Markets and Trade, Money

The Value of Old Mexican Banknotes

Old Mexican bank notes can be exchanged for their present-day value at the Bank of Mexico

Old Mexican Bank Notes

You’re planning another visit to Mexico and, after rummaging through the drawers to find your passport, some notes appear with “Banco de Mexico” printed on them.  You glance at the values—$1,000 pesos, $50,000 pesos, $100,000 pesos—and you wonder: so what is $100,000 divided by today’s peso exchange rate?

Mexico encountered two significant economic crises in recent decades: one in the early 1980s and another in the mid-1990s.  Both events had different causes although each imposed the same penalty on Mexico’s peso: devaluation.

In the 1980s Mexico’s currency was denominated not in ones and tens, but in hundreds and thousands.  $50,000 peso notes were commonplace and in the early 90s, the Bank of Mexico issued a $100,000 peso bank note.  At the time, these were worth about US$16.50 and US$33 respectively.

On January 1, 1993 Mexico re-based its currency, removing three zeros from all denominations and launched the New Peso.  A new series of bank notes appeared, looking exactly like the old ones, with two exceptions: the new ones had three zeros missing from the numerals and the words Nuevos Pesos were added for clarity.

In October 1994 a brand-new series of bank notes was released in which the word “Nuevos” was dropped as Mexico’s currency stabilized and people got used to the new currency.

Exchanging Old Bank Notes

The Bank of Mexico honors all genuine notes it issues, regardless of their date of emission, at present-day values.

Present-day values of old Mexican bank notes

Notes: The present-day value is given on this page of the bank’s web site.

Coins: For the current value of old Mexican coins, see this page.

Examples of present-day values (from Bank of Mexico information in links above)

  • a $1,000 peso note dating back to the late 1970s/early 1980s is worth just one Mexican peso today;
  • a $100,000 peso note dating back to 1991 is exchangeable today for a current-day $100 peso note.
  • $1 and $5 peso notes dating back to pre-1975 are worth fractions of a Mexican cent and are now no more than museum pieces and collectors’ items.

Stores and retail banks won’t accept the old bank notes; you need to take them to the Bank of Mexico.

If you hold old Mexican bank notes and want to know if they may have some value in collectors’ markets, visit a site like eBay to browse old Mexican bank notes, assess their current value.

See Also: Guide to Money in Mexico

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1 Comment

  1. William Harrison says

    Don’t take those old “inflation” notes to the bank. They command a good premium if they are in good condition to those of us who collect Mexican coins and currency. Auction sites like Ebay will give you a good idea of their collector value.

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