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Biru – Land of the Incas

13 Jul 2023
Biru – Land of the Incas

This week we are looking at a banknote from Peru. Peru is a South American country that is home to many Incan ruins such as Machu Picchu and Cusco, and home to parts of the Amazon rainforest. The name Peru comes from the word “Biru” which was the name of an Inca chief who ruled around 1522. Spanish explorers gave Peru its name in the 16th century, and it has been used ever since. Peru gained its independence from Spain in 1821.

Our banknote is Peru’s 1,000 Soles de Oro P122a B446a 1981. This is a paper note with Spanish text. On the front are images of Miguel Grau, and Peru’s coat of arms. The back shows fishermen with nets in a boat. The watermark for this note is Miguel Grau.

Peru’s coat of arms was adopted in 1825. The shield in the center consists of three sections. The upper left is a vicuña (from the same camelid family as the llama) looking towards the center. The upper right is a Cinchona tree, and the bottom section has a golden cornucopia spilling out coins. Above the shield is a crown of oak. To the sides is a laurel branch on the right and a palm branch on the left.

Miguel Grau was a Peruvian naval officer and a hero in the battle of Angamos during the War of the Pacific.Grau started out his career as a merchant sailor at the age of 9 years old. He traveled to Asia, Oceania, Europe, and America, which allowed him to gain the experience that would help him with his naval career. At the age of 19 years old, Grau joined the navy and quickly earned his celebrated reputation. He became known as the Gentleman of the Seas for his kindness to defeated enemies.

This 1,000 Soles de Oro banknote shows images of Peru’s coat of arms, Miguel Grau, and fishermen.

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