The córdoba is the currency of Nicaragua, created in 1912 in the honour of Francisco Hernández de Córdoba, one of the Spanish captains who conquered these lands. 

Origins and history

The origins of the history of Nicaraguan córdoba go back to the separation of the Republic of Central America, a time when currencies of different countries (Peru, Bolivia, USA and others) were used in the country. In 1859, by executive decree, the market of León was empowered to issue coins of “real dime” which amounted to one tenth of the US dollar.

In 1879, under President Joaquín Zavala term, the “cent” was created and also the issuance of the first national notes or treasury notes. In 1888 the first private banks were created, issuing their own banknotes, such as the Bank of Nicaragua and the Mercantil Agricultural Bank.

After a period of monetary chaos, in 1912 the National Bank of Nicaragua Incorporated was created, and after that, Adolfo Díaz government enacted the Law on Currency Conversion, in March 1912. This law created the córdoba currency, but due to the political instability of the time, the Córdoba did not circulate until mid-1913.

Nicaragua began the 90s with the issuance of the córdoba “oro”, which as of 13th August, 1990 was introduced into circulation, expressed in the same currency córdoba.

Although the new government of Violeta Barrios de Chamorro proclaimed that the currency would hit parity with the US dollar, in less than a year the value of the currency took a different path, devaluating six times its issue value. This is how the intense history of the Nicaraguan numismatics started.

In 2003 and 2009, in order to ensure public trust and confidence in the use of banknotes, the CBN updated the design of their banknotes, issuing new families. The issuance of new banknotes in 2009 included the notes printed on polymer substrate, a new technology that offers the public safer, more lasting banknotes.

Current córdoba coins and banknotes 


Currently, coins of 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents are in circulation, as well as coins of 1, 5 and 10 córdobas and banknotes of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 córdobas.  

Billetes del córdoba nicaragüense

Monedas del córdoba de Nicaragua.

Find out about córdoba coins and banknotes security measures.

Interesting facts of the Nicaraguan córdoba

  • Commonly, the Nicaraguan córdoba is also called peso. 
  • After the inflation suffered by the currency in 1980, Nicaragua decided to solve the problem by a stamp which modified the value of existing notes. In this way, the 1,000 córdoba note would become a 1 million córdobas. 
  • On the 8th May 1946, the 500 córdoba notes featuring the face of Rubén Darío first entered into circulation.





Date of creation:



Central Bank of Nicaragua

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