Sunday, September 29, 2013

Beautiful Money - São Paulo

I got this nice insert in my newspaper this week. It shows the new 2 and 5 reais bills. As you all probably know, currency here is the Brazilian real and the plural is "reais". 

Brazilian bills are some of the prettiest on the planets. Yeah, the dude on the front is more or less like any other dude or dudette (apologies to Queen Elizabeth) on any other currency. Ah, and I just got corrected (see Comments below) that it is a lady not a dude. looks like a dude. But on the back, you have the best beasties around: the hummingbird ($1), the sea turtle ($2), the heron ($5), parrot ($10), golden lion tamarin monkey ($20), jaguar ($50) and grouper ($100). Why the jaguar didn't get the $100, I'll never know. Grouper? Seriously? 

Anyway, the colors are also gorgeous--blues, pink, maroon, green, it's great stuff. Puts the US dollar to shame. When I first got the new $100 reais bill last year, it was so beautiful I was sure that it was fake. So I quickly spent it. I guess this is why they send out these informational inserts in the newspaper.

Currency in Brazil has had quite a checkered history. It's not a subject for a Sunday but some time I'll talk about the currencies that Brazil has seen: cruzeiro, cruzado, new cruzeiro, new cruzado...And all wrapped up with a history of inflation and banking fandango. Yes, I am going to go with "fandango." Happy Sunday!


  1. Wait a minute, it isn't a dude, it's a lady:

    (Although now that you've mentioned it, they made her look a bit like a dude - like that song, only in reverse.)

    What's with the accent ("réal"), btw? Am I missing something with the new spelling?

  2. OMG, I totally made up that accent. There is no accent. Was there ever an accent? Did they change that over time? Okay, so réais has an accent and real does not. Shoot. Heading to the edit button.

    It's a lady. Wow. I really need to some more research. Thanks, Andrew!

  3. To be fair, I still get confused with some of the changes of the latest spelling reform. Over time, I'm going to start to sound like an old fart for spelling things like they used to be "in my day". :)

    Now, sorry to nitpick but "reais" doesn't have an accent either. Are you thinking of the really old money called "réis" from Imperial times?

    I had to look up the figure to be sure but I always assumed it was a lady because she represents the republic ("a republica") therefore, a female. I guess speaking a language with no neuter makes you think in a different way...

    1. I need an editor. You are a good one! Thanks again!