Nicaraguan córdoba

Nicaraguan córdoba
córdoba nicaragüense (Spanish)

1 córdoba banknote of 1941
ISO 4217
Code NIO
1/100 centavo
Symbol C$
Banknotes C$10, C$20, C$50, C$100, C$200, C$500, C$1,000
Coins 5, 10, 25, 50 centavos, C$1, C$5, C$10
User(s)  Nicaragua
Central bank Central Bank of Nicaragua
Inflation 7.4%
Source pedro , 2012

The córdoba (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkordoβa], sign: C$; code: NIO) is the currency of Nicaragua. It is divided into 100 centavos.

Exchange rate

Since 1991, the Central Bank of Nicaragua has used a crawling peg scheme, devaluing the córdoba against the United States dollar by 5% per annum.[1]

Current NIO exchange rates

Historical exchange rates


The first córdoba was introduced on March 20, 1912. It replaced the peso moneda corriente at a rate of 12½ pesos m/c = 1 córdoba and the peso fuerte at par. It was initially nearly equal to the US dollar. It was named after the Conquistador Francisco Hernández de Córdoba.

On February 15, 1988, the 2nd córdoba was introduced. It was equal to 1,000 1st córdobas. On April 30, 1991 the third córdoba, also called the córdoba oro, was introduced, worth 5,000,000 2nd córdobas.


First córdoba

In 1912, coins were introduced in denominations of ½, 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 centavos and 1 córdoba. The ½ and 1 centavo were minted in bronze, the 5 centavos in cupro-nickel and the higher denominations in silver. The 1 córdoba was only minted in 1912, whilst ½ centavo production ceased in 1937.

In 1939, cupro-nickel replaced silver on the 10, 25 and 50 centavos. In 1943, a single year issue of brass 1, 5, 10 & 25 centavos was made. These were the last 1 centavo coins. In 1972, cupro-nickel 1 córdoba coins were issued, followed, in 1974, by aluminium 5 and 10 centavos.

A new series of coins, featuring a portrait of Augusto César Sandino, was introduced in 1981, consisting of aluminum 5 and 10 centavos, nickel-clad steel 25 centavos and cupro-nickel 50 centavos, 1 and 5 córdobas. Nickel clad steel replaced cupro nickel between 1983 and 1984. In 1987, the final coins of the 1st córdoba were issued, featuring Sandino's characteristic hat. Aluminum 500 córdobas were issued.

25, 50 centavos and 1 córdoba coins minted in 1985 were mostly recalled and destroyed by the Central Bank. A few of the 1 córdoba were circulated as seen.

Second córdoba

No coins were issued for this currency.

Third córdoba (córdoba oro)

In 1985, coins dated 1987 but actually introduced with the re denomination, in denominations of 5, 10 and 25 centavos and aluminum-bronze 50 centavos, 1 and 5 Cordoba were issued.

In 1994, coins were issued in denominations of 5, 10, 25 and 50 centavos. All were minted in chrome-plated steel. In 1997, nickel-clad steel 50 centavos, 1 and 5 córdobas were introduced, followed by copper-plated steel 5 centavos & brass-plated steel 10 and 25 centavos in 2002 and brass-plated steel 10 córdobas in 2007.

All current coins have the coat of arms of the country on the obverse and the numeral of the denomination on the reverse.

1997 series
Value Technical parameters Description Date of first minting
Diameter Mass Composition Edge Obverse Reverse
5 centavos 18.5 mm 3 g Copper plated steel Plain Coat of arms Value, "EN DIOS CONFIAMOS"1, year of minting 2002
10 centavos 20.5 mm 4 g Brass plated steel Reeded and plain sections Coat of arms Value, "EN DIOS CONFIAMOS", year of minting 2002
25 centavos 23.2 mm 5 g
50 centavos 22 mm 4.8 g Nickel clad steel Coat of arms Value, "EN DIOS CONFIAMOS", year of minting 1997
1 córdoba 25 mm 6.25 g
5 córdobas 27.8 mm 7 g
10 cordobas 26.5 mm 8.5 g Brass plated steel Lettered Coat of arms Value, figure, year of minting 2007
For table standards, see the coin specification table.


First córdoba

In 1912, the National Bank of Nicaragua introduced notes for 10, 25 and 50 centavos, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 córdobas, together with old 50-centavo and 1-peso notes overprinted for 4 and 8 centavos of the new currency. In 1934, all circulating banknotes were exchanged for notes which had been overprinted with "REVALIDO" ("revalidated"). The last notes for less than 1 córdoba were dated 1938. In 1945, 500-córdoba notes were introduced, followed by 1,000-córdoba notes in 1953.

A 1,000-córdoba banknote, which was reprinted with a value of 200,000 córdobas during the inflationary period of the late 1980s.

In 1962, the Central Bank of Nicaragua took over paper money issuance by a bank resolution of 8 February 1962 and executive decree No. 71 of 26 April 1962.[2] The 1-córdoba notes were replaced by coins in 1972. After 5-córdoba coins were introduced in 1981, 2- and 5-córdoba notes were withdrawn. In 1987, 5000-córdoba notes were introduced, followed by overprinted 10,000 (on 10), 20,000 (on 20), 50,000 (on 50), 100,000 (on 100), 100,000 (on 500), 200,000 (on 1,000), 500,000 (on 1,000) and 1,000,000 (on 1,000) córdobas notes as inflation drastically reduced the córdoba's value.

Second córdoba

The second córdoba was only issued in banknote form. Notes (dated 1985) were issued in 1988 in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 córdobas together with undated 5000 córdobas. In 1989, notes for 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 and 100,000 córdobas were introduced, followed the next year by 200,000, 500,000, 1 million, 5 million and 10 million córdobas notes.

Third córdoba (córdoba oro)

In 1991, notes were introduced for 1, 5, 10 and 25 centavos, ½, 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 córdobas. The notes below 1 córdoba were replaced by coins in 1994, with 5 córdobas notes also being replaced in 1997. 500 córdobas notes were introduced in 2002.

Famous people from Nicaragua's history are depicted on the obverses of the current banknotes. The reverses depict landmarks or natural habitats in the country.

2002 series (Resolution of 10 April 2002)
Image Value Main Color Description Date of printing
Obverse Reverse
C$10 Green Miguel Larreynaga Islets of Granada 2002
C$20 Orange José Santos Zelaya Atlantic Beach
C$50 Purple Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Fortress of El Castillo de la Inmaculada Concepción
C$100 Blue Rubén Darío Rubén Darío National Theatre
C$500 Red José Dolores Estrada Hacienda San Jacinto
For table standards, see the banknote specification table.

2009 series

On May 15, 2009, polymer ten and twenty córdoba notes were issued to with their paper counterparts.[3] A new polymer two hundred and a paper one hundred córdoba banknote was first issued on June 1, 2009. A new polymer 50 córdoba was issued on December 3, 2009. The new designed paper 500 córdoba banknote was introduced on January 12, 2010.[4] A commemorative design of the 50 córdobas was introduced on September 15, 2010 to commemorate the Banco Central de Nicaragua's 50th anniversary of its establishment.[5] In 2012, the Banco Central de Nicaragua (Central Bank of Nicaragua) began issuing a new series of córdoba banknotes with revised security features, beginning with the 10, 20 and 200 córdoba polymer banknotes, which is similar to their first issue, but the notable change is the embossed "10", "20", and "200" on the see-through window now being of an opaque white.[6] [7][8]

The 100 córdoba banknote was also revised. The notable differences from the first issue is that the note was issued on the 100th anniversary of the córdoba currency. Also notable is the wider security thread, a revised registration device, a repositioned serial number, subtle underprint design changes and the commemorative text "1912-2012 Centenario del Cordoba" in pearlescent ink at the left front of the note.[9] The 500 córdoba banknote was also revised. The most notable change for the note is the Bank logo's patch, now a holographic patch instead of an Optically variable device patch and a wider security thread.[10]

2009 series (Resolution of 12 September 2007)
Image Value Dimensions Main Colour Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse Watermark printing issue
10 Cordobas1 131 × 67 mm   Green Fortress of the Immaculate Conception, Rio San Juan Hacienda San Jacinto "10", slighted tilted above El Castillo on the upper right hand side. 2009 May 15, 2009
20 córdobas2 136 × 67 mm   Yellow Hut of natives on the eastern coast of the Caribbean. Illustration of the Palo de Mayo dance "20", Girl pounding grain May 15, 2009
50 córdobas 141 × 67 mm   Violet National ceramic of Nicaragua Canyon of Somoto National ceramic of Nicaragua, "50" watermark December 3, 2009
50 córdobas 67 x 141 mm   Violet First building of the Central Bank Canyon of Somoto "50" watermark 2010 September 16, 2010
100 córdobas 146 × 67 mm   Blue Monument to Rubén Darío León Cathedral Emblem of the Central Bank of Nicaragua; watermark of a lion. 2009 June 1, 2009
200 córdobas 151 × 67 mm   Brown El Güegüense Ometepe Island, the national bird, the Momotus momota. "200", The Güegüense with watermark and cape. 2009 June 1, 2009
500 córdobas 156 × 67 mm   Red Residential Museum of Augusto César Sandino Native statues "500" watermark, Sandino 2010 January 12, 2010
These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimeter. For table standards, see the banknote specification table.

2015 and 2017 series

On 26 October 2015, the Banco Central de Nicaragua introduced a new family of banknotes in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 córdobas. The five lower denominations are printed in polymer, while the 500 córdobas note is printed on cotton paper substrate.[11]On 1 December 2016, the Banco Central de Nicaragua plans to introduce a 1,000 córdobas banknote to ease high-value transactions. A commemorative design will be issued on 1 December 2016 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of poet Rubén Darío and a regular issue will be issued on 2 January 2017.[12][13]

2015-2017 series (resolution of 26th March 2014)
Image Value Dimensions Main Color Description Material Date of issue
Obverse Reverse
C$10 131 x 67 mm Green Puerto Salvador Allende, Managua La Vaquita (Patron Saint festivities of Managua) Polymer October 2015
C$20 136 x 67 mm Orange Moravian church, Laguna de Perlas Mayo Ya Festival Polymer October 2015
C$50 141 x 67 mm Violet Artisan Market, Masaya Folkloristic ballet Polymer October 2015
C$100 146 x 67 mm Blue Cathedral of Granada Horse cart Polymer October 2015
C$200 151 x 67 mm Brown Rubén Darío National Theater, Managua El Güegüense comedy ballet Polymer October 2015
C$500 156 x 67 mm Red Cathedral of León Momotombo Volcano Paper October 2015
C$1,000 161 x 67 mm Dark green Hacienda San Jacinto, Tipitapa Castle of the Immaculate Conception, Río San Juan Paper January 2017

See also


  1. Rogers, Tim (May 13, 2014). "Nicaragua seeks to de-dollarize economy". The Nicaragua Dispatch.
  2. Linzmayer, Owen (2012). "Nicaragua". The Banknote Book. San Francisco, CA:
  4. Articles on the banknote issues of Nicaragua Retrieved 2010-01-18.
  5. Nicaragua new 10-córdoba note confirmed July 19, 2012. Retrieved on 2012-10-28.
  6. Nicaragua new 20-córdoba note confirmed August 21, 2012. Retrieved on 2012-10-28.
  7. Nicaragua new 200-córdoba note confirmed October 4, 2012. Retrieved on 2012-10-28.
  8. Nicaragua new 100-córdoba commemorative note confirmed September 8, 2012. Retrieved on 2012-10-28.
  9. Nicaragua new 500-córdoba note confirmed October 12, 2012. Retrieved on 2012-10-28
  10. Nicaragua new note family (B506 - B511) confirmed October 28, 2015. Retrieved on 2015-10-31.
  11. Nicaragua new 1,000-córdoba note (B513) to be introduced 02.01.2017 November 22, 2016. Retrieved on 2016-11-22.
  12. Nicaragua new 1,000-córdoba commemorative note (B512) to be introduced 01.12.2016 November 22, 2016. Retrieved on 2016-11-22.


External links

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