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Time Travel: Chilean Blooper

Living conditions in Latin America are hardly comfortable. The economies of most countries in the region suffer from inflation, which for decades has remained at a high level. But there is a country in the south of the American continent, which with a wide margin broke ahead of others. This country is Chile, and the main helmsman of its economy is the Chilean peso.

The history of the emergence of pesos in the territory of the present Republic of Chile began in 1817. And the peso coins owe their appearance to the conquistadors of medieval Spain, who introduced this currency in the markets of the occupied territories. Literally, “peso” is translated from Spanish as “weight”. Along with Chile, “peso” is the name of the money of Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, the Philippines and Uruguay. Previously, the power of the peso extended even further – its own money with a Spanish name was in Bolivia, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Paraguay and El Salvador.

Chile ceased to be a Spanish colony in the early 19th century. The Chilean people were freed from the yoke of the Spanish conquerors thanks to the revolutionaries Bernardo O-Higgins and Manuel Rodriguez, who fought for the liberation of Chile from 1810 to 1823. Despite the victory over the Spaniards, at the end of the century, a monetary system similar to other Spanish colonies was used on the free market of Chile. One escudo was equal to two pesos, which in turn amounted to 16 real. And only in 1851 the Chilean people switched to the decimal system, in which one peso was equal to 10 decim and 100 centavo.

The first period of existence of the peso in the free Republic of Chile ended in 1959, when it was replaced by a new monetary unit – escudo. However, the gap between the Chilean people and the peso lasted only sixteen years. In 1975, the peso again became the protagonist of the monetary system of Chile, the most dynamically developing state in Latin America. The escudos were exchanged for pesos in a ratio of 1000 to 1. And today, the peso still remains at the head of the Chilean economy, which is quite prestigious when you consider that the republic is the largest exporter of copper in the whole world.

Currently, in monetary circulation of Chile are denominations in denominations of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10 000 and 20 000 pesos. In addition, pesos are issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 pesos. The use of the bargaining chip peso centavo was discontinued back in 1955 due to inflation. The only coins used in the Chilean market are pesos, and they are made in a revolutionary style. Moreover, these coins were minted from the cheapest alloys of aluminum and bronze, which indicates their very dubious quality. All new monetary inscription “Republica de Chili”. And it was with this inscription that a very interesting incident occurred in 2008.

Surprisingly, the Republic’s mint struck and even put into circulation coins in denominations of 50 Chilean pesos with a misspelling error. Moreover, this mistake was located in the name of the country – instead of the word “Chili” on the obverse of the coins of this party the word “Chiie” was shamelessly indicated. Of course, those responsible for such a negligent attitude to the national currency were dismissed. However, this happened only two years later. In February 2010, the post of head of the mint was lost by Gregorio Iniges, on whose conscience the shame of the republic was. The money itself, with a spelling error, was not deprived of solvency; moreover, they glorified the Chilean mint. Now, some dealers sell such 50-dollar coins on the Internet at a price of 350 to 20,000 pesos. Thus, defective money has become akin to jubilee coins, which every self-respecting state issues with care, paying a lot of work and attention to their design.

Already after the disgrace, in 2009 and 2010 in Chile, banknotes of 2,000, 5,000, 10,000 and 20,000 pesos were issued in a new design, and banknotes in 2000 and 5000 pesos became polymeric. The banknote of 1000 pesos, which is most often used by Chileans when paying, began to be printed on polymer only in May 2011. Thus, the Central Bank of Chile finally decided to extend the life of local money protected from floating in the foreign exchange market.

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