Brazil’s newest banknote Posted by on Sep 30, 2020 in Brazilian News, Brazilian Profile, Customs, Economy, Learning

Good morning to all readers! Bom dia a todos os leitores! Today’s topic is a major attention-grabber: dinheiro (money)! Have you been keeping up with the notícias (news) in Brazil over the past few months? If the answer is yes, then you probably must have heard about the new banknote valor (denomination) that has taken over public debate recently. This is the 200 reais bill which, among memes and controversies, was placed in circulation from September 2. But before we get to that, what do you guys know about a moeda brasileira (the Brazilian currency)? Let’s get to know a little more about the Real?

Brazilian paper bills (Photo by Joel santana Joelfotos por Pixabay)

Since its independence, in 1822, Brazil has had seven currencies with different names, the first of which, Réis, also circulated in Portugal and was established when Brazilian territory was still a colony. The Real was created only in 1994, thus stabilizing the country’s economy which would occasionally undergo severe crises with a devalued moeda (currency). At the beginning, only five notas (notes) existed, the 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100 reais. Over the years, two more were created, that of 2 and 20 reais. And now, in 2020 the 200 reais bill will start making its first appearance. So let’s take a look at papel-moeda (paper money) now, shall we?

Os animais das notas (Photo by Sergio Figueiroa Serginho on Pixabay)

You should know that in addition to having an exchange purpose of purchasing products and services, currencies also represent national unity or economic blocks. To make it clearer, we can remember that, in the past, moedas (coins) were forged with symbols of typical elements representing the regions where they circulated or with the faces of reis e rainhas (kings and queens) or emperors. But there’s no need to dig deep into the past, because even today money still honors important presidents (US dollar), queens (British pound, Canadian dollar) and even architectural structures typical of national territories (euro). And what do you think could be the graphics illustrating in the Brazilian Real?

Whoever thought of animals native of the Brazilian fauna was right! Not only does each note of Real have a different animal printed on its back, but each of them has a specific cor e tamanho (color and size). Let’s go over them:

  • 1 real = Verde clara com um beija-flor | Light green with a hummingbird;
  • 2 reais = Azul escuro com uma tartaruga marinha | Dark blue with a sea turtle
  • 5 reais = Roxa com uma garça | Purple with a heron
  • 10 reais = Rosa com arara | Pink with a macaw
  • 20 reais = Amarela com um mico-leão dourado | Yellow with a golden lion tamarin
  • 50 reais = Laranja com uma onça pintada | Orange with a jaguar
  • 100 reais = Azul claro com uma espécie de peixe chamado garoupa | Light blue with a fish species called grouper
  • 200 reais = Marrom com um Lobo-Guará | Brown with a Maned Wolf

    Photo by Central Bank of Brazil – Cédula de 200 Reais; Central Bank of Brazil, Public Domain,

However, the newest 200 reais bill has already the subject of some controversies. Perhaps the most concrete of these is the similarity between the size of the 20 and 200 reais notes. This could cause confusion among visually impaired people who base on size to differentiate the denomination of each note. What are your thoughts on that? Regardless of the polemic, all I know is that I would sure love to get my hands of this banknote soon!

Have you had any contact with the Brazilian Real? And how would you describe the banknotes of your countries? Make sure to comment what you think of the text! Até breve! See you soon!

And if you still feel like talking money, these previous posts could be valuable to you!:

Money vocabulary in Portuguese

Brazilian currency

A Brief History of Brazilian Currency

Money vocabulary in Portuguese


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