Sunday, June 7, 2009

Peruvian Money: The Nuevo Sol

Our granddaughter Jeniel requested an explanation of Peruvian money. Okay, here it is, Jeniel.

The currency used in Peru is the "nuevo sol" (which literally means the "new sun"). I think the currency is called a sol because the Incas were sun worshippers, and if you ever spend a warm day and a very cold night in the High Andes Mountains, you understand why they worshipped the sun.

During my first mission in Peru (1964-66), the currency was the sol, then several years later, it changed to the inti (which is Quechua for "sol" or "sun") [Thanks, Sister Richardson, for pointing this out], and finally, in the 1980s, it changed to the nuevo sol. In common conversation, however, the currency is just called a "sol" (rather than nuevo sol), and the plural is "soles" (pronounced SOUL-ess).

The only bills that I have seen during my eight months this time in Peru are those of 100, 50, 20, and 10 soles. This picture shows the 20- and 10-sol bills:


Each sol is divided into "céntimos," just as the American dollar is divided into cents.

The Peruvian coins are those of (from left to right above): 5 soles, 1 sol, and 50, 20, 10, and 1 céntimo.

In Peru, to indicate the amount of, for example, 5 soles and 20 céntimos, you would write S/. 5.20, similar to how we would write $5.20 in the US, to indicate five dollars and 20 cents.

One US dollar equals about three nuevo soles, but the actual value has varied between S/. 2.95 and S/. 3.10 per dollar during our time in Peru. When we buy something in soles, we always estimated the value in dollars by dividing by three. For example, last week I bought a desk lamp for S/. 17, which means that is was worth 17/3 = $5.67 in US money.

6 comments:

My Name is Jeniel. said...

Thanks! It really helped!

Russ said...

Thanks Dad for posting that. BTW, the official currency of El Salvador is: the US dollar.

Erin said...

Interesting. Thanks for posting that. Jeniel was excited to read your post last night.

Sharon and Lin said...

Very informative...and the money is beautiful!

Jackie said...

And we have been told that "inti" is actually the Quechua word for "sol" or sun.

Brad Mugar said...

Interesting. WE are members. My daughter Kelly is on a trip to Peru to go to Machu Pechu with her husband and Bishop and his wife. I typed into Google "Peru Money" adn your post ws the very firswt post that came up on Google when I typed that in. Brad Mugar