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Bolivian boliviano
boliviano boliviano (Spanish)
ISO 4217 code BOB
Central bank Banco Central de Bolivia
User(s)  Bolivia
Inflation 4.3%
 Source The World Factbook, 2009 est.
 1/100 centavo
Symbol Bs.[1] or Bs[2]
centavo Cvs.[1]
Coins Cvs. 10, 20, 50; Bs. 1, 2, 5[1]
Banknotes Bs. 10, 20, 50, 100, 200[1]

The boliviano (sign: Bs.[1] or Bs;[2] ISO 4217 code: BOB) is the currency of Bolivia. It is divided into 100 cents or centavos in Spanish. Boliviano was also the name of the currency of Bolivia between 1864 and 1963.

First boliviano

The first boliviano was introduced in 1864. It was equivalent to eight soles or half a scudo in the former currency. Initially, it was subdivided into 100 centécimos but this was altered to centavos in 1870. The name bolivar was used for an amount of ten bolivianos.

The boliviano was initially pegged at a rate of 1 boliviano = 5 French francs. On December 31, 1908, the currency was put on a new gold standard, with 12½ bolivianos = 1 British pound. A series of devaluations relative to the pound followed:

Pegs of the boliviano to the pound
Date introduced Peg
July 11, 1928 13.5
May 1932 17
February 20, 1933 20
April 1, 1936 50
June 14, 1936 80
July 29, 1937 120
June 20, 1938 141
September 5, 1939 160

In 1940, multiple exchange rates to the U.S. dollar were established (40 and 55 bolivianos = 1 dollar). However, the boliviano continued to fall in value. In 1963, it was replaced by the peso boliviano (ISO 4217: BOP) at a rate of one thousand to one.


In 1864, copper 1 and 2 centecimos, and silver 120, 110, 15 and 1 boliviano were introduced. In 1870, silver 5, 10 and 20 centavos were introduced, followed by silver 50 centavos in 1873 and copper 1 and 2 centavos in 1878. In 1883, cupro-nickel 5 and 10 centavos were introduced. Because these were similar in size to the silver 10 and 20 centavo coins, some were officially punched with a centre hole. Larger 5 and 10 centavo coins were issued from 1892. The 50 centavos was last struck in 1879, whilst the 1 and 2 centavos were last struck in 1883.

The last 5 centavos were struck in 1935, whilst, in 1937, cupro-nickel 50 centavos were introduced, followed in 1942 by issues of zinc 10 and 20 centavos and bronze 50 centavos. These were the last issues below 1 boliviano. In 1951, bronze 1, 5 and 10 bolivianos were issued.


In 1873, the first boliviano banknotes were issued by the Banco Nacional de Bolivia in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 bolivianos. 20 and 40 centavo notes were added in 1875. Notes were also issued by the Banco Agricola, the Banco de Bolivia y Londres, the Banco del Comercio, the Banco Francisco Argandoña, the Banco Industrial de La Paz (later the Banco Industrial), the Banco Mercatil and the Banco Potosi, with denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 bolivianos. The last issue of these private banks was made in 1911.

In 1903, the Treasury introduced notes in denominations of 50 centavos, 1, 5, 10 and 20 bolivianos. In 1911, the Banco de la Nación Boliviana began issuing notes. The first issue, in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 bolivianos, was overprinted on notes of the Banco de Bolivia y Londres. Regular issues, in the same denominations, followed later the same year. In 1928, the Banco Central took over paper money issuance, with notes for 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 bolivianos. 5000 and 10,000 boliviano notes followed in 1942.Post-inflation economic period annual percentage rate capital appreciation and growth made all the inflation period bolivianos cash banknotes at par value current and legally circulating with the new.

Second boliviano

Following many years of rampant inflation, the peso boliviano was replaced in 1987 by a new boliviano at a rate of one million to one. At that time, 1 new boliviano was roughly equivalent to 1 U.S. dollar.


In 1988, stainless-steel 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 centavo and 1 boliviano (dated 1987) coins were introduced, followed by stainless-steel 2 bolivianos in 1991. Copper-plated steel 10 centavos were introduced in 1997 and bi-metallic 5 bolivianos in 2001. The 2 and 5 centavo coins are no longer in circulation. The 2 boliviano coin has been minted in two sizes, both of which remain legal tender. The smaller 2 boliviano coin is almost the same as the 1 boliviano coin, leading to potential confusion, although the 2 boliviano coins are undecagonal whilst the 1 boliviano coins are round. All the coins in Bolivia has the obverse the number of the amount of money with the inscription "La union es la Fuerza" ("Union is strength" in Spanish) and in the reverse the coat of arms of Bolivia with the inscription "Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia" (Plurinational state of Bolivia).

Coins of the Bolivian boliviano (Current series)
Value Technical parameters Description Date of issue
Diameter Mass Composition Edge Obverse Reverse
10 Bolivian centavos 18.9 mm 1.85 grams Copper-plated steel Plain "LA UNION ES LA FUERZA"; "10 CENTAVOS"; Date of issue "ESTADO PLURINACIONAL DE BOLIVA" (PLURINATIONAL STATE OF BOLIVIA); Coat of arms of Bolivia 2010
20 Bolivian centavos 22 mm 3.25 grams Nickel-plated steel Plain "LA UNION ES LA FUERZA"; "20 CENTAVOS"; Date of issue "ESTADO PLURINACIONAL DE BOLIVA" (PLURINATIONAL STATE OF BOLIVIA); Coat of arms of Bolivia 2010
50 Bolivian centavos 24 mm 3.75 grams Stainless steel Plain "LA UNION ES LA FUERZA"; "50 CENTAVOS"; Date of issue "ESTADO PLURINACIONAL DE BOLIVA" (PLURINATIONAL STATE OF BOLIVIA); Coat of arms of Bolivia 2010
1 Bolivian boliviano 27 mm 5 grams Stainless steel Plain "LA UNION ES LA FUERZA"; "1 BOLIVIANO"; Date of issue "ESTADO PLURINACIONAL DE BOLIVA" (PLURINATIONAL STATE OF BOLIVIA); Coat of arms of Bolivia 2010
2 Bolivian bolivianos 29 mm 7 grams Stainless steel Plain "LA UNION ES LA FUERZA"; "2 BOLIVIANOS"; Date of issue "ESTADO PLURINACIONAL DE BOLIVA" (PLURINATIONAL STATE OF BOLIVIA); Coat of arms of Bolivia 2010
5 Bolivian bolivianos 23 mm 5 grams Bi-metallic coin consisting of a Bronze-plated steel center plug with a Stainless steel outer ring Reeded "LA UNION ES LA FUERZA"; "5 BOLIVIANOS"; Date of issue "ESTADO PLURINACIONAL DE BOLIVA" (PLURINATIONAL STATE OF BOLIVIA); Coat of arms of Bolivia 2010


In 1987, peso boliviano banknotes were overprinted with denominations in centavos and bolivianos to produce provisional issues of 1, 5, 10 and 50 centavos, and 1, 5 and 10 bolivianos. Regular issues followed the same year in denominations of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 bolivianos. The 2 boliviano note was replaced by a coin in 1991, with the same happening to the 5 boliviano in 2001, although the Bolivian central bank still lists the 5 boliviano note as "in circulation" -The 10 Bolivianos bill has in the obverse to the painter Cecilio Guzman and reverse an image of city of Cochabamba. -The 20 Boliviano bill has in the obverse to the lawyer Pantaleon Dalence and in the reverse an image of The Golden Colonial House of Tarija. The 50 Boliviano bill has in the obverse to the painter Melchor Perez and in the reverse you can see the Tower of Church of the Society of Jesus in the city of Potosi- The 100 Boliviano bill has in the obverse of the great historian Gabriel Rene Moreno and the reverse one image of the Mayor Real and Papal University of Saint Francisco Xavier of Chuquisaca in the capital, the city of Sucre, the 200 Boliviano bill has to the obverse to the writer and former president of Bolivia, Franz Tamayo and in the reverse an image of ruins of the Pre Inca empire of Tihuanaco in the shores of Lake Titicaca in the state or department of La Paz As of 2013. The 2 and 5 Bolivianos bills are officially out of circulation. [1].

Banknotes of the Bolivian boliviano (Current series)
Image Value Main Color Obverse Reverse Watermark
2 bolivianos Black Antonio Vaca Diez Pando refuge Simón Bolívar
5 bolivianos Olive-green Adela Zamudio Virgen del Socavon church Simón Bolívar
10 bolivianos Blue-black Cecilio Guzman de Rojas "Heroinas de la Coronilla" monument in Cochabamba Simón Bolívar
20 bolivianos Orange Pantaleon Dalence Casa Dorada in Tarija Simón Bolívar
50 bolivianos Purple Melchor Pérez de Holguin Torre de la Compañia Simón Bolívar
100 bolivianos Red-violet and orange Gabriel René Moreno San Francisco Xavier de Chuquisaca University in Sucre Simón Bolívar
200 bolivianos Brown and dark brown Franz Tamayo Tiahuanaco Simón Bolívar
Current BOB exchange rates
From Google Finance: ARS
From Yahoo! Finance: ARS
From ARS
From ARS
From ARS


As of 2013 the Boliviano is still manufactured abroad, in countries such as United Kingdom, France, and Chile. Bolivia, although politically independent since 1825, is in this regard after two centuries not independent in many aspects, such as the monetary one, like many other ex-colonies throughout Latin America and the rest of the world.

See also


External links

  • Flash file, in Spanish)
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