The guaraní (Spanish pronunciation: [ɡwaɾaˈni], plural: guaraníes; sign: ₲; code: PYG) is the national currency unit of Paraguay. The guaraní was divided into 100 céntimos but, because of inflation, céntimos are no longer in use.
The law creating the guaraní was passed on 5 October 1943, and replaced the peso at a rate of 1 guaraní = 100 pesos. Guaraníes were first issued in 1944. Between 1960 and 1985, the guaraní was pegged to the United States dollar at 126 PYG to 1 USD.
In 1944, aluminium-bronze coins were introduced in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 centimos. All were round shaped. The obverses featured a flower with "Republica del Paraguay" and the date surrounding it, except for the 50 centimos, which featured the lion and Liberty cap insignia. The denomination was shown on the reverses.
The second issue, introduced in 1953, consisted of 10, 15, 25 and 50 centimos coins. All were again minted in aluminium-bronze but were scallop shaped and featured the lion and Liberty cap on the obverse. None of the céntimo coins circulate today.
In 1975, coins were introduced in denominations of 1, 5, 10 and 50 guaranies, all of which were round and made of stainless steel. Since 1990, stainless steel has been replaced by brass plated steel nickel-brass. 100 guaranies coins were introduced in 1990, followed by 500 guaranies in 1997. 1000 guaranies coins were minted in 2006 and released in 2007. Also, in 2006 the Mint of Slovakia minted new types of 50, 100 and 500 guaranies, which were released in 2007.
The first guaraní notes were of 50 céntimos, 1, 5, and 10 guaraní overstamped on 50, 100, 500, and 1000 pesos in 1943. Regular guaraní notes for 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 guaraní, soon followed. They were printed by De La Rue.
The 1963 series (under the law of 1952) was a complete redesign. The lineup also expanded upward with the addition of 5000 and 10,000 guaraníes. This designed lasted for decades until inflation removed notes up to and including 500 guaraníes from circulation. The 1982 revision added denominations in the Guaraní language to the reverses.
The first 50,000 guaraníes notes were issued in 1990, followed by 100,000 guaraníes in 1998. During the last two decades of the 20th century, more than one printer printed guaraní notes.
Starting from 2004, the existing denominations, except 50,000 guaraníes, underwent small but easily noticeable changes, such as a more sophisticated and borderless underprint and enhanced security features. Giesecke & Devrient print the new 20,000 guaraní note, while De La Rue prints the rest. In 2009, the Central Bank launched the first 2,000 guaraníes polymere-made bills, which makes the notes more durable than the traditional cotton-fiber bills.
New 50,000 guaraníes bills of serie C have been printed with the date of 2005, but as they obviously reached circulation by criminal ways before being launched officially, this series has been declared void and worthless by the central bank.
In 2011, the Paraguayan guaraní will be revalued as the Nuevo guaraní (PYN) in the ratio of 1 000:1. The guaraní is currently the least valued currency unit in the Americas.
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