The Perpetual President: 10 Cruzeiros (Brazil, 1961)-Article

This Brazilian banknote represents the 1st denomination of the First Cruzeiro (1st Print, Series 1961 "Valor Legal"). It can be distinguished from its earlier predecessor the 2nd Print Valor Recebido, issued from 1953-1960. Which used as different hues of ink, appearing less blueish on it's observe side. With a less vibrant green on the reverse side.

Another notable detail is this note was printed by the American Bank Note Company (ABNC). These ABNC produced notes circulated alongside British produced notes. Thomas De La Rue (TDLR) of London printed these supplementary notes. The two types can be identified by their stamp classifications, "Estampa 1A" (ABNC) and "Estampa 2A" (TDLR).


The observe depicts President Getúlio Vargas (1882-1954), the longest served President in Brazilian history. Getúlio Vargas serve Brazil's 14th and 17th president, from 1930 to 1945 and 1951 to 1954. Initially gaining power in the Revolution of 1930, despite losing the election. Then was briefly ousted from power in 1945. Followed by his election in 1950, which ended with his death in 1954.

The note's header reads (trans.) "Republic of United States of Brazil". The official name of the First Brazilian Republic (1889-1930). Directly below this header is a reference to the Brazilian "National Treasury", running along the top of the portrait. While below the portrait lists the note's (trans.) "Ten Cruzeiros Legal Value".

Which is reinforced by numerous number "10s", located throughout the note. Including it's borders and hidden amongst it's underprint. Although notably this is only relevant to the note's original face value. Notably the overprinted varient of this note will have a stamp, to the right. Which revalues the note to 1 Centavo or 0.01 Cruzeiro Novo.

Other notable features of the note includes its dual serial numbers (091922), which run diagonal from each other. Opposite of the serial numbers are series indicator (Estampa 1A), representing the American Bank Note Company. Additionally the signatures of the Central Bank President and Minister of Finance can be seen, flanking the lower portrait.

Another notable feature of this note are its thin borders. Cruzeiro notes of the 1st Edition, 1st Print Valor Legal often have this miscut appearance. With inconsistent spacing between the observe borders.


The reverse depicts the painting “Unidade Nacional”, an allegory for the Brazilian steel industry. Steel emerged as a vital sector of the Brazilian economy, during a boom spanning 1917-1930. Due to prolific mines in Minas Gerais state and and Portuguese investment. The painting depict a god-like figure wielding a lamp post. In the background are massive gears and smoking steel mills.

The note's header and footer are read as a pair. Together they translate to, the "Republic of United States of Brazil". Besides the header are a pair of small number "10"s, representing the note's previous face value. Six additional number "10"s can be seen flanking the main art, on decorative guilloché backings.

Unlike the observe the reverse border is broad and even. Some minor staining can be seen from excess ink. This small defect can be seen in other US Dollar inspired banknotes of the era. Such as the Mexican 1 Peso printed by the American Bank Note Company, from 1936 to 1970.


Additional Notes

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

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

  • The First Cruzeiro lacked an official ISO code, it used Cr$ as its official symbol.

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