Venezuelan bolívar

Infobox Currency
image_1 =Bolivares.pngimage_title_1 = 2 to 100 Bs.F
image_2 = Venezuelan coins.pngimage_title_2 = Bolívar fuerte coins
currency_name_in_local = Bolívar fuerte venezolano es icon
iso_code = VEF
using_countries = VEN
inflation_rate = 20.7%
inflation_source_date = [ Bloomberg] , February 2007
pegged_with = U.S. dollar = Bs. F 2.15
(Greatly different black market rate; see article text)cite news|title=In Venezuela, Faith in Chávez Starts to Wane|author=Simon Romero|date=February 9, 2008|publisher=New York Times|url=]
subunit_ratio_1 = 1/100
subunit_name_1 = céntimo
symbol = Bs. F
plural = bolívares fuertes
used_coins = 1, 5, 10, 12½, 25, 50 céntimos, 1 Bs.F.
used_banknotes = 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 Bs.F.
issuing_authority = Banco Central de Venezuela
issuing_authority_website =
The bolívar fuerte (plural: bolívares fuertes, ISO 4217 code: VEF; locally abbreviated as "Bs. F") is the new currency of Venezuela since January 1, 2008. It is subdivided into 100 céntimos. [cite news |first=Jorge |last=Rueda |url= |title=Venezuela Introduces New Currency |publisher=ABC News |date=2008-01-01 |accessdate=2008-02-04 ]

The "bolívar fuerte" replaced the "bolívar" (plural: bolívares, ISO 4217 code: VEB; locally abbreviated as "Bs.") at the rate of 1 Bs.F = 1000 Bs. due to inflation. The old bolívar was the currency of Venezuela between 1879 and 2007. It was also subdivided into 100 céntimos.

See Currency of Venezuela for a summary of Venezuelan monetary history.



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 4.500 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 bolívar = 1 dollar, revalued to 3.18 bolívar = 1 dollar in 1937, a rate which lasted until 1941. Until the 1970s, the bolívar was the region's most stable and internationally accepted currency. Since that time, however, it has fallen victim to high inflation.

From March 1, 2005, the former currency was officially pegged to the U.S. dollar at a fixed exchange rate of 2150 bolívares to the dollar by the BCV. [ [ List of BCV official exchange rates] (2000 - present)]

The government announced on March 7 2007 that the bolívar would be revalued at a ratio of 1 to 1000 on January 1 2008 and renamed the "bolívar fuerte" (ISO 4217 code: VEF), in an effort to facilitate the ease of transaction and accounting.] The new name is literally translated as "strong bolívar", [tevision advertisements [] 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!)] but also references an old coin called the "Peso fuerte" worth 10 Spanish reales. [cite web |author=Numismatic Catalog of Venezuela |url= |title=Coins in Pesos Fuerte |accessdate=2008-02-04] .

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

Bolívar fuerte

The Venezuelan government announced on March 7 2007 that the bolívar would be redenominated at a ratio of 1 to 1000 on January 1 2008 and renamed the "bolívar fuerte", in an effort to facilitate the ease of transaction and accounting. [cite news |first=Jorge |last=Rueda |url= |title=Venezuela cuts three zeros off bolivar currency |publisher=Reuters |date=2008-01-01 |accessdate=2008-02-04 ] The Central Bank of Venezuela is promoting the new currency with an ad campaign and the slogan: "Una economía fuerte, un bolivar fuerte, un país fuerte" (lit. "a strong economy, a strong bolívar, a strong country").

Despite such campaigns, as of February 2008, the black market value of the "bolívar fuerte" hovers at around 5.2 to the U.S. dollar, less than half of the fixed exchange rate of 2.15. It is unlawful to publish this statistic in Venezuela.



In 1879, silver coins were introduced in denominations of frac|5, 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, in 1936, production of the 5 bolívares ended. 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 is depicted the left profile of the "Libertador" Simón Bolívar, together with the inscription "Bolívar Libertador", within a heptagon, symbolizing the seven stars of the flag. On the reverse is depicted the coat of arms, 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 and 50 céntimos and 1 bolívar. See these [ images] .



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 were introduced: 1000 bolívares in 1991, 2000 and 5000 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.

Bolívar fuerte

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

ee also

* Economy of Venezuela


*numis cite SCWC|date=1991
*numis cite SCWPM|date=1994

External links

Standard numismatics external links
world_coin_gallery_1_url = Venezuela
world_coin_gallery_1_name = Venezuela
banknote_world_1_url = venezuela
banknote_world_1_name = Venezuela
dollarization_1_url =
dollarization_1_name =
gfd_1_url = Venezuela
gfd_1_name = Venezuela
gfd_data_1_url = 5192
gfd_data_1_name = Venezuela Bolivar
show_gfd_excel = Y

* [ Numismatic Catalog of Venezuela]
* [ Bolivar Fuerte]
* [ History of Venezuelan Currency] es icon
* [ Bolivar Actual vs. Bolivar Fuerte] es icon

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