General Sandino And The Liberation Day: 1000 Córdoba (Nicaragua, 1985)-Article

Updated: Mar 13

This Nicaraguan banknote represents the 6th denomination of the First Cordoba (Series 1985). The Series 1985 was preceded by Series E, F, and G notes. The first which was introduced in 1979, after the FSLN (Sandinistas) overthrew the Somoza regime. These post-Somoza notes features a less classical modernist design, although continued to use color coding.

Some notes of the 1985 First Cordoba were reissued as the Second Córdoba Overprint. These notes feature stamps, which revalue the note's original face value. The circulated alongside regular Second Córdoba notes, which lacked overprinted stamps.


The observe features a portrait of revolutionary “General” Augusto César Sandino (1895-1934). Who inspired the creation of the FSLN (Sandinistas). To the lower right of the portrait, Sandino is listed as "General A.C. Sandino". The tile of "General" in this case being honorary, as Sandino was commander of revolutionary forces. A watermark of Sandino appears opposite of the portrait.

The note's header reads the (trans.) "Central Bank of Nicaragua", it rests above intricate "flag" patterns. is the note's serial number "FC 14917343". 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.

Moving towards the note's center, its Spanish text reads (trans), "1000 One Thousand Cordobas". It rests on a decorative pattern. Notably on the 200,000 and 1 Million Córdoba (1990) denominations of the Second Córdoba Overprint. This area is covered with an overprinted stamp, which begins slightly above this note's "1985" print date.

Additional number "1000"s can be seen on the note's corners, resting on decorative guilloché backings. These numbers are stamped over on the before mentioned 200,000 Cordoba note. This opposed to 500,000 Córdoba (1987), a denomination of the First Córdoba Overprint. Which features "BCN" stamps and is based on the earlier 1,000 Cordoba (Series G, 1985).

Moving to the footer, there are 2 separate signatures. They are the (trans.) "Central Bank President" and the "Minister of Finance". If one closely inspects the footer they will notice microprint. In addition to the footer "textile" pattern, is the underprint's "stucco" pattern. The watermark area also features microprint, in the form of angled lines.

While not present on this note, this note was printed by Thomas De La Rue, London. As most First Cordoba notes, with the exception of Series 1985. Feature the text "Thomas De La Rue And Company Limited", at their lower left. While this text has been simply omitted from the Series 1985 notes, the overall design remains the same.

When unmarked, De La Rue notes of the era can be recognized by some key visual features. Such as dual serial numbers, similar text layouts, false textured underprints, and seamless color transitions. The later requires a degree of skill, beyond the level of most counterfeiters. More often then not, this can be used for general identification. Such examples being the 1973 South Vietnamese 500 Dong.


The reverse depicts “Liberation Day” celebrations, on 19 July 1979. The capital city Managua was taken, after Anastasio Somoza fled to Miami (USA). Effectively leaving the Nicaragua government leaderless. Allowing the FSLN entered the city virtually unopposed. The building depicted is the Catedral de Santiago, damaged in the devastating 1972 Nicaragua earthquake.

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 "1000". Below is the text (trans.) "One Thousand Cordobas". Additional "1000"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.

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