Cecília Meireles, The Educator Poet: 100 Cruzado Novo (Brazil, 1989)-Article

Updated: Mar 16

This colorful Brazilian banknote represent the 2nd denomination of Cruzado Novo (Series 1989-90). The Cruzado Novo was a short-lived currency. Which circulated from 15 January 1989 and 15 March 1990. As the decision was made to rename the currency to the 3rd Cruzeiro. Notably the first 3rd Cruzeiro notes were simply Cruzado Novo, with an overprint stamp.

In 1990, this note was replaced by an overprinted variant. Which functioned as a temporary stop-gap measure. Until notes properly titled 100 Cruzeiro could be printed. With the exception of their currency name, all three types used the same artwork.


The observe features a portrait of poet Cecília Meireles, know for her work with children. The underprint is based on drawing created by Cecília Meireles. It features whimsical depictions birds, flowers, and butterflies.

Beneath this stamp is an excerpt from from her " Canticles" poem (SEE: "Poem Translation"). This except is somewhat cyprid, resembling a riddle. Although it may simply be a case of lost in translation. Nearby is the phrase "Deus Seja Louvado" translated as "God be Praised. This phrase is featured all notes of previous Cruzado Novo series.

Above is the note's header and one of its dual serial numbers. The header refers to the "Central Bank of Brazil", as the note's issuer. While the serial number reads "A 3075070977 A", making it somewhat usually long. Below is number "100" and a reference to the note's "Hundred Cruzados Novo" value. The note's watermark area can be seen above.

To the note's far right, is a positive for a stylized Heron registration/light element. Backlighting this positive will complete the drawing. Below are the signatures of the Minister of Finance and the Central Bank President.

An additional number "100" and serial number can be seen at the upper and lower-right, respectively.

Poem Translation

Be what the ear never forgets.
Repeats itself forever.
In all hearts. In all worlds.


The reverse depicts artwork by Cecília Meireles, representing a child's imagination. As a teacher Meireles advocated for the construction children's libraries. The artwork depicts a pajamaed boy reading a boy, surrounded stars, butterflies, and stylized dancers.

To left is the negative of a observe registration/light element. The reverse lower refers to the note's "Hundred Cruzados Novo" value. Moving toward the far left, is the note's watermark area. The watermark features Liberty in profile, the artwork is titled Effigy of the Republic.

An additional number "100" can be seen on the upper watermark area.

An example of a 200 Cruzeiro "Liberty" watermark.
An example of a "Liberty" watermark.

Additional Notes

  • This note's dimensions are 140 x 65 mm or 5.51 x 2.56 in, slightly smaller than a US Dollar.

  • The preferable method to preserve this note are standard sized protective sleeves.

  • The Cruzado Novo ISO code was BRN, it used NCz$ as its official symbol.

  • The 3rd Cruzeiro ISO code was BRE, it used Cr$ as its official symbol.

  • Both the Cruzado Novo and 3rd Cruzeiro were sub-divided into 100 Centavos.

  • The coins of both the Cruzado Novo and 3rd Cruzeiro were used in circulation.

  • The Centavo denominated coins of the Cruzado Novo were retained, while the 3rd Cruzeiro coins were issued in full Cruzeiro denominations.

  • The unissued 1 Cruzado Novo coin is known as the "Cruz de Cristo" (Christ's Cross).

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