Banco de Guatemala


After its separation from the Central American Federation, Guatemala was founded as a Republic by General Rafael Carrera on March 21, 1874. The economic crisis provoked by plagues that affected the cochineal insect – most important economic activity in Guatemala during that period –compounded by the scarcity of circulating currency provoked by the instability in the poor operation of the Currency House, conditioned the government to authorize, in 1851, the circulation of foreign currency from England, the United States, France, Chile and Costa Rica. A renovated Currency House, headed by Swiss expert John Baptist Frener, gave origin in 1859, to one of the most interesting and varied periods in coin minting in the numismatic history of Guatemala.

During the conservative governments, followed by the liberal governments, the Currency House continued coin minting, offering some changes in design; one of the most important was the inclusion of the national coat of arms, in 1872, during the government of Miguel García Granados. It was during this time that the establishment of private banks was authorized that together with the state banks began the issue of bills; this being another element that gives greater numismatic relevance to this period. A series of economic highs and lows in the following governments, mainly marked by the severe crisis during the period of President Manuel Estrada Cabrera, gives as a result a monetary reform in 1924.

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