The Republic of Nicaragua (Republica de Nicaragua) is the largest Central American country. It is bordered by Costa Rica to the south, the Caribbean to the east, Honduras to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. Nicaragua got its name from Nicarao, the name of a chief who ruled the tribe that lived near Lake Nicaragua during the early 16th century. Nicaragua is the only Latin American coy that was colonized by both Spain (16th century) and Britain (17th to 18th century). Nicaragua gained its full independence in 1838. Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, is the largest city. A sixth of the country’s population live in Managua.
Nicaragua uses Cordoba as its official currency. One Cordoba is equivalent to 100 centavos. The Cordoba is named after Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba, the founder of Leon and Granada.
The Banco Central de Nicaragua (Central Bank of Nicaragua) is the central bank of Nicaragua. It was established in September 1960 and started its operations in January 1961.
The first series of Cordoba notes was printed in 1962. Known as the Series A notes, they all had similar sizes and security planchettes. The Series A notes were printed by the American Banknote Company. Series A notes also featured Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba at the back of the notes.
Six years later in 1968, the Series B notes were issued. These notes were printed by De La Rue. Series B notes retained the designs of Series A and added solid security threads to strengthen its security. The 500 Cordoba and 1,000 Cordoba were eliminated in this series.
In 1978, Banco Central introduced the Series C notes. These notes had a new design that featured agricultural activities instead of Francisco Cordoba. The 1 Cordoba note was replaced as a coin. The 2 Cordoba was also introduced in this series.
Two series were issued in 1978. The Series D notes updated the serial numbers of Series C. Meanwhile, the Series E notes had a new design. Military and revolutionary heroes were featured in front and historical events, landmarks, and the national flower at the back. Six years later, the 5,000 Cordoba note was introduced.
In 1987, a provisional series of notes were issued. These notes used existing notes but added overprints of the new denomination and bank initials. A year later, the Cordoba was revalued at a rate of 1,000:1. However, the name was not changed. The revalued Cordoba notes were printed by the German State Printing Office. They were introduced in 1988 but were dated 1985. The bank also abandoned the practice of printing series letters.
Though the Cordoba was revalued in 1988, hyperinflation pushed for larger denominations. In August 1990, the Banco Central revalued the Cordoba again at a rate of 5,000,000:1. This newly revalued Cordoba was informally known as the Cordoba Oro. The Cordoba Oro notes did not have a cohesive design because there were three different banknote printers. However, the reverse side of the notes had a similar design element: the Nicaraguan coat of arms. In 1994, centavo notes were phased out and replaced by coins.
In 2002, a new family of Cordoba notes was issued. These notes, unlike the previous Cordoba Oro notes, had a cohesive design: significant Nicaraguans in front and scenic views with the national coat of arms at the back. Five years later, notes with upgraded security features were introduced. The smaller denominations (10, 20, and 200 Cordobas) were printed on a polymer substrate with the remaining denominations were printed on special paper. These notes also replaced the portraits of notable Nicaraguans with more scenic views of landmarks.
The Banco Central celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010 by releasing a commemorative 50 Cordoba note. When the Cordoba currency reached its 100th anniversary, a commemorative 100 Cordoba note was released. Three years later, the Central Bank issued a new series of banknotes. These notes were all printed on a polymer substrate and featured landmarks of different provinces and cultural vignettes at the back. However, the 500 Cordoba and 1,000 Cordoba notes were only printed on a polymer substrate in 2017.