Rubén Darío, Father Of Modernismo Redux: 100,000 Córdoba (Nicaragua, 1987)-Article Variant

Updated: Mar 13

This Nicaraguan banknote represents the 4th denomination of the First Córdoba Overprint (Series G, 1987). This special series of the First Córdoba features overprinted "stamps". These overprinted notes served as a stop-gap for the introduction of the Second Córdoba (dated 1985), in 1988. As rapid hyperinflation made the First Córdoba nearly worthless.

The overprinted stamp (in this case) revalues the note from 500 to 100,000 Córdobas. This revaluation is somewhat odd, as most new values were based on multiplying the original value. Such as "20" becoming "20,000" or "50" becoming "50,000". This odd revaluation is also seen in other denominations. Such as a 500 Córdoba note revalued to an impressive 1,000,000 Córdobas.

Notably inflation continued to worsen, leading to the introduction of Second Córdoba overprints. These overprinted Second Córdoba were issued in 2 series, in 1988 and 1990 respectively. Which were quickly made obsolete, by the 1991 adoption of the Third Córdoba (Córdoba Oro).


The observe features a portrait of renowned Nicaraguan poet Reuben Dario (1867-1916), founder of the Spanish-American “modernismo” (modernism) literary movement. To the lower left of the portrait, is a title "Reuben Dario". A watermark of Dario appears opposite of the portrait. A watermark of Augusto Sandino appears opposite of the portrait.

Moving towards the notes center is the primary "stamp". Although difficult to make out, its Spanish text reads "100,000 Hundred Thousand". The original text for "500 Córdobas" can be made out beneath. While the original "30 April 1985" and "11 June 1985" directive and resolution dates remain. They are superseded by the 17 and 18 November 1987 order, located at the upper left of the stamp.

The note's header reads the "Central Bank of Nicaragua", it rests above an intricate underprint. Below it lays a pair of diamond patterns. To the lower left of the header is an indicator this is a "Series G" note, being 1985 issue. There is a second indicator hidden below the portrait. Below the word "Nicaragua", is a serial number "055407479".

Notably this header serial number is part of a dual serial number. The second serial number is located on the note's footer. Twin serial numbers were a hallmark of De La Rue printed notes of this period. Which is confirmed by the text "Thomas De La Rue And Company Limited", directly below the second serial number.

While not all De La Rue printed banknotes explicitly state this. Notes featuring similar appearing underprints, guilloché patterns, and dual serial numbers. Are more often than not, De La Rue printed notes. Additionally ne may not notice the underprints seamless color transition. Such work requires a great deal of skill, far beyond the level of most counterfeiters, and less experienced state printers.

Returning to the footer, there are 3 separate signatures. They are the "Minister of Finance", the "Central Bank President", and "Central Bank Vice President". If one closely inspects the footer they will notice microprint. In addition to the footer relatively noticeably "static" pattern, is the underprint's "cell" pattern. The watermark area also features microprint, in the form of directional lines.

As a final measure all refences to the note's original "500" Córdoba value have been overprinted. Although difficult to make out, the lower and upper right "1,000"s feature "BCN" stamps. BCN referring to the "Central Bank of Nicaragua".


The reverse depicts the Rueben Dario National Theater, in Managua. The theater was built in 1969, during the previous regime of Anastasio Somoza (1925-1980). Then first lady Hope Portocarrero (1929-1991) played a key role, as leader of the Rueben Dario Art Institute. Fortunately the theater was amongst the few building to withstand the 1972 Nicaragua earthquake and the later civil war.

At the note's center is a second large stamp, similar to the observe. It also reads "100,000 Hundred Thousand". The original white text for "500 Córdobas" can be made out beneath. Just as observe the header reads the "Central Bank of Nicaragua". Above is a pair of patterns, notably these differ from the observe.

When back lit the reverse forms the positive for the note's registration element. Completing gaps with in the observe pattern. This note's registration element is unusual, as it leaves incomplete gaps. These gaps are the white areas seen on the reverse. Usually a printed positive on the observe would fill these gaps, completing the light puzzle effect.

Just as the observe all references to the note's original "500" Córdoba value have been overprinted. Again using "BCN" stamps as references to the "Central Bank of Nicaragua".


Additional Notes

  • This note size is 156 x 67 mm or 6.14 x 2.64 in, similar to a standard 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 is the only Cordoba to use a different ISO code, NIC.

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