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Marshal Da Fonseca, 1st President Of Brazil: 50 Cruzeiros (Brazil, 1970)-Article

Updated: Jan 8, 2023

This Brazilian banknote represent the 4th denomination, of the 2nd Cruzeiro (Series 1970, First Family). The Series 1970 replaced the provisional Cruzeiro Novo Overprint, which were introduced in 1967. Unlike the earlier 1st Cruzeiro notes, which were partially based on pre-1971 US Dollars. The notes of the Series 1970, have a radically different color-coded appearance.

Notably in 1970, the term "Novo" was dropped from "Cruzeiro Novo". As such it can initially be somewhat confusing, when studying the general history of Brazilian banknotes. As general rule, only the Cruzeiro Novo Overprint are true Cruzeiro Novo notes. Although the 2nd Cruzeiro, which replaced them differed only in name.

The Series 1970 was superseded by the colorful Second Family series, issued from 1981-1985.


The observe depicts Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca (1827-1892), the 1st President of Brazil. He established the Republic of Brazil in 1889. After staging a coup against Emperor Pedro II. In which, he proclaimed himself the provisional president of Brazil. He was later elected in 1891 and was forced to step down in the same year. Due to political outrage, after he disbanded the National Congress.

The header above reads, (trans.) the "Central Bank of Brazil". The note's "Fifty Cruzeiros" is listed at the center. On a rippled strip, running horizontally along the note's center. Directly below are the signatures of the Monetary Council and Central Bank Presidents.

Along the upper-left and lower-right are the note's dual serial numbers (A 04675 075118). An usual feature of these serial numbers is their split nature. In order to fit the 12-digit long serial number, it has been broken into 2 separate rows. Providing the impression of a double serial number.

Running vertically from the center-left of the note, are closely packed "bars". These bars serve multiple passive security functions. At the bottom is a latent image reading "50", representing the note's Fifty Cruzeiro face value. Above this latent text is a hidden watermark area, it depicts Marshal da Fonseca when properly back lit.

To the left of the watermark is a large number "50", on an elaborate guilloché backing. This simply refers to the note's before mentioned face value. As does the number "10", at the upper-right corner.


The reverse features artist Candido Portinari famous oil painting "Embarque de Café". The painting depicts labors at a Brazilian coffee plantation, as a metaphor for the poverty and hard times of the nation. It was the first Brazilian painting in the Modernist style to receive and international award. That being Second Honorable Mention, at the 1935 Carnegie Institute exhibition.

In regards to the reminder of the reverse, it somewhat mirrors the observe with some minor format changes. Notably underprint and center strip has been changed to a different shade. While the "Cinquenta Cruzeiros" text has been dropped to the lower center. The serial numbers and signatures have also been omitted. The fine text as lower-right, references the Brazilian Mint.

1970 Cruzeiro Gallery

(Gallery contains all denominations of the Series 1970 Cruzeiro)


Additional Notes

  • This note's dimensions are 162 x 76 mm or 6.38 x 2.99 in, larger than a US Dollar.

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

  • The Cruzeiro novo ISO code was BRB, it used NCr$ as its official symbol.

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