Rummaging through old papers, notes, and travel memories you might stumble upon some bank notes with the words “Banco de Mexico” printed on them. Glancing at the values —$1,000 pesos, $50,000 pesos, $100,000 pesos— you may also wonder what they might be worth today. This article explains what these old Mexican bank notes are worth, and how you can exchange them, or sell them to collectors.
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 by 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 present-day 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 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 won’t accept the old bank notes: If you have old bank notes you want to exchange for present-day notes, you need to take them to the Bank of Mexico or to any of one Mexico’s retail banks. The exchange limit at a retail bank is 500 notes or a present-day value of $3,000 pesos. You don’t have to be a customer of the bank to request the exchange.
Collectors’ markets: A trade exists in collectors’ markets for historical bank notes, including old bank notes from Mexico. Older notes, and especially those which are in pristine condition, can command a premium over their monetary value when sold to collectors. If you have 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 that will help you to assess their current value.
Learn more about Mexican money: For a detailed guide to Mexican currency and to discover Mexican bank notes in current circulation, see the Mexperience Guide to Money in Mexico.
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