Argentina is the second largest country in South America and has one of the most significant economies in the world. The spanish-speaking nation is bordered by Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay and the South Atlantic Ocean. It is a country with a rich history, a vibrant culture and an important role to play in the world of international finance.
If you’re thinking about travelling to Argentina or you want to send money to your loved ones based in the country, then you may have a few questions. Learning about the currency of Argentina is a great place to start. In this blog we’ll be exploring everything you need to know about the currency of Argentina.
Below you’ll learn about:
- The Argentine local currency, the Argentine peso
- How is the Argentine peso recognised?
- The history of the Argentine peso
- The Argentine peso today
- Exchange rates
- How can I send money to Argentina?
What is the local currency of Argentina?
The currency of Argentina is called the Argentine peso. The Central Bank of the Argentine Republic controls, issues and monitors the Argentine peso and plays a major regulatory role in the economy of the country.
The peso has been around for many years and has taken many different forms. Unfortunately, in the latter period of the 20th century the Argentine peso suffered serious devaluation. In 2021, officials noted that the Argentine peso had reached over 51% year-on-year inflation. In Spanish the currency is called Peso argentino.
How is the Argentine peso recognised?
Like many currencies around the world the symbol used to identify the Argentine peso is ‘$’ (the dollar, or peso, sign). The currency is internationally recognised by the code: “ARS”. The Argentine peso is only used as the primary currency in Argentina, although it can be found in large amounts in neighbouring countries like Brazil, Chile and Paraguay.
The Argentine peso is subdivided into 100 centavos. There are several denominations but some are rarely used today because of the historic devaluation of the currency. For example, there are 1, 5, 10, 25 and centavos coins but they are rarely used and have been discontinued due to inflation. Instead, there are 1, 2, 5 and 10 peso coins that are in circulation and are frequently used. The banknotes in current circulation include the 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 peso notes.
The history of the Argentine peso
The current Argentine peso is the most recent in a long line of pesos in the region. For nearly 200 years some form of peso has been used in the country. Between 1826 and 1881 the Peso fuerte was used - a convertible currency where 17 pesos fuertes was equal to one Spanish ounce of fine gold.
Between 1881 and 1970 the peso moneda nacional was used. Then in 1970 the peso ley replaced the previous currency at a rate of 1 peso ley to 100 pesos moneda nacional. This peso ley currency was then itself replaced by the peso argentino between 1983 to 1985. This currency coincided with the return of democracy in the country but quickly losts its purchasing power.
Between 1985 and 1991 the Argentine austral was introduced. This currency replaced the peso argentino at a rate of 1 austral to 1000 pesos. Unfortunately, during this period Argentina endured hyperinflation and the relative value of the austral continued to fall. Emergency notes had to be issued and for the first time in decades provincial administrations issued their own currency.
In 1992 the Peso convertible was introduced and that is the Argentine peso which is still used to this day.
The Argentine peso today
A fixed exchange rate of 1 USD = 1 ARS was established in 1992. However, ever since this agreement expired in 2001, the value of the Argentine has been fluctuating. Today the peso is relatively stable and it has been important in maintaining Argentina’s status as a higher-middle economy.
The current Argentine peso banknotes in circulation have a variety of images on them including depictions of important national figures. For example, on the $100 note former President of Argentina Julio Argention Roca is shown on one side with the reverse featuring a painting called La Conquista del Desierto by Juan Manuel Blanes.
If you are thinking of sending money to Argentina it helps to compare the Argentine peso to other major currencies around the world and the currencies of neighbouring countries. With that knowledge we can better understand the general state of the Argentine economy and you can identify the best time to send money to Argentina. So, let’s take a look…
In 2022, the average exchange rate between the Argentina peso and the Brazilian real is hovering around 1 BRL to 18.1 ARS. This lets us know a bit about the relative economic fortunes of the neighbouring South American giants. To understand the overall economic health of South America it helps to keep track of how these two currencies interact.
In comparison, the average exchange rate of the Argentine peso to the Colombian Pesos during 2022 has been around 1 ARS to 38 COP. Now let’s have a look at the exchange rate of the Argentine peso with some of the major international currencies like the US dollar, the British Pound, the Euro and the Indian Rupee.
In 2022, the average exchange rate of the Argentine peso to the US dollar is close to 1 USD to 101 ARS. This is a particularly important exchange rate for tourists and the tourism industry in Argentina. The average exchange rate of the Argentine peso to the British pound is similarly lopsided, with 1 GBP being worth around 136 ARS.
On average, the exchange rate of the Indian rupee to the Argentine peso in 2022 has been around 1 INR to 1.35 ARS. On the other side of things, the average exchange rate of the Argentine peso to the Euro in 2022 has been equal to 1 EUR to 115 ARS.
How can I transfer money to Argentina?
It is easy to send money to Argentina with Small World’s simple and effective money transfer service. Now that you know more about the Argentine peso it will be easier to know where your money is going and how much it is truly worth in Argentina.
With Small World you can send money through a variety of services including bank deposit, cash pickup, cash card reload, airtime top-up or home delivery. So if you need to support your loved ones in Argentina, choose Small World.
Your first transfer online is always free of fees!