The nuevo sol (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈnweβo ˈsol], plural: nuevos soles; currency sign: S/.) is the currency of Peru. It is subdivided into 100 céntimos. The ISO 4217 currency code is PEN.
The name is a return to that of Peru's historic currency, the sol in use from the 19th century to 1985. Although the derivation of sol is from the Latin solidus, the name means sun in Spanish. There is a continuity therefore with the old Peruvian inti, which was named after Inti, the Sun God of the Incas.
Because of the bad state of economics in the 1980s and hyperinflation in the late 1980s the government was forced to abandon the inti and introduce the nuevo sol as the country's new currency. The currency was put into use on July 1, 1991 (by Law N° 25,295) to replace the inti at a rate of 1 nuevo sol = 1,000,000 intis. Coins denominated in the new unit were introduced on October 1, 1991 and the first banknotes on November 13, 1991. Hitherto the nuevo sol currently retains a low inflation rate of 1.5%. Since the new currency was put into effect, it has managed to maintain a stable exchange rate between 2.3 and 3.65 nuevo soles per United States dollar.
Out of all the currencies of the Latin-American region, the Peruvian nuevo sol has been the most stable and reliable currency, also being the currency least affected by the weak dollar global tendency. During the late months of 2007 and the first months of 2008, the rate fell to 2.69 nuevos soles per USD, a rate not seen since 1997. As of June 2008, the dollar went up again and was trading at 2.94 nuevos soles per USD. In late November 2008, one USD equaled 3.09 nuevo soles. As of August 8, 2010 the Peruvian Nuevo Sol was trading at 2.79 per USD.
The current coins were introduced in 1991 in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, and 50 céntimos and 1 nuevo sol. The 2 and 5 nuevos soles coins were added in 1994. Although 1 and 5 centimo coins are officially in circulation, they are very rarely used. An aluminium 1 céntimo coin was introduced in December 2005., and a 5 céntimos coin in 2007 . All coins show the coat of arms of Peru surrounded by the text Banco Central de Reserva del Perú (Central Reserve Bank of Peru) on the obverse. The reverse of all coins shows the denomination. Included in the design of the bi-metallic 2 and 5 nuevos soles coins are the Nazca lines hummingbird and frigate bird figures.
In 1990, banknotes for 10, 20, 50 and 100 nuevos soles were introduced. The banknote for 200 nuevos soles was subsequently introduced in August 1995. All notes are of the same size (140 x 65 mm) and contain the portrait of a well-known historic Peruvian on the obverse.
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