|euro||peseta||Mexican peso||Cuban peso||Dominican peso|
|Costa Rican colón||quetzal||lempira||Nicaraguan córdoba||Panamanian balboa|
|Argentine peso||Boliviano||Chilean peso||Colombian peso|
Peso (“weight” in Spanish) is the name of several currencies used in South
America and the Philippines. Its origin dates back to the Spanish monetary
reform of 1497, when an eight real coins was introduced, named “piece of
eight” (“real de a ocho” in Spanish, also known as “peso fuerte”). This coin
was used in the Spanish colonies of America where, indeed, the main mints
were located due to the presence of silver mines in the continent.
Because of the lack of English coins in the British colonies in America, the Mexican Peso had legal tender in North America until the 1857 at par with the US dollar. The symbol $ of the US dollar comes from the columns of Hercules and the band with the motto "Plus ultra" depicted in the coat of arms on the real, also used in the Spanish peseta up to the introduction of the euro.
The circulation of the peso continued also after the independence of the Spanish colonies; only with the adoption of decimal monetary systems some countries adopted new currencies, such as Bolivia with the boliviano, Venezuela with the bolivar, El Salvador and Costa Rica with the colón, Nicaragua with the cordoba, Honduras with the lempira, Guatemala with the quetzal, Paraguay with the Guaraní, and Ecuador with the sucre.
On the contrary, several countries continued to use the peso, like Argentina with Argentine peso, Chile with the Chilean peso, Colombia with the Colombian peso, Cuba with the Cuban peso, the Philippines with the Philippine peso, Mexico with the Mexican peso, the Dominican Republic with the Dominican peso and Uruguay with Uruguayan peso.
The weight is also used as unit of account in economic organizations like the Central American Peso for the Central American Common Market (Central American Integration System since 1991) and the Andean Peso for the Andean Community of Nations.
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