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Benjamin Zeledon, Hero Of Nicaragua: 5,000 Cordobas (Nicaragua, 1985)-Article

Updated: Mar 13, 2022

This Nicaraguan banknote represents the 3rd denomination of the First Cordoba (Series G, 1985). The Series G was preceded by Series F. Which was introduced in 1984. to counter the effects of inflation. Notably the Series F added the 1,000 Cordoba note, while retiring all notes below 50 Cordobas. The Series G expanded this, adding the 5,000 Cordoba note, while retiring all notes below 500 Cordobas.

Additionally some notes of the Series G and the later Series 1985, were reissued as the Second Córdoba Overprint (Series 1988). Most of these notes feature stamps, which revalue the original face value. They served as an emergency measure, against rampant inflation. Until the 1990 adoption of the current Third Cordoba Oro.


The observe features a portrait of General Benjamin Zeledon, known posthumously as the "Hero Of Nicaragua". He was a lawyer, who served during 1912 Revolution. After the surrender of General Luis Mena, Zeledon became commander of rebel forces. He later died during the Battle of Coyotepe Hill, while battling US Marines. A watermark of Augusto Sandino appears opposite of the portrait.

The note's header reads the (trans.) "Central Bank of Nicaragua". It rests above an outline of a diving bird". Opposite of it is the note's serial number "00083173". 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), "5000 Five Thousand Cordobas". It rests on overlapping guilloché patterns. Notably this denomination was not reissued as a Second Córdoba Overprint note. Those note's have their "30 April 1985" and "11 July 1985" directive and resolution dates overprinted. Unlike other overprinted notes, the text remains fairly readable.

Additional number "5000"s can be seen on the note's corners, resting on various decorative guilloché backings. When reissued these numbers are not stamped over, as is the case with most Second Córdoba Overprint notes. Instead the note retains its same "5000 Cordoba" face value.

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


The reverse depicts Nicaraguan National Assembly building, in Managua. It replaced the previous Palacio Nacional (National Palace), after the FSLN took control of the Nicaraguan government. The old National Assembly building was renamed the Palacio de la Cultura (Palace of Culture). It houses as a museum, archive, and the national library.

Just as observe the header reads the "Central Bank of Nicaragua". Below the word "Nicaragua" is the part of the "diving bird" registration element. When placed over bright light, each side's positive fill these gaps, completing the light puzzle effect.

At the note's lower-right is a large number "5000". Printed above it is the text (trans.) "Five Thousand Cordobas". Additional "5000"s are located at the notes lower-left, upper-left, and upper-right corners. These three examples lay on various 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.

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