The Paraguayan Beauty And The Hotel: 5 Guaraníes (Paraguay, 1963)-Article

Updated: Mar 13

This Paraguayan banknote represents the 2nd denomination (2nd Variant) of the Guaraní (Series 1963). The Guaraní currency is unique to Paraguay, it receives it's name from the native Guaraní people. It was adopted on 5 October 1943, replacing the Paraguayan Peso. The exchange rate was set at 100 Peso to 1 Guaraní.

From the period of 1960 to 1985, the Guaraní was pegged to the US Dollar. The rate was an unusual 126 Guaraní to 1 US Dollar. Currencies are often pegged, by rates divisible by units of 5s and 10s. Or occasional at par (1:1), in which both are equal in value. Since de-pegging inflation has continued to steadily rise, on a yearly basis.


The observe depicts a young woman in traditional dress, holding a clay jug. The nearby title simply reads (trans.), "The Paraguayan Woman". She wears a open shouldered dress, based on the Spanish pollera. Versions of this dress are common throughout Latin America. As the Spanish colonials enforced a dress code. Notably "The Paraguayan Woman" continues to appear on Guaraní notes.

Above the note's header reads, the (trans.) "Central Bank of Paraguay". The subtext below is read together with the center text. It translates to "The Central Bank of Paraguay recognizes this note for-Five Guaraníes". Further below are a pair of signatures, representing the Bank Manager (left) and President (right).

Between these signatures and the note's footer, is a long notification. It translates to "This banknote has legal tender and unlimited payment status across the territory of the republic (Decree-law number 18, of 25 March 1952)". The footer lists the note's printer as, "Thomas De La Rue & Company, Limited". Which is a world renowned security printer, based in London (UK).

Moving to the note's left, is the Paraguay Coat of Arms (1842-1990 version). It rests on a pair of overlapping guilloché backing. Above it is one of the note's dual serial numbers (A24812828), the second is below the Paraguay woman. The batch letter (A) aligns with a hidden security thread.

The note's border uses a typical guilloché design. Each of it's corners features a number "5", representing the note's beforementioned Five Guaraní value. The sides read "Cinco" (Five) in vertical text. Notably some modern Guaraní notes continue to use this design. Usually note's are based older designs, which have been modernized.

Additionally this note's utilizes ultraviolet (UV) sensitive ink. Exposing the note to UV light cause the note to glow deep blue. The beforementioned security thread will glow a lighter shade, making it easier to spot. It aligns with part of a ring of ten number "5"s, they grow florescent yellow. Old age has caused some of the numbers to loose their glow.

The notes surface feature some blue iridescent fibers.


The reverse features an illustration of the Hotel Guaraní, in Asunción. The hotel was built from 1958-1961 and was Paraguay first 5-star hotel. It's considered amongst the top 10 hotels in South America. And has been visited over the decades by various actors, musicians, and heads of state. After its 1986 remodeling, a spa and 700-person theater was added.

Besides the hotel illustration are a pair 12-pointed guilloché stars. Both feature a large number "5" inside and over-under text. The left-side pattern is light it reads, the (trans.) "Republic of Paraguay". While the right side is dark, it reads, the (trans.) "Five Guaraníes".

Just as the observe, the footer reads "Thomas De La Rue & Company, Limited".

Ultraviolet Gallery

Size Comparison

A Paraguayan 5 Guaraní with US Dollar for scale.
A Paraguayan 5 Guaraní with US Dollar for scale.

Additional Notes

  • This note's dimensions are 157 x 67 mm or 6.18 x 2.64 in, wider than a US Dollar.

  • The preferable method to preserve this note are large protective sleeves, cut to size.

  • Using top-opening sleeves (standard size) will leave a small part of the note uncovered.

  • The Paraguayan Guaraní ISO code is PGY, it uses as its official symbol.

  • In theory, the Guaraní is subdivided into 100 Céntimos, modern coins are in Guaraní values.

  • The last Céntimo coins were issued in 1953, raising inflation lead to their retirement.

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