6 Facts You Didn’t Know About the Paraguayan Guaraní

Last updated on March 11th, 2024 at 03:07 pm

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The Paraguayan guaraní has been the official currency of Paraguay since 1994. It’s recognized by the currency code PYG and issued by the Banco Central del Paraguay. The PYG was, at one time, divided into 100 céntimos. However, because of inflation, céntimos are no longer in use.

The current denominations are:

  • 2,000 guaraníes banknotes
  • 5,000 guaraníes banknotes
  • 10,000 guaraníes banknotes
  • 20,000 guaraníes banknotes
  • 50,000 guaraníes banknotes
  • 100,000 guaranies banknotes

The  50 guaraníes, 100 guaraníes, 500 guaraníes, and 1000 guaraníes coins were out of circulation in 2005. Read on to discover more about the Paraguayan Guaraní.

Paraguayan Guaraní

6 Facts about the Paraguayan Guaraní

Paraguay is a South American nation that’s home to the native Guaraní people along with many immigrants of European descent. Read on to discover interesting facts about Paraguayan money before you travel to the country or send money there.

1. The name reflects national heritage.

The Guaraní people are native South Americans who live in Paraguay, South Brazil, and Bolivia. The indigenous peoples and their language are active in today’s Paraguayan culture. In fact, Paraguay is a Guarani word. The exact meaning of the word is still up for debate among many historians. The currency name is a nod to the people, culture, language, and heritage of Paraguay.

2. It relies somewhat on gold.

It’s been decades since most countries have relied on gold to back their currency. Most countries currently use the fiat system in which the government vouches for the money being printed. However, just over 5% of the Paraguayan guaraní reserve is a gold reserve.

3. The previous currency was the peso.

Prior to the PYG, Paraguay was using the peso, like many other Latin American countries. However, Paraguay faced some heavy-hitting inflation. To correct this, the government introduced a new currency that was exchanged at one guarani for every 100 pesos. This was to slow inflation down and get the economy under control, which it did.

In part thanks to the new currency, and in part due to its soybean exports, Paraguay regained control of its economic stability.

4. Before the peso, Paraguay’s currency was the real.

Brazil still uses the real, but in Paraguay, the real was also the common currency from the 1800s until 1856. In 1845, Paraguay began issuing its own real, which had been previously issued by Spain. Next, the peso was introduced. Until 1870, both currencies were in circulation. Then Paraguay subdivided the peso, and the real became almost worthless until it was out of circulation for good.

5. Some Paraguayan banknotes have circulated unofficially.

During the 1980s and 1990s, several printing companies began printing the PYG banknotes. In 2004, these banknotes have many more security features and reduce counterfeiting.

However, some “2005” banknotes began circulating prior to their official release, and Banco Central del Paraguay then declared them void and useless. In 2016, they added security features to protect the currency from reproduction by fraudsters. In the last few decades, fraudsters have counterfeited the Paraguayan currency many times. However, the process is becoming much more difficult, with better technology being used in the printing of banknotes today.

6. A new currency was planned and canned.

The PYG is the lowest valued currency in the Americas. To change this, a new currency was going to be introduced. Originally, the government wanted to call it the Nuevo Guaraní. There were even suggestions to use the currency banknotes and manually remove the extra zeros. However, after much debate about possible confusion, the decision is to keep the Paraguayan guaraní as-is for now.

Paraguayan Guaraní

Paraguayan Guaraní Exchange Rate

As of this writing, the value of the Paraguayan guaraní (₲) is quite low compared to other American currencies. For the most recent rates for USD to PYG, CAD to PYG, EUR to PYG, or GBP to PYG, check out Remitly’s website or log into the app.