What is the Currency of Paraguay?

By Chelangat Faith on August 10 2017 in Economics

Paraguyan guarani bills.

The official currency of Paraguay is called the Guaraní. Its code is PYG and it is denoted as ₲. The Guaraní is made up of 100 units called centimos. However, due to inflation the use of centimos was abolished. The plural of guarani is guaranies. In the Unicode Consortium, the currency is assigned the symbol U+20B2 ₲.

History of the Currency

The peso was the currency initially used in Paraguay. In 1943, the country enacted a law to introduce the guayani as a replacement for the peso. The ratio in which the guarani replaced the peso was 1:100. The first guaranies were issued in 1944, and from 1960 to 1985, the value of the guarani compared to the USD was estimated at 126 PYG against $1.


Coins were first issued in the country in 1944. They were made of aluminium-bronze and came in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 centimos. They were all round in shape. In 1953, the second batch of coins were issued without the inclusion of the 1 and 5 centimo coins. They were also made of aluminium-bronze but their scallop shape distinguished them from the first batch.

1975 saw the introduction of guarani coins that were round shaped and minted in stainless steel. They were in denominations of 1 guarani, 5 guaranies, 10 guaranies and 50 guaranies. From 1990, the coins minted in Paraguay are made of nickel-brass. Rising inflation in the country has led to the decline in the use of centimo coins and mintage of new coins in denominations of 100 guaranies, 500 guaranies and 1000 guaranies.


Guarani was first used to replace pesos on notes in 1943, with the guarani being over-stamped on the existing peso notes. Printing of the current guarani notes followed thereafter in denominations of 1 PYG, 5 PYG, 10 PYG, 50 PYG, 100 PYG, 500 PYG and 1,000 PYG. The De La Rue Company was given the tender. The notes were redesigned in 1963 and new bills of 5,000 and 10,000 guaranies were added. Later, notes with a value of less than 500 guaranies were abolished due to inflation.

In 1990s, 50,000 and 100,000 guarani bills were introduced. Since 2004, all the notes have undergone some modifications. Currently, the notes in use are in denominations of 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 and 100,000 PYG. The printing is currently done by more than one printing company.


5,770 guaranies are equal to one US dollar. The country announced a plan to revalue the existing Guarani with the new guarani or Neuvo guarani which would be denoted as PYN. The PYN would replace the PYG in a ration of 1:1000.

Initially, the conversion would be done by manually crossing out zeros on the old bills. After a transition period of two years the neuvo guarani bills would actually be printed and they would use the old guarani sign. The project was however suspended due to the likelihood of complexities arising during its implementation.

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