Brazilian real

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Country: BrazilBrazil Brazil
Subdivision: 100 centavos
ISO 4217 code : BRL
Abbreviation: R $
Exchange rate :
(August 24, 2020)

EUR  = 6.5941 BRL
1 BRL = 0.15165 EUR

CHF  = 6.1278 BRL
1 BRL = 0.16319 CHF

Exchange rate of the euro to the Brazilian real since 2008

The real (plural in German real , in Portuguese reais ) has been the currency of Brazil since 1994 . From 1690 to 1942 the Brazilian currency was also called the real , the plural at that time was Réis .

The sub-unit of the real is the centavo (100 centavos = 1 real). The real was introduced in 1994 in place of the cruzeiro in Brazil after a period of high inflation . Its value was initially controlled by the Brazilian central bank, but has been freely traded on the capital market since 1999.

The publisher is the Central Bank of Brazil .

History of the Brazilian currencies

The first Portuguese settlers in America used the Portuguese real as a currency. However, the first official money, called real, was introduced and printed by the Dutch in 1654 , during the occupation of northeastern Brazil. In 1790, the real became the official Brazilian currency. Between 1942 and 1994, the currency that had been devalued by inflation was replaced by a new currency of higher value six times :

time currency Subunit Exchange rate
1690-1942 real
1942-1967 Cruzeiro 100 centavos 1000: 1
1967-1970 Cruzeiro novo 100 centavos 1000: 1
1970-1986 Cruzeiro 100 centavos 1: 1
1986-1989 Cruzado 100 centavos 1000: 1
1989-1990 Cruzado novo 100 centavos 1000: 1
1990-1993 Cruzeiro 100 centavos 1: 1
1993-1994 Cruzeiro real 100 centavos 1000: 1
since 1994 real 100 centavos 2750: 1

A real from 1994 is thus worth 2,750,000,000,000,000,000 (2.75 trillion) old Réis.

In Brazil in 1994 the real (BRL) replaced the previous currency "Cruzeiro", which in 1942 had replaced the real used since 1690. Today 100 centavos is a real. After several periods of hyperinflation and currency reforms, the real was introduced in 1994 with an original value of US $ 1 . In January 1999 the country got into a currency crisis, which led to a sharp devaluation of the real and then to a general economic crisis. A release of the currency became necessary. Inflation has been brought under control through the creation of a political framework and economic reforms. According to the International Monetary Fund ( IMF ), the inflation rate was 6.9% in 2005 and 4.2% in 2006. For 2007, the estimates were 3.5%.

The 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil have seen a sharp rise in prices in many areas of life since spring 2014. Many Brazilians are protesting with a parallel currency called “surreal” against the increase in price, which is perceived as inappropriate.

Plano Real

On January 7, 1994, a new currency was put into circulation in Brazil, the real. In the course of the currency reform that became known as Plano Real , it was possible to end the chronic inflation that dominated the country and its economy and to continuously lower the remaining inflation in the following years. It was not until then Finance Minister Fernando Henrique Cardoso succeeded in March 1994 with the "Plano Real" to create a solid basis for constant economic growth and price stability . The “Plano Real” had its effect right from the start: inflation fell from 50% per month (June 1994) to below 2% on an annual average, with significant economic growth at the same time. For the first time in many years, the poor Brazilians in particular were able to enjoy increasing real incomes.

1999 currency crisis

Brazil experienced strong inflation in the 1980s and 1990s, which was accompanied by nominal devaluation. As a result, a stabilization program was decided in 1993. a. a new currency, the real, was introduced in July 1994. The real was supposed to be devalued in a controlled manner against the US dollar ( crawling peg ), but it was still considered nominally overvalued. Brazil thus recorded a significant current account deficit, which was financed by short-term capital flows. When there was no inflow of capital and capital flight began (currency run), the real had to be devalued drastically by around 50% in January 1999, despite an international aid package of 40 billion US dollars under the leadership of the International Monetary Fund. After the crisis, there were further devaluations of the real. The Brazilian currency was only able to stabilize in 2003.


The current banknotes were put into circulation in 1994 at 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100 reais. Two more banknotes were added a few years later: the 2-reais banknote was issued in 2001 and the 20-reais banknote in the following year. As of 2006, the 1-real banknote was no longer printed and disappeared from circulation, but is still valid.

Face value Illustration Dimensions colour
1 real 1real 2.jpg 1realback.jpg 140 × 65 mm green
2 reais 2real.jpg 2realback.jpg 140 × 65 mm blue and gray
5 reais 5 reais - front side.jpg 5 reais - back.jpg 140 × 65 mm violet
10 reais 10 reais - front side.jpg 10 reais - back.jpg 140 × 65 mm crimson
20 reais 20real.jpg 20realback.jpg 140 × 65 mm yellow and orange
50 reais 50 reais - front side.jpg 50 reais - back.jpg 140 × 65 mm brown
100 reais 100 reais - front side.jpg 100 reais - back.jpg 140 × 65 mm blue

Commemorative banknote

In April 2000, the Banco Central do Brasil issued a 10 reais commemorative banknote on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the discovery of Brazil. This appeared as a polymer banknote, but is no longer put into circulation because the high production costs are not in relation to the very rapid wear and tear (loss of color on the integrated plastic part). The design is more complex than with conventional paper banknotes.

  • Portrait of Pedro Álvares Cabral , a Portuguese navigator, one of the explorers of Brazil
  • Representation of the map "Terra Brasilis", one of the earliest map representations of Brazil
  • a section from the letter of Pero Vaz de Caminha to King Manuel I of Portugal
  • a Portuguese wind rose from the 16th century
  • on the upper right-hand side, ships from Cabral's expedition appear if you hold the bill up to the light
  • in the background decorative elements made of Portuguese tiles can be seen
  • the white area around the red point is transparent (the red point is translucent)
  • in the background is the cross of the Knights Templar , which was present in all Portuguese ships at that time
  • Map of Brazil with photographs of the ethnic diversity of the Brazilian people (white, black, Indian)

New series of banknotes from 2010

100 reais note from 2012

The Brazilian central bank has been issuing a second series of banknotes since 2010, starting with notes over 50 and 100 reais. The motifs and colors are similar to the previous notes, but the new series has different sizes for the various values ​​and has clear markings for the visually impaired. In addition, new security features have been introduced, such as holograms (R $ 50 and R $ 100) and special inks with a tilting effect from blue to green (R $ 10 and R $ 20). The previous banknotes are still valid, but will be withdrawn gradually.


There are coins of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 Centavos and 1 Real. In 1998 a second coinage was put into circulation, which differs from the first one in terms of material and motifs. The euro coins put into circulation four years later resemble real coins in terms of size, appearance and material properties. On December 23, 2003, the Brazilian central bank decided to take the first 1 real coin out of circulation. The coins for one centavo have practically disappeared from circulation. Prices at the checkout are rounded up or down to 5 Centavos. Production of the 1 centavo coin ceased in November 2005. A 5 reais coin planned for 2009 is not yet in circulation.

First coinage

Face value Illustration motive material Weight diameter thickness edge
1 cent 1 cent back Portrait of the Republic stainless steel 2.96 g 20 mm 1.2 mm smooth
5 cents 5 cents front 5 cents back Portrait of the Republic stainless steel 3.27 g 21 mm 1.2 mm smooth
10 cents 10 cents obverse 10 cents back Portrait of the Republic stainless steel 3.59 g 22 mm 1.2 mm smooth
25 cents 25 cents obverse 25 cents back Portrait of the Republic stainless steel 4.78 g 23.5 mm 1.4 mm smooth
50 cents 50 cents obverse 50 cents back Portrait of the Republic stainless steel 3.92 g 23 mm 1.2 mm smooth
1 real 1 real obverse 1 real back Portrait of the Republic stainless steel 4.27 g 24 mm 1.2 mm smooth

Second coinage

Face value Illustration motive material Weight diameter thickness Edge
1 cent 1 cent obverse 1 cent back Pedro Álvares Cabral (1467–1526), ​​Portuguese navigator copper-plated steel 2.43 g 17 mm 1.65 mm smooth
5 cents 5 cents front 5 cents back Joaquim José da Silva Xavier (1746–1792), who was hanged for his involvement in the early independence movement copper-plated stainless steel 4.1 g 22 mm 1.65 mm smooth
10 cents 10 cents obverse 10 cents back Dom Pedro I (1798–1834), Brazil's first emperor stainless steel plated with bronze 4.8 g 20 mm 2.23 mm corrugated
25 cents 25 cents obverse 25 cents back Manuel Deodoro da Fonseca (1827-1892), Brazil's first republican president stainless steel plated with bronze 7.55 g 25 mm 2.25 mm corrugated
50 cents 25 cents obverse 50 cents back José Maria da Silva Júnior Paranhos (1845–1912), Brazilian statesman, diplomat and historian Cupronickel
9.25 g 23 mm 2.85 mm ORDEM E PROGRESSO
Stainless steel
from 2002
6.8 g 23 mm 2.85 mm ORDEM E PROGRESSO
1 real 1 real obverse 1 real back Portrait of the Republic Ring: Alpaca
Kern: Kupfernickel
7.48 g 27 mm 1.95 mm corrugated
Ring: bronze plated stainless steel
Core: stainless steel
from 2002
7 g 27 mm 1.95 mm corrugated

Security features of the banknotes

Security feature - 100 Reais.jpg
No. Security feature Illustration description
1 Watermark 100 01.jpg If the banknote is held up to the light, the image of the republic becomes recognizable.
2 Colored fibers 100 02.jpg Red, blue and green fibers can be seen on both sides of the banknote.
3 Gravure printing 100 03.jpg By using the intaglio printing process, a tactile relief is created on the front. The words "CENTRAL BANK OF BRAZIL" and "EMC REAL" stand out noticeably.
4th fine lines 100 04.jpg Straight and winding, extremely thin lines all over the banknote
5 Micro- writing or micro- printing 100 05.jpg With the help of a magnifying glass, the tiny letters “B” and “C” next to the portrait (front) and in the 100 (front and back) can be seen in some places on the banknote.
6th See-through register 100 06.jpg The see-through register is a feature on the right side (front) of the banknote. Irregular characters printed on the front and back of the banknotes form a complete picture when backlit.
7th Security thread 100 07.jpg The banknotes have a security thread that is embedded in the paper approximately in the middle of the banknotes and is visible against the light. A dark line runs across the entire width of the banknote.
8th Serial numbering 100 08.jpg The numbering consisting of letters and numbers is used to identify the banknote.
Series represents the design of the banknote.
Ordem (order) is the sequential number.
Estampa describes the series with similar graphics.
9 Latent image 100 09.jpg When looking at the note from a certain angle, the letters “B” and “C” appear in the lower left corner of the front.
10 Tast marks (gravure) 100 10.jpg To support the visually impaired so that they can distinguish the value of the banknote.
11 Fluorescent fibers 100 11.jpg Fluorescent fibers can be seen on the front and back when the banknote is held under ultraviolet light.
12 Micro-signatures 100 12.jpg Very small signatures from the Minister of Finance and the President of the Brazilian Central Bank are on the front.

Web links

Commons : Brazilian Coins and Banknotes  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Banco Central do Brasil: Money in Brasil . Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  2. Brazilian real . Retrieved November 25, 2009 (cookies required)
  3. ^ Resistance to price hikes in Brazil: The protest note. In: Spiegel Online . March 11, 2014, accessed January 19, 2015 .
  4. Heike Knittel: Stabilization in Brazil - the Plano Real. In: Advanced seminar for students of the master’s degree in political science. Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen , 1999, archived from the original on February 27, 2009 ; accessed on July 31, 2016 .
  5. Christoph Ulmer: The "Plano Real" - success story without a happy ending? About the need for structural reforms. In: Advanced seminar for students of the master’s degree in political science. University of Tübingen , 1999, archived from the original on April 12, 2012 ; accessed on July 31, 2016 .
  6. The economy in Brazil., archived from the original on November 3, 2012 ; accessed on July 31, 2016 .
  7. Horst Siebert: Foreign trade . Fischer, 1994, ISBN 978-3-8252-8081-9 , p. 247 ( limited preview in Google book search).
  8. Brazil's first polymer banknote., September 25, 2009, accessed December 1, 2009 .
  9. Conhecendo a nota de 10 Reais. (PDF) Banco Central do Brasil, accessed December 2, 2009 (Portuguese, 649 KB).
  11. a b c d e f g h i j k l Elementos de Segurança do Real. Banco Central do Brasil, accessed November 29, 2009 (Portuguese, security features of Brazilian banknotes).