The Central Bank (BCRA) is set to start distributing a new AR$ 20 peso note this week. This means that the image of 19th century caudillo Juan Manuel de Rosas will be gradually replaced by a Guanaco. You know, that cute animal that will spit in your face if you get close enough. The design will be introduced tomorrow in the city of Río Grande, in the Province of Tierra del Fuego, where many guanacos can be found.
The BCRA intends for this new note to become the lowest denomination one, as it’s also planning on replacing AR$ 5 and 10 peso notes with coins next year. The coins’ designs haven’t been revealed yet.
With this move, the Central Bank, under the direction of its president Federico Sturzenegger, is looking to reduce costs, relieve the strain on storage space, and produce better quality money. It’s much cheaper for banks to produce coins than print notes, which on top of that also last much longer. Each note costs AR$ 2 to print, and only have a life of one and a half years.
This new note is part of the government’s initiative to replace historic leaders on bank notes with animals, in an attempt to depoliticize the currency. It has already started doing it when issuing the relatively new AR$ 200 and 500 peso notes, which feature a southern right whale (ballena franca austral) and a jaguar (yaguareté), respectively.
Moreover, the BCRA intends to release a AR$ 1,000 peso note, which will have the image of an Hornero bird and will be the highest denomination note in the country, before the end of the year.