De Andrade, Brazil's Poet Icon: 50 Cruzeiro (Brazil, 1990)-Article Variant

Updated: Mar 21

This Brazilian banknote represent the 1st denomination of Cruzado Novo Overprint (Series 1990). This series was introduced as a stop-gap measure, before the introduction of the 3rd Cruzeiro. As the short-lived Cruzado Novo was in the process of being renamed.

The Cruzado Novo circulated from 15 January 1989 and 15 March 1990. As there was no re-domination, the Cruzado Novo was replace at par (1:1). The first 3rd Cruzeiro notes were simply Cruzado Novo, with an overprint stamp. Such as this particular denomination, which is based on the 50 Cruzado Novo (1989).

The 50 Cruzeiro (Overprint) was the only note of its series, not reprinted.


The observe depicts poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade, considered to be Brazil's greatest poet. At the note's center is an illustration of some homes. This image represents Itabira, de Andrade hometown. Itabira neighbors the Mantiqueira Mountains and is known for its Itabirite quarries.

Below the illustration is an excerpt from from the "Prece de um mineiro no Rio" (SEE: "Poem Translation"). Nearby is De Andrade's signature and the phrase "Deus Seja Louvado" translated as "God be Praised. Notably the stamp obscuring the illustration converts the note to a 50 Cruzeiro note.

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 4778073166 A", making it somewhat usually long. Below is number "50" and a reference to the note's original "Fifty Cruzados Novo" value. The note's watermark area can be seen above.

To the note's far right, is a positive for a stylized drawing registration/light element. Backlighting this positive will complete the drawing. Below are the signatures of the Minister of Finance and the Central Bank President. The note's underprint resembles wall plaster used in homes.

An additional number "500" and serial number can be seen at the upper and lower-right, respectively.

Poem Translation

Detached from images that break
at a whim of the gods, you return
which, outside of time, is endless time,
in the secret countenance of truth
-Prayer of a Mineiro in Rio-


The reverse features an illustration of De Andrade writing the "Canção Amiga" (Friendly Song). The friendly is considered to be the most influential of De Andrade's poems. To the right is the complete poem, in its original Portuguese. (SEE: "Friendly Song" for complete translation)

To left is the negative of a observe registration/light element. Notably the note's lower retains its original "Fifty 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 "50" can be seen on the upper watermark area.

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

"Friendly Song" Translation

I prepare a song
in which my mother recognizes herself,
all mothers recognize each other,
and speak like two eyes.
Way down a street
that happens in many countries.
If they don't see me, I see
and greet old friends.
I distribute a secret
like someone who loves or smiles.
In the most natural way
two cuddles are looking for each other.
My life, our lives
form a single diamond.
I learned new words
and made others more beautiful.
I prepare a song
that makes men wake up
and put the kids to sleep.
-Friendly Song-

1990 Cruzado Novo Overprint Gallery

(Gallery contains all Cruzado Novo Overprint banknotes)


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

  • The Cruzado Novo ISO code was BRN, it used NCz$ 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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