The history and value of the Mexican peso | finder.com
Mexican pesos bills piled together

The history and value of the Mexican peso

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The Mexican peso has a rich and influential history

The Mexican peso (MXN, $) is the official currency of Mexico. It’s the 8th most traded currency in the world, and the most traded currency in Latin America. The Mexican peso was the first currency in the world to use the $ sign, even before the US dollar, and its design inspired much of the US currency that’s used today. Mexican pesos are only used in Mexico, but are accepted in US border towns at certain stores like Walmart, Circle K and La Bodega.

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Value and exchange rates of the Mexican peso as of Dec 15, 2018

Compare today’s foreign exchange rates between the MXN and other currencies.

Refreshing in: 60s | Sat, 15 Dec 05:09am GMT
USD AUD CAD EUR CNY GBP INR MXN PHP
1 USD = 1.0000 1.3930 Inverse: 0.7179 1.3384 Inverse: 0.7472 0.884291 Inverse: 1.1309 6.9076 Inverse: 0.1448 0.794345 Inverse: 1.2589 71.964 Inverse: 0.0139 20.2384 Inverse: 0.0494 53.063066 Inverse: 0.0188
1 AUD = 0.7179 Inverse: 1.3930 1.0000 0.9608 Inverse: 1.0408 0.6348 Inverse: 1.5752 4.9590 Inverse: 0.2017 0.5703 Inverse: 1.7536 51.6630 Inverse: 0.0194 14.5292 Inverse: 0.0688 38.0940 Inverse: 0.0263
1 EUR = 1.1309 Inverse: 0.8843 1.5752 Inverse: 0.6348 1.5135 Inverse: 0.6607 1.0000 7.8115 Inverse: 0.1280 0.898285 Inverse: 1.1132 81.380488 Inverse: 0.0123 22.8866 Inverse: 0.0437 60.0064 Inverse: 0.0167
1 GBP = 1.2589 Inverse: 0.7943 1.7536 Inverse: 0.5703 1.6848 Inverse: 0.5935 1.1132 Inverse: 0.8983 8.6960 Inverse: 0.1150 1.0000 90.595396 Inverse: 0.0110 25.4781 Inverse: 0.0392 66.8010 Inverse: 0.0150

Value and exchange rates of the Mexican peso

For much of the 20th century, the Mexican peso had been a stable currency, avoiding much of the hyperinflation that many countries in Latin America experienced. However, in the early 1980s Mexico did default on external debt after the Oil Crisis. This resulted a decline of capital financing in the region, and many years of inflation and devaluation. Between the passing of the “Stability and Economic Growth Pact” and the introduction of a new currency, the “new peso” in 1993, the Mexican peso gained strength again. The growth of foreign investments and the strong economy has led the Mexican peso to be among the 15 most traded currencies in the world.

The table below gives you an indication of how the peso has fluctuated in value against some major currencies.

Currency19952000200520102015
US dollar0.15660.10570.14630.07910.0857
Euro0.11490.11860.05970.0778
Pound sterling0.09920.06990.08080.05120.0564
Canadian dollar0.21510.15710.17740.08150.1083
Chinese renminbi yuan0.21510.15710.17740.08150.1083

All values are yearly averages.

History of the Mexican peso

The Mexican peso is one of the oldest currencies in North America, and was used in Mexico, Canada and the United States until the mid 1800s. It originated from the Spanish real pieces of eight that were issued by the Spanish government during colonization. The Mexican peso was the model for the Singapore and Brunei dollar as well as the Hong Kong dollar, Japanese yen an the Chinese yuan.

The first banknotes were made in 1823 by Emperor Iturbide in denominations of 1, 2, and 10 pesos. In 1866, Emperor Maximilian issued 10 peso notes. The centavos, worth one hundredth of the peso, was issued in 1863, followed by one peso coins in 1866. Spanish reales continued to be issued until 1897 alongside the peso.

Money was issued by local authorities and private banks until the 1920s until 1925, the Bank of Mexico was created to serve as the nation’s central bank to achieve stability and be able to compete in the national foreign exchange market.
How to send money to Mexico

The new peso

In 1993, the new peso or nuevos pesos, were introduced in 10, 20, 50 and 100 centavos, and 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 nuevos pesos. The 5 and 10 centavos contained stainless steel, while the 20 and 50 centavos were made of aluminium bronze. The nuevo peso denominations were bimetallic, with the 1, 2 and 5 nuevos pesos having aluminium bronze centers and stainless steel rings, and the 10, 20 and 50 nuevos pesos having .925 silver centers and aluminium bronze rings.

President Carlos Salinas de Gortari removed the old pesos from circulation over a three year period, having people trade in their old notes for new ones.

By 1996, the word nuevo was removed from the currency and retired from circulation. New 10 pesos were introduced with base metal replacing the silver center. The 20, 50, and 100-peso coins are the only currently circulating coinage in the world to contain any silver.

The Bank of Mexico released $100 coin in 2003; 32 versions to represent each of the nation’s 31 states and the Federal District. The obverse has an image of the traditional Mexican coat of arms, and the reverse show the individual state coat of arms. These coins are treated as collectables rather than currency, mainly because people feel uneasy about having such a large amount of money in a mere coin.

Most coins in circulation are the 50¢, $1, $2, $5, and $10. The smaller coin denominations, 5¢, 10¢ and 20¢ are uncommon because they are worth so little. Markets ask their customers to round up the total to the nearest 50¢ or 1 peso, and donate the difference to charities.
Doing business in Mexico: economic snapshot

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