The origin of the Dominican peso dates back to 1844, when it replaced the Haitian gourde and was divided into 8 reales. Later on, in 1877, it was divided into 100 centavos.

Origins and history

The origin of the Dominican peso dates back to 1844, when it replaced the Haitian gourde, and was divided into 8 reales. Later on, in 1877, it was divided into 100 centavos.

Between 1891 and 1897 a second Dominican currency was issued, the franco, but it never got to replace the Dominican peso. However, in 1905 the US dollar did replace the Dominican peso on a rate of 5 pesos to one dollar.

On 21 February 1937 the Law n. 1259 was passed, which gave birth to the national currency, and which contained a series of regulations to ensure that Dominican coins and banknotes of all denominations were issued in reference to American currency. This monetary model was in force until 1975.

Discover the complete history of the Dominican peso coins.

Current Dominican peso Coins and Banknotes

Thefirst issued national banknotes were the denominations of RD$1, RD$5 and RD$10, which were designed by the American Bank Note Company in 1947, similar to US dollars in size and features.

Apart from these issues of banknotes, the Council of State ordered the minting of fractional notes or “paper coins” in denominations of 50, 25 and 10 centavos. The first issue of these fractional notes was printed at the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic in December 1961, the only occasion in which banknotes were printed in the country. The second issue of these fractional notes was printed in 1962 at the American Bank Note Company’s printing facilities in the US.

Check the complete history of the Dominican peso banknotes at the web page of the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic.

Nowadays these banknotes are made of cotton and there are 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000 and 2,000 Dominican peso banknotes in circulation.

How can I detect a counterfeit banknote?

Imágenes de los billetes del peso dominicano

Regardingcoinsafter the declaration of Independence of 1844, the first coins appeared in the denomination of a quarter of a real, minted at the Scoville Manufacturing Company in the US. These coins were popularly called «cuartillos».

In the year 1848 the circulation of 5, 10 and 25 US cent coins was authorized, equaled to half a real, one real and a “strong peseta”, which were circulated together with 1, 2 and 20 peso notes.

From 1877 to 1888 the “motas” and “níqueles”, appeared, coins of 5, 2½ and ¼ centavos, which are considered to be some of the most interesting Dominican coins. Towards the end of the 19th century the “clavao” coins came along, but these were rejected by the population because their face value was lower than their intrinsic value.

Before the creation of the Central Bank and during the first American intervention, monetary circulation consisted of gold coins and banknotes of the US and other countries, the remains of some fiat coins from the previous century, factory tokens and municipally issued notes, a situation which continued until the beginning of the government of Rafael L. Trujillo Molina.

Check the complete history of the Dominican peso coins at the web page of the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic.

Currently there are 1, 5, 10 and 25 Dominican peso coins in circulation.


Interesting facts of the Dominican peso

  • The Central Bank of the Dominican Republic offers in its web page a series of recommendations to look after the banknotes.
  • As a security feature designed to prevent counterfeiting, Dominican peso banknotes bear a watermark with the three-dimensional image of Juan Pablo Duarte, both on the front and on the back.
  • Banknotes bear a glossy stripe on the back which has a Golden colour when the note is flat on a surface but disappears when the position of the note is changed.


$ (o RD $)



Date of creation:



Central Bank of the Dominican Republic  

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