in the way Government finances were handled.

Action taken included ending of forced loans and the withdrawal of the Imperial Banknotes. However, the country was suffering hardship and so a decision was made to issue paper money again for state funding.

In order to try to prevent people from rejecting this medium of payment, the new Banknotes had cancelled papal bulls on their backs; in other words, religious documents with Papal seal on them. It was about using religion to make them more acceptable to Mexicans. It was also an attempt to prevent counterfeiting by using “new paper”.

Nevertheless, the new Republican Banknotes suffered the same fate as the Imperial Banknotes. They did not win the public’s trust and soon had to be withdrawn.

Following the monetary fiascos of the Empire and the Republic, several decades went by before paper money began to be issued again in Mexico.

In 1864, during the Empire of Maximilian of Hapsburg, the paper money issuance was again tried out but under different conditions. The entity responsible for issuance would be a private bank, the Bank of London, Mexico and South America and the Banknotes were to be issued purely on the basis of voluntary acceptance by the public.

This time the Banknotes were very successful and in some circles were even preferred to coins. This is because their issuers familiarised Mexicans with a novel medium of exchange through wide publicity.

During 1877 to 1911, under the Government of Porfirio Diaz, a firm, functional and organised Banking system came into being and the General Law of Credit Institutions of 1897 was put in place.

Under this Banking model, each State of the Republic had at least one private Banknote issuance Bank, besides Banco Nacional de Mexico, which was present throughout the Republic, and that of London and Mexico whose concessions were ratified.

The Banknotes issued by these two institutions circulated locally and were sometimes revalidated in different states.

Thus Mexico adopted Banknotes as a generally accepted medium of payment.

The Banknotes of these Banks were issued with the metal guarantee corresponding to denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 pesos and were made by specialised foreign companies like Bradbury, Wilkinson & Company, American Bank Note Company and American Book & Printing Company.

After all these measures were put in place, the Mexican public came to accept Banknotes as a preferred mode of payment.

On 20.11.1910, another armed conflict began, aimed at removing President Porforio Diaz from office which developed into a full-blown civil war.

As a result of the conflict, huge amounts of coins were taken out of circulation and hoarded and Banknotes began to be rejected again.

The Revolution ended with Francisco I Madero becoming President of the United States of Mexico.

In February 1913, another coup led to the assassination of Madero and General Victoriano Huerta took over the government.

Huerta ordered private issuer banks to hand over the metal backing of Banknotes to his government and to issue huge quantities of unbacked Banknotes.

Thus Banknotes depreciated very quickly and the Mexican Banking System that had been so difficult to build, rapidly collapsed.

The lack of currency forced municipal authorities, the military, traders, miners and landowners to issue necessity money.

Between 1913 and 1915, necessity money reappeared in Mexico.

Diverse coins were minted in different parts of the Republic but paper issuances in particular multiplied.

The first to issue such money was Venustiano Carranza, the First Chief of the Constitutionalist Army and warlord of the anti-Huerta struggle. He also gave several Revolutionary leaders permission to issue their own Banknotes, Vouchers and Pieces of Cardboard to gather funds for the campaign.

Far from resolving the Republic’s monetary problems, the numerous issuances and varieties only complicated it more.

These Banknotes which Mexicans generically called “Bilimbiques” (a term that was probably derived from the contraction of “William Week”, a US pay-master at the “Green de Cananea” mine, who used paper vouchers to pay the miners and whose name Mexican workers generally found hard to pronounce). These paper vouchers/Banknotes only had value in a given region where their issuer exercised power and authority.

After Huerta’s fall, the situation was complicated by a face-off between different Revolutionary forces. The Bilimbiques continually devalued and new issuances also appeared, such as those of the Provisional Mexican Government issued in Veracruz or those of the Mexico City Revolutionary Convention (Revalidated). The massive counterfeiting of such currency only made Mexico’s monetary problem worse and served to discredit paper money.

As the power of the Constitutionalists consolidated, they made several attempts to resolve the country’s monetary problem.

The only valid paper money would be issued by them, and to protect themselves from counterfeits, the American Bank Note Company of New York was ordered to produce much more sophisticated Banknotes.

In May 1916, these Banknotes began circulating while the previous issuances gradually began to be withdrawn.

These Banknotes are known as “Unforgeable”, nut their fate was not any different to previous revolutionary issuances as they devalued extremely quickly and by the end of the month, were not worth anything.

As such, the only safe currency left were metal coins that were in extremely short supply, as paper money was only backed by how well the armed struggle was doing; if there was a setback, the money people held became worthless.

Towards end-1916, Carranza decreed that workers would only be paid with coins which the Mint of Mexico began minting again. Thus as Carranza progressed, Mexico’s monetary problem became more and more distant.

The reconstruction of the Mexican Republic posed new issues one of which was a new Banking system.

In accordance with the General Law on Credit Institutions of 1897, banks were required to demonstrate within 45 days that they had enough funds to guarantee their paper issuances. At the end of that period, banks that were unable to demonstrate that fifty percent of their reserves consisted of fine/precious metal were declared bankrupt.

In February 1917, Article 28 of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States was enacted which stated that the printing of money would correspond to a single Bank controlled by the Government, the Banco de Mexico.

Nevertheless, eight years passed before this Bank, which would issue Banknotes as one of its main functions, was actually set up.

The “Banco de Mexico” (or the “Bank of Mexico”):

On 01.09.1925, Banco de Mexico began its activities under the Government of the then President of the republic, Plutarco Elias Calles.

The new Institution was given exclusive power to produce currency through the minting of coins and issuance of Banknotes. It was also entrusted with regulating the currency supply, interest rates and the exchange rate.

Banco de Mexico emerged at a time of great challenges and aspirations for the country’s economy.

Besides the need for an institution of that nature, were other pressing issues: foster the development of a new Banking system, reactivate the country’s credit supply and reconcile the public to the use of paper money. Therefore, besides the attributes of an issuer bank, Banco de Mexico was also granted powers to operate as an ordinary credit and discount institution.

During its initial six years, Banco de Mexico had reasonable success, but it faced considerable difficulties consolidating as a Central Bank. Although it grew in prestige and made progress, the circulation of Banknotes was slow and tardy.

Restoring the confidence of the users in the Banknote, was one of the main problems Banco de Mexico faced when it issued its first Banknotes, which in principle were of voluntary acceptance in order to gradually restore its use and public confidence in this medium of payment.

In July 1931, a controversial Monetary Law was passed which demonetized gold in Mexico.

In March 1932, a new Banco de Mexico Organic Law was enacted.

This reform removed the Bank’s powers to operate as a commercial bank, Banks had to form an association with the Central Bank, and Banknote issuance rules became more flexible. This along with the economic recovery that followed the 1929 and 1930 crisis made paper money the main medium of payment in the country.

First Series of Banknotes issued by Banco de Mexico (1925-1934):

Banco de Mexico’s First Series Banknotes were printed by American Bank Note Company of New York (ANBC).

This Series included Banknotes in the denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 Pesos.

The size of all these Banknotes was a uniform 180 mm x 83 mm.

These Banknotes printed at ANBC were designed by their staff on the basis of general specifications provided by the Banco de Mexico, but the public disliked the designs, hence this Series was rather unpopular.

Second Series of Banknotes issued by Banco de Mexico (1936 – 1942):

A Second Series of Banknotes was issued from 1936 o 1942.

This Series was transitory and was also printed by ANBC.

In this Series, the Banknotes were slightly smaller (157 mm x 67 mm).

For the 5, 10 and 20 Peso denomination Banknotes, the designs of the previous Series were retained and only the designs of the 50 and 100 Peso denomination Banknotes were changed.

On the Front of the 50 Peso Banknote, Ignacio Zaragoza was depicted.

On the Front of the 100 Peso Banknote, Francisco I Madero was depicted.

Third Series of Banknotes issued by Banco de Mexico (1936 – 1978):

The Third Series of Banknotes, also printed by ANBC, was simultaneously put into circulation, but lasted much longer than the Second Series Banknotes.

The Banknotes issued were in the denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000 and 10000 Pesos.

The highlight of this Series was the inclusion of the 1 Peso Banknote, which is the only Banknote of this denomination Banco de Mexico has ever issued.

In 1969, Banco de Mexico’s Banknote Printing Factory/Facility commenced operations.

It gave rise to a new generation of Mexican Banknotes backed by cutting-edge technology for the time and designs, images and concepts different to the ones that had prevailed until then.

Fourth Series of Banknotes issued by Banco de Mexico (1969-1991):

The Fourth Series of Banknotes is known as “Type A” Banknotes.

The denominations of Banknotes issued under this series comprised 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000, 20000, 50000 and 100000 Pesos.

The higher denomination Banknotes were introduced to meet the diverse inflationary pressures which were witnessed by Mexico during the 1970s and 1980s, resulting in steep increase in prices and currency depreciation, which impacted people’s purchasing power.

On 18.06.1992, to counter the alarming situation and in order to simplify the handling of quantities of local currency, a decree was issued that, as of 1993 a new unit of the United Mexican States Monetary system was to be introduced equivalent to 1000 Pesos of the old unit.

The new unit was called “Nuevo Pesos” (meaning “New Pesos”) and was identified by the symbol “N$” or by placing the word “Nuevo” (“New”) before it. In other words, if someone had one thousand Pesos before the change of unit, they would now be equivalent to 1 New Peso.

“Nuevo” Pesos Series of Banknotes:

Also, in 1992, in order to comply with the Decree, Banco de Mexico issued a New Series of Banknotes in the denominations of 10, 20, 50 and 100 Pesos on which the word Nuevo” (New) appears before the name of the unit.

These Banknotes are known as “Type B” Banknotes and they retained the designs of the “Type A” Banknotes.

In October 1994, once the public adapted to the new monetary regime, another series of Banknotes in “Nuevo Pesos” (New Pesos) with a new design was issued known as “Type C” Banknotes.

This Series comprised Banknotes in the denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 New Pesos.

These Banknotes were printed in two sizes, a small one (129 mm x 66 mm) for lower denominations (10, 20 and 50 Pesos) and a larger one (155 mm x 66 mm) for the higher denominations (100, 200 and 500 Pesos).

New Series of Banknotes (Type D) Series (1994):

Another Series of Banknotes known as “Type D” was issued in 1994, which omitted the word “Nuevo” (New) on the Banknotes leaving only the word “Pesos”.

This Series comprised the same denominations and designs as the previous one.

New Series of Banknotes (Type D1) Series (2001):

In October 2001, another series of Banknotes was put into circulation (known as “Type D1”).

This Series too preserved the same designs of the earlier series but included new security features in addition to the prevailing ones.

This issuance supplemented the Banknotes in circulation in 50, 100, 200 and 500 Pesos denominations.

On 30.09.2002, new 20 Peso denomination Banknotes were included in Type D1 Series and put into circulation made of polymer instead of paper. This Banknote had a distinctive security feature, that of a transparent window.

On 15.11.2004, the last denomination of the D1 Series 1000 Pesos Banknote was circulated, printed on cotton paper.

New Series of Banknotes (“Type F”) Series (2006):

The latest Series of Banknotes is called the “Type F” Series of Banknotes, which have incorporated changes in security features, colours and sizes. Each denomination has a different colour, so that the users can easily distinguish between them.

These Banknotes were released into circulation wef November 2006 onwards.

These Banknotes come in different sizes to help the visually challenged/impaired users identify the different denominations.

All these Banknotes have widths of 66 mm but are of different lengths.

The lowest denomination Banknote (20 pesos) is the smallest and measures 120 mm and the highest (1000 Pesos) is the longest and measures 155 mm. There is a 7 mm difference between each denomination (20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000).

20 and 50 denomination Banknotes are printed in polymer, while the rest are printed on cotton paper.

The Security features in this Series of Banknotes include:

-      Intaglio and embossing perceptible by touch to assist the visually impaired, colour shifting element, 3D-thread, micro-printing, security thread, linear background, Perfect register, watermark and Fluorescence.

Banknotes in the “Type F” Series:

20 Pesos Banknotes:

(These Banknotes were issued on polymer and were first put into circulation on August 20, 2007. The size of these Banknotes is 120 mm x 66 mm. The colour of this Banknote is predominantly blue).

On the Front of the 20 Peso Banknote, the key motif is a portrait of Don Benito Juarez Garcia, who became President of Mexico in 1858. There is also a drawing of a balancing scale in the foreground symbolising equilibrium and justice and a book which represents the reform laws enacted in 1859.

Don Benito Juarez Garcia (1806-1872): He was President of Mexico in 1858 and issued Reform laws with the support of the radical liberals the following year. Because of his defence of human freedom, which served as an example to other Latin American countries, he was proclaimed as “Benemerito de la Americas”. In a famous speech, he said “The people and Government should respect the rights of all. Among individuals, as among Nations, respect for other’s rights is peace”.

On the Back of the 20 Peso banknote, the predominant image is that of a panoramic view of the Archaeological zone of Monte Alban (built by the Zapotec culture) and located in the State of Oaxaca. To the left of this image, is a detail from an earring found in tomb no. 7 of the Archaeological site, and to the lower right is a fragment of a large mask of the God of Rain and Thunder (Cocijo, the main Zapotec God).

The denomination of this Banknote is mentioned in Spanish as “Veinte Pesos” (meaning “20 Pesos”).

The above is an image of the Monte Alban complex, as included in a book titled “Treasures of the World” issued by UNESCO in my personal library.

Monte Alban: This is an outstanding example of a pre-Columbian ceremonial centre. It stands in the middle zone of present day Mexico, which was subjected to influences from the North – first from Teotihuacan and later the Aztecs – and the Maya from the South. With its pelota court, magnificent temples, tombs and bas-reliefs with hieroglyphic inscriptions, Monte Alban bears unique testimony to the successive civilisations occupying the region during the pre-Classic and Classic periods that stretched from around 1800 BC to about 900 AD. For more than a millennium, it exerted considerable influence on the whole culture of the area.

Among some 200 pre-Hispanic archaeological sites inventoried in the valley of Oaxaca, the Monte Alban Complex best represents the singular evolution of a region inhabited by a succession of peoples: the Olmecs, Zapotecs and Mixtecs.

Monte Alban was literally carved out from a solid mountain, in various stages spanning 1500 years. Man-made terraces and esplanades replaced the natural unevenness of the site with a whole new sacred topography of pyramids and artificial knolls and mounds. This site has been declared by UNESCO as part of the “cultural patrimony of humanity” and a World Heritage site in 1987.

50 Pesos Banknotes:

(These Banknotes were issued on polymer and were first put into circulation on November 21, 2006. Another polymer variation of this Banknote (Type F1) was issued on May 6, 2013. The size of these Banknotes is 127 mm x 66 mm. The colour of this Banknote is predominantly magenta/reddish purple).

On the Front of the 50 Peso Banknote, the key motif is the portrait of Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon, and an illustration comprised of two cannon, one on top of the other, the standard used by Morelos’s forces, as well as a bow and arrow with the word “SUD”.

Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon: He joined Miguel Hidelgo’s Independence movement and in 1813, he convened and installed the Chilpancingo Congress. Before this assembly, the “Sentiments of the Nation” were presented, a document in which Morelos set aside his authority and declared himself as a “Servant of the Nation”. In addition, the document established, among other propositions, Independence, a Republican regime, Prohibition of slavery and equality for all citizens. In 1814, the Congress finished its work and promulgated the Constitution of Apatzingan, Mexico’s first Constitution.

On the Back of the 50 Peso Banknote, the dominant image is that of the Aqueduct of the City of Morelia, Michoacán, constructed by Manuel Escalante Columbres in the 18th century. Three monarch butterflies appear in front of it. To the left of the aqueduct, is a representation of the pre-Hispanic symbol of the State of Michoacán (“Michoacán” means “those of the land of fish”, taken from the codex “telleriano remensis”).

The denomination of this Banknote is mentioned in Spanish as “Cincuenta Pesos” (meaning “50 Pesos”).

100 Pesos Banknotes:

(These Banknotes were issued on cotton paper and were first put into circulation on August 09, 2010. The size of these Banknotes is 134 mm x 66 mm. The colour of this Banknote is predominantly red and yellow).

On the Front of the 100 Peso Banknote, the key motif is an effigy of Nezahualcotyl, accompanied by a verse:







(Translated in English as:

“I love the song of Zentzontle (mocking bird),

 Bird of four hundred voices,

 I love the colour of the jade stone

 And the intoxicating scent of flowers,

 But more than all I love my brother, man”).

The allegory below this verse includes the drawings of a zentzontle bird, four symbols of the word, and a piece of jade, a flower and two seated men.

Netzahualcoyotl (28.04.1402 – 04.06.1472): means “Coyote in fast” or “Coyote who fasts”. He was a philosopher, warrior, architect, poet and ruler (“tlatoni”) of the City State of Texcoco from 1429 to 1472, in pre-Columbian Mexico. He is best remembered for his poetry. He is credited with cultivating what came to be known as Texcoco’s Golden Age, which brought rule of law, scholarship and artistry that influenced surrounding cultures. He designed a Code of Law based on the division of power, which created councils of finance, war, justice and culture. Under his rule, Texcoco flourished as the intellectual centre of the “Triple Alliance” and was home to an extensive library that was destroyed during the Spanish occupation, who could understand/tolerate no other civilised cultures than their own “uncivilised” one.

Several works of poetry are written by him: In cholotiztli (The Flight), Ma zan moquetzacan (Stand up), Nitlacoya (I am sad), Xopan cuicatl (Song of Springtime), Ye nonocuiltonohua (I am wealthy), Zan yehuan (He alone), Xon Ahuiyacan (Be Joyful) among others.

On the Back of the 100 Peso Banknote is a Netzahualcoyotl styled glyph vignette next to the drawing of an aqueduct from the High Temple of the Mexican-Tenochtitlan main plaza.

The denomination of this Banknote is mentioned in Spanish as “Cien Pesos” (meaning “100 Pesos”).

200 Pesos Banknotes:

(These Banknotes were issued on cotton paper and were first put into circulation on September 08, 2008. The size of these Banknotes is 141 mm x 66 mm. The colour of this Banknote is predominantly green).

On the Front of the 200 Peso Banknote, the key motif is a portrait of writer Juana de Asbaje y Ramirez de Santillana, who is better known as “Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz” (1651-1695).

Also shown on this face are drawings of books, an inkwell, two pens and a window of the library where Sor Juana worked. The entire composition alludes to her writing tools in the cloister where she spent a large part of her life.

The denomination of this Banknote is mentioned in Spanish as “Doscientos Pesos” (meaning “200 Pesos”). The Series is mentioned as “SERIE Z” (or “Series “F”) and date of printing of this Banknote is mentioned as 03.05.2010.

Juana Ines de la Cruz: (12.11.1651 – 17.04.1695): Sister Juana Ines de la Cruz was a self-taught scholar and poet of the Baroque school and Hieronymite nun of New Spain, known in her lifetime as the “Tenth Muse”.

On the Back of the 200 Peso Banknote the predominant image is a view of the “Hacienda se Panoayan”, where Sor Juana Ines lived, together with an embossing of the Baptismal font of the Church of San Vincente Ferrer in Chimalhuacan, Estado de Mexico. In the background there is a view of the volcanoes called Popocatepetl and Iztaccihautl.

500 Pesos Banknotes:

(These Banknotes were issued on cotton paper and were first put into circulation on August 30, 2010. The size of these Banknotes is 148 mm x 66 mm. The colour of this Banknote is predominantly brown).

On the Front of the 500 Peso Banknote, the key motif is a self-portrait of the muralist Diego Rivera, painted in 1941, complemented with a vignette comprised of his painting “NUDE WITH CALLA FLOWERS” (1944), three paint brushes and a palette, representing the tools he used to create his works of art.

On the Back of the 500 Peso Banknote, the predominant image is a 1940 self portrait of Frida Kahlo, accompanied by one of her works of art titled “LOVE’S EMBRACE OF THE UNIVERSE, EARTH (MEXICO), I,DIEGO, AND MR. XOLOTL” (1949).

The denomination of this Banknote is mentioned in Spanish as “Quinlentos Pesos” (meaning “500 Pesos”).

1000 Pesos Banknote:

(These Banknotes were issued on cotton paper and were first put into circulation on April 07, 2008. The size of these Banknotes is 155 mm x 66 mm. The colour of this Banknote is predominantly pink and violet).

On the Front of the 1000 Peso Banknote, the key motif is the image of the first and main head of Mexico’s Independence movement Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla. His image is accompanied by a drawing composed of the Dolores church bell and two towers from the same church. This illustration refers to the cry of Dolores, when Miguel Hidalgo rang the bell to call upon the people to start the Independence movement.

On the Back of the 1000 Peso Banknote, the predominant image is a scenic view of the University of Guanajuato, together with the University’s interior window and a relief drawing of one of its doors, as well as, a frog that symbolises Guanajuato, and a representation of the city’s architecture.

The denomination of this Banknote is mentioned in Spanish as “Mll Pesos” (meaning “1000 Pesos”).

Commemorative Banknotes are also included in this series, which have been printed only once in 2009 to commemorate the Bicentennial of the beginning of Mexico’s War of Independence from Spain and the Centennial of the beginning of the Mexican Revolution:

i)             Banknotes commemorating 100 years since the Mexican Revolution (printed on polymer) and 200 years since Mexico’s Independence (printed on cotton paper), in denominations of 100 and 200 pesos respectively.

ii)           These Banknotes are legal tender and do not replace ordinary denominations of 100 and 200 pesos.

100 Pesos Commemorative Banknote of the Mexican Revolution:

(These Banknotes were issued on polymer and were first put into circulation on September 23, 2009. The size of these Banknotes is 134 mm x 66 mm).

On the Front of the 100 Peso Commemorative Banknote, is depicted a locomotive drawn passenger train, transporting revolutionary troops of the armed movement which started in 1910. Next to the locomotive is one of the most emblematic images of the Mexican Revolution, the camp followers or the “Adelita”.

On the Back of the 100 Peso Commemorative Banknote, the predominant image is that of a fragment of the mural titled “From the Porfirio Regime to the Revolution” also known as “The Revolution against Porfirio’s Dictatorship”, by Mexican painter and muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros.

200 Pesos Commemorative Banknote of the Mexican Revolution:

(These Banknotes were issued on cotton paper and were first put into circulation on September 23, 2009. The size of these Banknotes is 134 mm x 66 mm).

On the Front of the 200 Peso Commemorative Banknote, is depicted an image of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla with a banner, which later became the Flag of the Revolutionary Army. This image is from the art-work done by Jesus Enrique Emilio De La Helguera Espinoza titled “Don Miguel Hidalgo” which represents the beginning of the War of Independence.

On the Back of the 200 Peso Commemorative Banknote, the predominant image is that of the Independence Angel, presently located in Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City. Next to it is an image of the Phrygian Cap, which is a symbol of Freedom.

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