Skip to main content

CURSE ??? : The Currency of a Sun-Obsessed People Gets Fitting Name Change

John Quigley
December 14, 2015 — 4:00 PM PST

Updated on December 15, 2015 — 3:27 AM PST

Peruvians carry a man dressed as the Sun God during The Inti Raymi festival in Cuzco, Peru.
Photographer: Brent Stirton/Getty Images

Peru's new sun will become the sun after years of stability

Billions in hard cash in the economy will have to be replaced

The Peruvians have a thing for the sun.

Their first currency, created back in the mid-1800s, was the sol (Spanish, of course, for sun), which was followed by the sol de oro (the sun of gold) and then in 1985 by the inti (an indigenous word for, you guessed it, the sun). 

When hyperinflation wiped out the value of the inti a few years later, it was time for another sun. 

The nuevo sol, it was called, as if to say "don’t confuse this new sun with all those old suns."

Peruvian ten nuevo sol note
Photographer: Cris Bouroncle/AFP via Getty Images

Twenty-four years later, though, this sun isn’t really new anymore, either. So in what is this time a symbol of the great success the country has had in taming inflation and maintaining the currency’s purchasing power, authorities are changing the name once again. Congress approved legislation last month to officially drop the word nuevo, making it simply the sol. President Ollanta Humala signed off on the change over the weekend.

“It’s absurd to keep calling it new,” said Victor Andres Garcia Belaunde, a lawmaker who helped spearhead the initiative. “After almost 25 years, there’s little or nothing new about it.’’

Other countries forced to rechristen their currencies over the years with the word "new" were a lot quicker to drop it once the economy stabilized. 

Three years after the nuevo peso was created in 1993, Mexico cut the first word. And France’s nouveau franc became the franc shortly after its 1960 revaluation.

 But Peru has stubbornly hung onto the full name well after inflation sank from 7,650 percent a year to below 5 percent. No major country in Latin America has had a lower inflation rate over the past 15 years.

While the sol is down 12 percent against the dollar this year, that’s better than its regional peers.

Peruvians’ reverence for the sun dates back centuries. Under the Incas, who ran their sprawling South American empire from a base in the Andean highlands, the sun was considered the highest deity.

 After the country won its independence from Spain years later, the first sol coins ever minted bore a picture of a blazing sun, a symbol also chosen initially in neighboring Bolivia and Argentina, according to Manuel Villa-Garcia, a former president of Peru’s Numismatic Society.

No one really calls the currency the nuevo sol nowadays. (Bloomberg News hasn’t referred to it that way in years.) To most Peruvians, it’s just the sol. But formally dropping that one little word may not be as simple as it sounds. 

For starters, the government will need to replace 38 billion soles ($11 billion) in hard cash in the economy to reflect the change. To spread out the cost over several years, a small portion of bills and coins will be replaced at a time, Garcia Belaunde said.

That slow roll-out could create confusion in a nation where counterfeit bills are common, said Dennis Rider Owen, who operates a foreign-exchange outlet in Lima.

“The average Peruvian won’t understand there are two types of sol bills,’’
he said. 

“Why go to all that trouble to do away with a name that most people never use anyway?”

The answer to that, Garcia Belaunde said, is it will reduce accounting and legal headaches. It’s not uncommon for contracts to be written up using the informal name rather than the official title, rendering the documents invalid, he said. 

Alexandra Quincot, a lawyer in Lima’s financial district, has run into this problem many times. 

She’s in favor of the change. "It makes sense to bring it up to date," she said.

Popular posts from this blog


While "Flavor" is very subjective, and each country that grows mangoes is very nationalistic, these are the mango varieties that are the most sought after around the world because of sweetnesss (Brix) and demand.

The Chaunsa has a Brix rating in the 22 degree level which is unheard of!
Carabao claims to be the sweetest mango in the world and was able to register this in the Guiness book of world records.
Perhaps it is time for a GLOBAL taste test ???

In alphabetical order by Country....



Alphonso (mango)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alphonso (हापुस Haapoos in Marathi, હાફુસ in Gujarati, ಆಪೂಸ್ Aapoos in Kannada) is a mango cultivar that is considered by many[who?] to be one of the best in terms of sweetness, richness and flavor. 

It has considerable shelf life of a week after it is ripe making it exportable. 

It is also one of the most expensive kinds of mango and is grown mainly in Kokan region of western India.

 It is in season April through May and the fruit wei…

Mangoes date back 65 million years according to research ...

Experts at the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany (BSIP) here have traced the origin of mango to the hills of Meghalaya, India from a 65 million year-old fossil of a mango leaf. 

The earlier fossil records of mango (Mangifera indica) from the Northeast and elsewhere were 25 to 30 million years old. The 'carbonized leaf fossil' from Damalgiri area of Meghalaya hills, believed to be a mango tree from the peninsular India, was found by Dr R. C. Mehrotra, senior scientist, BSIP and his colleagues. 

After careful analysis of the fossil of the mango leaf and leaves of modern plants, the BISP scientist found many of the fossil leaf characters to be similar to mangifera.

An extensive study of the anatomy and morphology of several modern-day species of the genus mangifera with the fossil samples had reinforced the concept that its centre of origin is Northeast India, from where it spread into neighbouring areas, says Dr. Mehrotra. 

The genus is believed to have disseminated into neighb…

DHL (INDIA) makes gifting mangoes as easy as 1-2-3-....

Gifting mangoes is now easy with DHL
Announcement / Corporate

 May 19, 2011, 14:04 IST

Come this summer pamper your loved ones abroad with a box of delicious mangoes through DHL’s Express Easy Mango service, a unique one-stop-shop and hassle-free service for gifting mangoes all across the world.

This unique service by DHL Express, the world’s leading express company, allows customers to send mangoes from India across the world to the following countries Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Hong Kong, Italy, Luxemburg, Maldives, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Qatar Singapore, Switzerland and Sweden.

Mangoes can be availed of free of cost by merely paying for the Air Express service. In addition, DHL Express assists customers with the necessary paperwork along with procurement of quality-grade Alphonso mangoes.

Commenting on the new service, Mr. R.S Subramanian, Country Head, DHL Express India said: “With the advent of the mango season, it is no wonder that DHL Express Ea…