top of page

Andres Castro, A Revolutionary David And Goliath: 10 Cordobas (Nicaragua, 1979)-Article

Updated: Mar 13, 2022

This Nicaraguan banknote represents the 1st denomination of the First Cordoba (Series E, 1979). The Series F was introduced in 1979. After the FSLN (Sandinistas) overthrew the Somoza regime. Notably these post-Somoza notes featured a less classical, modernist design. Although continued to use color coding as previous series.

The Series F was superseded by the Series E, issued in 1984. Which despite resembling the previous 1979 Series F, included denominational changes. The 10 and 20 Cordoba notes were omitted, while the 1,000 Cordoba note was added. Notably the 20 Cordoba (1979) was reissued as a denomination of the First Cordoba Overprint (1987).


The observe features an illustration of soldier Andres Castro Estrada (1831-1882). Who was famous for stoning a charging American filibuster soldier, during the Battle of San Jacinto (1856). He inspired his comrades to victory. By hurling stones, after his flintlock rifle out of ammo. A watermark of Augusto Sandino appears opposite of the portrait.

The note's header reads the (trans.) "Central Bank of Nicaragua", it rests above intricate patterns. Below is the note's serial number "39987201". Notably this header serial number is the first of a dual-serial. The second serial number being located on the note's footer, on the lower right. Below it is a reference to the note's printer, "Thomas De La Rue And Company Limited".

Moving towards the note's center, its Spanish text reads (trans), "10 Ten Cordobas". It rests on a decorative guilloché pattern. Additional number "10"s can be seen on the note's corners, resting on guilloché backings. Slightly above the footer are "8 August 1979" and "16 August 1984" directive and resolution dates.

On the footer are 3 separate signatures. They are the "Minister of Finance", the "Central Bank President", and "Central Bank Manager". If one closely inspects the footer they will notice microprint. In addition to the footer's pattern, is the underprint's "false texture" pattern. The watermark area also features microprint, in the form of angled lines.


The reverse depicts a crew of miners, the title above reads, (trans.) "Nationalization of the Mines". After the 1979 overthrow of the Somoza regime, the FSLN nationalization Nicaragua's mines. Which under the previous government, were leased by foreign companies. These included the Bonanza and Siuna mines, in the mountainous northeast. Where precious gold and silver can be found.

Just as observe the header reads the "Central Bank of Nicaragua". Below is a pair of patterns, similar to the observe. These complementary patterns form the note's registration element. Each side has a unprinted negative and printed positive. When placed over bright light, each side's positive fill these gaps, completing the light puzzle effect.

At the notes center is a note's center is a large number "10". Below is the text (trans.) "Ten Cordobas". Additional "10"s are located at the notes corners. All which lay on decorative guilloché backings.


Additional Notes

  • This note size is 155 x 74 mm or 6.10 x 2.56 in, slightly thinner than a US Dollar.

  • The preferred method to preserve this note are standard size protective sleeves.

  • The First Cordoba ISO 4217 code was NIO, it uses C$ as its official symbol.

  • The Second Cordoba was the only Cordoba variant to use a different ISO code.

9 views0 comments
bottom of page