Twenty-five years ago, back when Beverly Hills 90210 was a worldwide phenomenon and Carlos Menem was president of Argentina, we were treated to a brand new two-peso bill featuring the face of a stern-looking Bartolomé Mitre. Back then, the convertibility plan was well underway, meaning that two pesos equalled two dollars and everyone was happy.
But now time has passed and everything sucks, so the time has come to say goodbye to our beloved Mitre for good, since the Central Bank (BCRA) announced this week that the bills will be put out of circulation after April 27, when they are no longer considered legal currency in Argentina since they are being replaced by equally worthless 2-peso coins.
True, most bills are so old and in such poor condition that chances are a papyrus from the seventh dynasty of Egypt is looking better than what’s in your wallet. But it is still a bittersweet moment for those of us who grew up in the 90s.
So wise up, because you only have little less than two months to get rid of them. Over 5000 banks around the country will be exchanging your bills for coins or whatever it is you’re expecting in return. But also expect to start getting a lot of 2-peso coins from now on, since the BCRA is working hard to make sure all bills are promptly replaced. And get this: the Central Bank says there are currently an estimated 400 million Mitres in circulation (please don’t ever call them “Mitres”. I just did and trust me, I regret it.)
All jokes aside, most 2-peso bills are in very poor condition since they’ve been around for so long and can’t even get you a pack of gum.
When they were first released, back in the early 90s, they looked like this:
Then a new, updated version was issued, and that has remained in place until now, when nobody wants to deal with the freaking thing anymore. In fact, two-peso bills have been considered to be worthless for quite some time now. So much so that back in 2014 the population at large decided that Mitre’s nonplused face looked a lot better when amateur artists turned it into some other more relatable, contemporary pop culture icon.
Thus, the hilarious 2-peso meme was born. Here are some fan favorites:
Keep one of them as a memento of a simpler time. Pretty soon we’ll be dealing in cryptocurrency and, while there’s no denying that Mitre was looking lit back in the 19th century, his judging look is about to disappear forever.