Venezuelan venezolano

Preceded by:
Reason: coin quality
Ratio: at parity
Currency of Venezuela
11 May 1871 – 31 March 1879
Succeeded by:
Reason: unification of circulating currencies
Ratio:15 venezolano = 1 bolívar

The venezolano was the currency of Venezuela between 1872 and 1879. It was divided into 100 centavos, although the names céntimo and centésimo were also used. Venezolano was also the name of two currencies planned in 1854 and 1865 (see Currency of Venezuela).

5 Venezolanos coin
1 Venezolano coin
50 centavos of Venezolano coin
5 centavos of Venezolano coin
2,5 centavos of Venezolano coin
1 centavo of Venezolano coin


Given the inability of previous governments to order enough coins from the mints in Paris, London, and United States to meet demand, many foreign and demonetised coins circulated that were prone to perforations, scratches, chipping, or smoothing beyond recognition.[1] The monetary law of 11 May 1871 replaced the peso (the only one of the coins in circulation that was legal tender) with the venezolano at par. Coins were minted by several banks including la Compañía de Crédito (lit. The Credit Company) and Estado de Guayana (lit. State of Guiana) following a pattern of copper, nickel, silver and gold.

From 1 January 1872 all accounts had to be converted and expressed in venezolanos and centavos. Coins minted in conformity with the 1857 monetary law (centavos of pesos) were to continue in circulation, however, it would cease to be legal to accept payment in foreign currency. The new venezolano coins were introduced into circulation in June 1874. The Venezuelan coinage of 1858 had been very limited; the coinage of 1873-1877 marked the establishment of a true, modern national coinage.

These coins are the first to use the effigy of Bolívar, the same one still in use in current coins. This design had already been contemplated as part of the monetary law of 12 June 1865 for coins that would be minted in gold and silver, but this was never carried out. Another innovation was in the 5 Venezolanos coin, which depicted Bolívar facing to the right.

In 1879,[1] the Latin Monetary Union bimetallic standard was adopted, with the silver venezolano (venezolano de plata or fuerte) of 25g .900 fine and a gold venezolano of 1.612 g .900 fine. The subsidiary silver coinage was only .835 fine, legal tender to a maximum of 40 venezolanos per transaction.

However, the peso and the real continued to circulate illegally.[2] The monetary law of 31 March 1879 replaced the venezolano and the outdated currencies as the single monetary unit with the bolívar at 5 bolívares = 1 venezolano or 1 bolívar = 20 centavos de venezolano.


In 1874, silver 5, 10, 20 and 50 centavo and 1 venezolano coins were introduced. These were followed in 1875 by gold 5 venezolanos and in 1876 by cupro-nickel 1 and 2½ centavos.


Banknotes were produced by the Compañia de Crédito, the Banco de Caracas and the State of Guayana. Denominations included 50 centésimos and 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 10, 20, 50 and 100 venezolanos


  1. ^ a b de Pardo, Mercedes Carlota (1961), Monedas Venezolanas, Banco Central de Venezuela
  2. ^ Rondón, Dubraska (31 March 2018). "El 31 de marzo de 1879 se promulga la Ley de Monedas". Ministry of Popular Power for Communication and Information (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 1 May 2018.
  • Krause, Chester L.; Clifford Mishler (1991). Standard Catalog of World Coins: 1801–1991 (18th ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 0873411501.
  • Grillet Correa, Asdrúbal (2000), Monedas metálicas venezolanas (PDF), Caracas: Banco Central de Venezuela, ISBN 980-6395-19-0.
  • based on the original writings of Albert Pick ; edited by Neil Shafer & George S. Cuhaj ; Randy Thern, numismatic cataloging supervisor ; special consultants Colin R. Bruce ... (2002), Shafer, Neil; Cuhaj, George S. (eds.), Standard catalog of world paper money: specialized issues, 1 (9th ed.), Iola, WI: Krause, pp. 1185–1196, ISBN 0-87349-466-0CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Historia de la Moneda Venezolana (in Spanish), retrieved 27 May 2008 Venezuela's monetary history, including a summary of coinage legislation.
  • Numismatic Catalog of Venezuela, retrieved 27 May 2008 Detailed information, with images, of all Venezuelan coins and paper money, regularly updated.