Argentine peso

Argentine peso
Peso argentino (Spanish)
ISO 4217
CodeARS (numeric: 032)
Symbol$‎ or Arg$[1]
 Freq. used20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000 pesos
 Freq. used1, 2, 5, 10 pesos
 Rarely used1, 5, 10, 25, 50 centavos (no longer minted, still valid)
User(s) Argentina
Central bankCentral Bank of the Argentine Republic
Inflation95% in December 2022[2]

The peso (established as the peso convertible) is the currency of Argentina, identified by the symbol $ preceding the amount in the same way as many countries using peso or dollar currencies. It is subdivided into 100 centavos. Its ISO 4217 code is ARS.

The Argentine currency has experienced severe inflation, with periods of hyperinflation, since the mid-20th century, with periodic change of the currency to a new version at a rate ranging from 100:1 to 10,000:1. A new peso introduced in 1992 was worth 10,000,000,000,000 (ten trillion) of the pesos in use until 1970. Since the early 21st century, the Argentine peso has experienced further substantial inflation, reaching nearly 100% year-on-year in 2022, the highest since the 1992 introduction of the current peso.[2]

The official exchange rate for the United States dollar valued the new peso at one US dollar at its introduction in 1992; it then dropped, hovering around 3:1 from 2002 to 2008, dropping from 6:1 to 10:1 between 2009 and 2015, and continuing to drop. On 3 February 2023 the official government exchange rate was ARS$188 to one US dollar;[3] the unregulated rate valued the peso at about half, with ARS$375=USD$1.[4] There are sometimes multiple official exchange rates for different purposes such as supporting exporters.


Amounts in earlier pesos were sometimes preceded by a "$" sign and sometimes, particularly in formal use, by symbols identifying that it was a specific currency, for example "$+mn100" or "m$n100" for pesos moneda nacional. The peso introduced in 1992 is just called peso (until 2002, peso convertible), and is written preceded by a "$" sign only. Earlier pesos replaced currencies also called peso, and sometimes two varieties of peso coexisted, making it necessary to have a distinguishing term to use, at least in the transitional period; the 1992 peso replaced a currency with a different name, austral.

Peso before 1826[]

The peso was a name often used for the silver Spanish eight-real coin. Following independence, Argentina began issuing its own coins, denominated in reales, soles and escudos, including silver eight-real (or sol) coins still known as pesos. These coins, together with those from neighbouring countries, circulated until 1881.

Peso fuerte, 1826–1881[]

In 1826, two paper money issues began, denominated in pesos. One, the peso fuerte ($F) was a convertible currency, with 17 pesos fuertes equal to one Spanish ounce (27.0643 g) of 0.916 fine gold. It was replaced by the peso moneda nacional at par in 1881.

Peso moneda corriente, 1826–1881[]

The non-convertible peso moneda corriente (everyday currency) ($m/c) was also introduced in 1826. It started at par with the peso fuerte, but depreciated with time.

Although the Argentine Confederation issued 1-, 2- and 4-centavo coins in 1854, with 100 centavos equal to 1 peso = 8 reales, Argentina did not decimalize until 1881. The peso moneda nacional (m$n or $m/n) replaced the earlier currencies at the rate of 1 peso moneda nacional = 8 reales = 1 peso fuerte = 25 peso moneda corriente. Initially, one peso moneda nacional coin was made of silver and known as patacón. However, the 1890 economic crisis ensured that no further silver coins were issued.

Gold and silver pesos, 1881–1970[]

The Argentine gold coin from 1875 was the gold peso fuerte, one and two-thirds of a gram of gold of fineness 900, equivalent to one and a half grams of fine gold, defined by Law no. 733 of 1875. This unit was based on that recommended by the European Congress of Economists in Paris in 1867 and adopted by Japan in 1873 (the Argentine 5 peso fuerte coin was equivalent to the Japanese 5 yen).[5]

The system before 1881 has been described as "monetary anarchism" (anarquía monetaria).[5] Law no. 1130 of 1881 put an end to this; it established the monetary unit as the peso oro sellado ("stamped gold peso"), a coin of 1.612 g of gold of fineness 900 (90%), and the silver peso, 25 g of silver of fineness 900.[5] Gold coins of 5 and 2.5 pesos were to be used, silver coins of one peso and 50, 20, 10 and 5 centavos, and copper coins of 2 and 1 centavos.

Peso moneda nacional, 1881–1970[]

1891 Banknote

The depreciated peso moneda corriente was replaced in 1881 by the paper peso moneda nacional (national currency, (m$n or $m/n)) at a rate of 25 to 1. This currency was used from 1881 until January 1, 1970.[6] The design was changed in 1899 and, again, in 1942.

Initially the peso m$n was convertible, with a value of one peso oro sellado. Convertibility was maintained off and on, with decreasing value in gold, until it was finally abandoned in 1929, when m$n 2.2727 was equivalent to one peso oro.

Peso ley, 1970–1983[]

The peso ley 18.188 (ISO 4217: ARL) (informally called the peso ley) replaced the previous currency at a rate of 1 peso ley to 100 pesos moneda nacional.

Peso argentino, 1983–1985[]

The peso argentino ($a) (ISO 4217: ARP) replaced the previous currency at a rate of 1 peso argentino to 10,000 pesos ley (1 million pesos m$n). The currency was born just before the return of democracy, on June 1, 1983. However, it rapidly lost its purchasing power and was devalued several times, and was replaced by a new currency called the austral in June 1985.

Austral, 1985–1991[]

The austral ("₳") (ISO 4217: ARA) replaced the peso argentino at a rate of 1 austral to 1,000 pesos (one billion pesos m$n). During the period of circulation of the austral, Argentina suffered from hyperinflation. The last months of President Raul Alfonsín's period in office in 1989 saw prices increase constantly (200% in July alone), reflected in a worsening exchange rate. Emergency notes of 10,000, 50,000 and 500,000 australes were issued, and provincial administrations issued their own currency for the first time in decades. The value of the currency stabilized two years after President Carlos Menem was elected.

Peso convertible, since 1992[]

In 1992 a new peso (ISO 4217: ARS) was introduced, referred to as peso convertible since the international exchange rate was fixed by the Central Bank at 1 peso to 1 U.S. dollar, and for every peso convertible circulating, there was a US dollar in the Central Bank's foreign currency reserves. It replaced the austral at a rate of 1 peso = 10,000 australes. After the various changes of currency and dropping of zeros, one peso convertible of 1992 was equivalent to 10 trillion pesos moneda nacional of 1970.

After the financial crisis of 2001, the fixed exchange rate system was abandoned in January 2002, and the exchange rate fluctuated, up to a peak of four pesos to one dollar (a 75% devaluation) at the time. The resulting export boom produced a massive inflow of dollars into the Argentine economy, which helped lower their price. For a time the administration stated and maintained a strategy of keeping the exchange rate at between 2.90 and 3.10 pesos per US dollar, in order to maintain the competitiveness of exports and encourage import substitution by local industries. When necessary, the Central Bank issues pesos and buys dollars in the free market (sometimes large amounts, of the order of 10 to US$100 million per day) to keep the dollar price from dropping, and had amassed over US$27 billion in reserves before the US$9.81 billion payment to the International Monetary Fund in January 2006.

The effect of this may be compared to the neighboring Brazilian real, which was roughly on a par with the Argentine peso until the beginning of 2003, when both currencies were about three per U.S. dollar. The real started gaining in value more than the peso due to Brazil's slower build-up of dollar reserves; by December 29, 2009, a real was worth almost 2.2 pesos.[7]

In December 2015, US dollar exchange restrictions were removed in Argentina following the election of President Mauricio Macri. As a result, the difference between the official rate and the unofficial "blue" rate almost disappeared for a time.

The official exchange rate was on April 1, 2016, 14.4 to US$1.[8] The rate gradually worsened; on 29 July 2022 one U.S. dollar was quoted at 131.22 pesos at the official rate and 298 pesos, 2.27 times higher (+127%), in unregulated markets.[9]


In 1992, 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 centavo coins were introduced, followed by 1 peso in 1994. Two-peso coins were introduced in 2010. One-centavo coins were last minted in 2001. In 2017 a new series of coins was issued in denominations of $1 and $5, followed by $2 and $10 in 2018.[10]

Circulating coins of the Argentine peso (1st series)
Denomination Obverse Reverse
1 centavo Argentina 1 centavo
5 centavos Argentina 5 centavos
10 centavos Argentina 10 centavos
25 centavos Argentina 25 centavos
50 centavos Argentina 50 centavos
1 peso Argentina 1 peso
2 pesos Argentina 2 pesos
Circulating coins of the Argentine peso (2nd series)
Denomination Obverse      Reverse
1 peso Argentina 1 peso (from 2017)
2 pesos Argentina 2 pesos (from 2018)
5 pesos Argentina 5 pesos (from 2017)
10 pesos Argentina 10 pesos (from 2018)

Commemorative coins[]

Commemorating the National Constitutional Convention, 2 and 5-peso nickel coins were issued in 1994.

Commemorative coins
Denomination Obverse Reverse
50 centavos (1996) 50 centavos (50th anniversary of UNICEF)
50 centavos (1997) 50 centavos (50th anniversary of the death of Eva Perón and the attainment of voting rights by women)
50 centavos (1998) 50 centavos (The establishment of Mercosur)
50 centavos (2000) 50 centavos (Death of General Martín Miguel de Güemes)
50 centavos (2001) 50 centavos (Death of José de San Martín)
1 peso (1996) 1 peso (50th anniversary of UNICEF)
1 peso (1997) 1 peso (50th anniversary of the death of Eva Perón and the attainment of voting rights by women)
1 peso (1998) 1 peso (The establishment of Mercosur)
1 peso (2001) 1 peso (Death of General José de Urquiza)
2 pesos (1994) 2 peso (National Constitution Convention)
5 pesos (1994) 5 peso (National Constitution Convention)
2 pesos (2007) 2 pesos commemorating the Falklands War (Malvinas War)

2 peso coins were issued in 1999 to commemorate the centenary of the birth of writer Jorge Luis Borges, with Borges portrayed on the obverse and a labyrinth and the Hebrew letter aleph on the reverse. On September 18, 2002, a 2-peso coin with Eva Perón's face was introduced to commemorate the 50th anniversary of her death; this coin was to replace the AR$2 banknote if inflation continued to be high. None of the 2-peso coins are widely circulated.

Some other 50-centavo and 1-peso coins commemorate different events, including the 50th anniversary of the creation of UNICEF (1996); the attainment of voting rights by women (1997); the establishment of Mercosur (1998); and the death of José de San Martín (2001).

Several 1 peso coins were issued in 2010 to commemorate the bicentennial of the May Revolution, all featuring the same obverse, different from the main series, and images of different places on the reverse, including Mar del Plata, the Perito Moreno Glacier, Mount Aconcagua, the Pucará de Tilcara, and El Palmar.


In 1992, banknotes were introduced in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 pesos. The 1-peso note was replaced by a coin in 1994. Until 2001 banknotes bore the legend "Convertibles de curso legal", meaning that their value was fixed to the same amount in US dollars. As most older bills have been replaced, it is rare to find ones marked as convertible except in the large $100 denominations. All bills are 155 × 65 mm in size.[11]

Value Color Description Issue
Obverse Reverse Watermark
$2 Blue Bartolomé Mitre; replica of a handwritten manuscript of Historia de Belgrano y de la Independencia Argentina and contrapuerta of his house Museo Mitre Bartolomé Mitre and his initials November 26, 1997 - April 30, 2018
$5 Green José de San Martín; replica of his will and reproduction of Abrazo de Maipú, painting by Pedro Subercaseaux depicting the hug shared by San Martín and Bernardo O'Higgins that sealed Chile's independence Monument to the Army of the Andes, Cerro de la Gloria; Order of the Liberator General San Martín medal José de San Martín and his initials June 22, 1998 - February 29, 2020
$5 Green José de San Martín and the Order of the Liberator José Artigas, Simón Bolívar, José de San Martín, and Bernardo O'Higgins José de San Martín and his initials October 1, 2015 - February 29, 2020
$10 Brown Manuel Belgrano; replica of an 1812 report by him to the government of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata and reproduction of La Patria Abanderada by Alfredo Bigatti at the National Flag Memorial National Flag Memorial; drum —in remembrance of drummer boy Pedro Ríos who died at the Battle of Tacuarí— and typical textile pattern from the Argentine Northwest Manuel Belgrano and his initials January 14, 1999
$10 Brown, green, blue and purple Manuel Belgrano Juana Azurduy de Padilla and Manuel Belgrano on horseback with swords raised to the new flag on February 27, 1812, along the Paraná River Manuel Belgrano and electrotype MB April 4, 2016
$20 Red Juan Manuel de Rosas; reproduction of Retrato de Manuelita Rosas by Prilidiano Pueyrredón, which depicts his daughter Manuela Rosas Battle of Vuelta de Obligado; reproduction of the military trophies included in the 8 reales coin of 1840 Juan Manuel de Rosas and his initials January 18, 2000
$50 Black Domingo Faustino Sarmiento; reproduction of a manuscript of Vida de Dominguito, biography of his adopted son, who died at the Battle of Curupayty Casa Rosada; motifs to his various activities: La Porteña locomotive, European immigration and Facundo (1845), a cornerstone of Latin American literature Domingo Faustino Sarmiento and his initials July 19, 1999
$50 Blue The Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Antonio Rivero, the Argentine Military Cemetery, light cruiser General Belgrano, the Falkland Islands, and the dolphin gull Falkland Islands and electrotype IM (for Islas Malvinas) March 2, 2015
$100 Violet Julio Argentino Roca, replica of a letter Roca sent to Miguel Cané (a diplomat), and evocation of Argentine progress under the sun of the future Conquest of the Desert — The painting La Conquista del Desierto by Juan Manuel Blanes; evocation of Roca as a statesman and military man: handwritten sheets of paper, the saber and a laurel branch Julio Argentino Roca and his initials December 3, 1999
$100 Violet Eva Perón; based on the design of a 5-peso banknote planned to be released following her 1952 death, but unreleased due to the coup that deposed President Juan Perón From the Ara Pacis: a goddess with toddlers Eva Perón and her initials September 20, 2012

Fourth Series[]

In 2016, the Banco Central de la República Argentina issued a new series of banknotes, with the 200 and 500 peso banknotes as the newest denominations. New 20 and 1,000 peso notes were issued in 2017, and new banknotes of 50 and 100 pesos were issued in 2018. A new series of coins in denominations of $1, $2, $5, and $10 was issued from 2018.[12][13][14]

Value Color Description Issue
Obverse Reverse Watermark
$20 Red Guanaco Patagonian Desert Guanaco and electrotype 20 3 October 2017
$50 Gray Andean condor Aconcagua Andean condor and electrotype 50 15 August 2018
$100 Violet Taruca Sierra de Famatina Taruca and electrotype 100 18 December 2018
$200 Blue Southern right whale Valdes Peninsula Whale and electrotype 200 26 October 2016
$500 Green Jaguar Yungas Jaguar and electrotype 500 29 June 2016
$1,000 Orange Hornero Pampas Hornero and electrotype 1000 1 December 2017

5,000 peso design concept[]

The design concept of a banknote of 5,000 pesos was shown on 16 May 2020.[15][16] The note was not issued, but the design was used for the $2,000 note announced in February 2023.

Fifth Series[]

In May 2022, the Banco Central de la República Argentina announced a new series of 100, 200, 500, and 1000 peso notes,[17][18][19][20][21] replacing the animal motifs of the 2016 series with pictures of Argentine historical figures and events while maintaining the color scheme, to be released within the following six months. In February 2023 a $2,000 note was announced, portraying the Instituto Malbrán and pioneering doctors Cecilia Grierson and Ramón Carrillo, with no date of issue stated.[22] This was the design originally intended for the $5,000 note described in May 2020.[16]

Value Color Description Issue
Obverse & watermark Reverse
$100 Violet Eva Perón The extension of the right to vote to women in Argentina in 1947 TBA
$200 Blue Martín Miguel de Güemes and Juana Azurduy Gaucho war; soldiers on horseback TBA
$500 Green Manuel Belgrano and María Remedios del Valle Soldiers pledging allegiance to the Argentine flag in 1812 TBA
$1,000 Orange José Francisco de San Martin Crossing of the Andes in 1817 TBA
$2,000 Red/Gray Ramón Carrillo and Cecilia Grierson Carlos Malbrán National Institute of Microbology TBA

Exchange rates[]

At the end of 2011, exchange control measures were implemented, which managed to reduce capital flight by 85%. One consequence of these measures was the appearance of multiple exchange rates and a parallel market (colloquially called the blue dollar), which was accessed by individuals and companies. Special official exchange rates are sometimes created and abolished, to support sectors of the economy. There has been a "soybean dollar"; a special rate for exports from regional economies was applicable between 20 November and 30 December 2022.[23]

The following table, always up-to-date, lists current official interbank rates; the parallel rate values the peso significantly lower.

Current ARS exchange rates

Constantly updated link to URL with current parallel ("blue") exchange rate: "US Dollar (USD) - Argentine Peso (parallel 'Dollar Blue' rate) (ARS_PA)". CUEX.

See also[]


  1. ^ "World Bank Editorial Style Guide 2020 - page 134" (PDF). Retrieved 2022-08-22.
  2. ^ a b Gillespie, Patrick (12 January 2023). "Argentina Inflation Hit Three-Decade High of 95% in 2022". Bloomberg.
  3. ^ "US Dollars to Argentine Pesos Exchange Rate 2023". xe. Updated constantly.
  4. ^ "US Dollar (USD) - Argentine Peso (parallel 'Dollar Blue' rate) (ARS_PA)". CUEX. Updated constantly.
  6. ^ Archived 2012-11-29 at the Wayback Machine (in Spanish), (in English) Billetes argentinos site. Spanish version is more detailed.
  7. ^ "BRL/ARS Currency Exchange Rate & News - Google Finance".
  8. ^ "USDARS:CUR USD-ARS X-RATE". Archived from the original on 2012-02-01.
  9. ^ Reinhold, Melisa (July 29, 2022). "Dólar hoy: el blue y los financieros caen por debajo de los $300" [Dollar today: The 'blue' and financials drop below $300] (in Spanish). La Nación. Retrieved July 29, 2022. Current rate Web page
  10. ^ "Se pondrán en circulación billetes de mayor denominación" [Larger-value banknotes to be put into circulation] (PDF). (Press release) (in Spanish). January 15, 2016. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-02-06.
  11. ^ Banco Central de la República Argentina. "Notes". Banco Central de la República Argentina. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  12. ^ "BanknoteNews – Breaking news about world paper money. Powered by The Banknote Book".
  13. ^ "Noticias de Córdoba hoy | Noticias Córdoba". Vía País.
  14. ^ "$1000 BILL Rufous hornero". Banco Central de la República Argentina. 1 December 2017.
  15. ^ "Nuevo billete de $ 5000: cómo sería, cuándo saldría y por qué es polémico". El Cronista (in European Spanish). 2020-05-18.
  16. ^ a b "¿Cuándo es la fecha de entrega del billete de 5000?". BAE Negocios (in Spanish). 2020-05-16.
  17. ^ "Argentina new 100-peso note (B423a) reported for introduction in Q4 2022 – BanknoteNews".
  18. ^ "Argentina new 200-peso note (B424a) reported for introduction in Q4 2022 – BanknoteNews".
  19. ^ "Argentina new 500-peso note (B425a) reported for introduction in Q4 2022 – BanknoteNews".
  20. ^ "Argentina new 1,000-peso note (B426a) reported for introduction in Q4 2022 – BanknoteNews".
  21. ^ "Heroínas y héroes de nuestra historia vuelven a ilustrar los billetes de pesos argentinos". 24 May 2022.
  22. ^ Mackintosh, Thomas (2 February 2023). "Argentina unveils new 2,000-peso banknote as inflation bites". BBC News.
  23. ^ "Argentina to create yet another dollar exchange rate". MercoPress. 8 November 2022.

Further reading[]

External links[]