The Costa Rican colon (named after Christopher Columbus, known as Cristobal Colon in Spanish) is the currency
of Costa Rica. The plural is Costa Rican colones in Spanish, but English speakers often say colons instead. The ISO 4217 code is CRC.
The symbol for the colon is a c with two slashes. The symbol "₡" has Unicode code point U+20A1, and the decimal representation is 8353. In HTML it can be entered as ₡. The colon sign is not to be confused with the cent sign (¢), which has a code point U+00A2 in Unicode (or 162 in decimal), or with the cedi sign ₵, which has a code point U+20B5 in Unicode (or 8373 in decimal). Nonetheless, the commonly available cent symbol '¢' is frequently used locally to designate the colon in price markings and advertisements.
Summary information about Costa Rican Colon
- ISO 4217 Code:
- Currency sign:
- Costa Rica
- 5 colones, 10 colones, 25 colones, 50 colones, 100 colones, 500 colones
- 1000 Costa Rican Colones, 2000 Costa Rican Colones, 5000 Costa Rican Colones, 10000 Costa Rican Colones, 20000 Costa Rican Colones
- Central bank:
- Central Bank of Costa Rica
Christopher Columbus visited Costa Rica during his fourth voyage in 1502. The country received its name because of the gold mines that were supposed to reside in Costa Rica (rich coast). Costa Rica was part of the Vice-Royalty of New Spain before becoming part of the Central American Republic in 1823. Costa Rica became a Free State on September 8, 1824 and became the Republic of Costa Rica on August 31, 1838.
As part of the Vice-Royalty of New Spain, Spanish Escudos (XESE) were used, and the Central American Escudo (XCAE) was used while Costa Rica was part of the Federation from 1824 to 1838. The Escudo was divisible into 2 Pesos and 16 Reales. The first coins were minted in Costa Rica in 1825 while it was part of the Central American Federation, and it continued to issue coins for the Federation until 1850. The first coins with Costa Rica on them were issued in 1842. Foreign coins were also counterstamped to increase the circulation of coins.
After gaining its independence, Costa Rica introduced the Peso (CRP) as its medium of exchange. The Peso was decimalized in 1864. The Colon was adopted on October 26, 1896 with 1 Colon equal to 1 Peso, and divisible into 100 Centimos. With the adoption of the Colon, Costa Rica adopted the gold standard. The Colon was issued by four private banks until November 24, 1914, and by the Banco Internacional de Costa Rica after 1914. The Banco Internacional was reconstituted as the Banco Nacional de Costa Rica n January 1937, and as the Banco Central de Costa Rica in January 1950.
Because the colon replaced the peso at par, there was no immediate need for new coins in 1896. In 1897, gold 2, 5, 10 and 20 Costa Rican colones were issued, followed by silver 50 centimes, and followed by cupro-nickel 2 centimes in 1903 and silver 5 and 10 centimes in 1905. The 5 and 10 centimes bore the initials G.C.R., indicating that they were issues of the government.
In 1917, coins were issued in denominations of 5 and 10 centavos rather than centimes. 50 centavo coins were minted but not issued (see below). All bore the G.C.R. initials.
The issuance of centime coins by the government (still indicated by the initials G.C.R.) was resumed in 1920, with 5 and 10 centimes issued. In 1923, silver 25 and 50 centimes from the peso currency, along with the issued 50 centavos from 1917 and 1918, were issued with counter-stamps which doubled their values to 50 centimes and 1 colon.
In 1925, silver 25 centime coins were introduced. The last government issued coins were brass 10 centimes issued between 1936 and 1941.
Four private banks, the Banco Anglo-Costarricense, the Central Bank of Costa Rica
, the Banco Comercial de Costa Rica and the Banco Mercantil de Costa Rica, issued notes between 1864 and 1917.
The Banco Anglo-Costarricense was established in 1864 and issued notes from 1864 to 1917. It later became a state-owned bank and in 1994 went bankrupt and closed. Notes were issued in denominations of 1, 25, 50, and 100 pesos as well as 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 Costa Rican colones. Some 1, 5, 10 and 20 colon notes (unsigned and undated) were released in 1963 when the bank celebrated its 100th anniversary. Some had Muestra sin Valor („sample without value”) printed on them in order to nullify the legal tender status and to prevent people from selling them. Most, however, didn't have that printed on them, which makes it harder now-a-days to find notes with the seal.
The Central Bank of Costa Rica was established in 1890 and issued notes from 1890 to 1914. It is currently a state-owned bank. Notes were issued in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 100 pesos as well as 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 Costa Rican colones. The Central Bank of Costa Rica issued notes between 1906 and 1914 in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 Costa Rican colones. The Banco Mercantil de Costa Rica issued notes between 1910 and 1916, also in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 Costa Rican colones.
The government issued gold certificates in 1897 for 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 Costa Rican colones. Between 1902 and 1917, it issued silver certificates for 50 centimos, 1, 2, 50 and 100 Costa Rican colones.
In 1914, the Banco Internacional de Costa Rica introduced notes in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 Costa Rican colones, to which 25 and 50 centimos, 1 and 2 Costa Rican colones were added in 1918. Although 25 centimos were not issued after 1919, the other denominations continued to be issued until 1936. After 1917, the Banco Internacional’s notes were the only issued for circulation.
In 1937, the Banco Nacional de Costa Rica took over paper money issuing and issued notes for 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 Costa Rican colones until 1949. Many of the early notes were provisional issues overprinted on notes of the Banco Internacional, including the 1 colón notes which were briefly issued.
The Central Bank of Costa Rica began issuing paper money in 1950, with notes for 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 colones. The first notes were provisional issues produced from Banco Nacional notes (unsigned and undated). The Central Bank of Costa Rica printed on them the corresponding signatures and dates, and the legend „BANCO CENTRAL DE COSTA RICA” over „BANCO NACIONAL DE COSTA RICA”. Regular issues of notes began in 1951, but a second provisional issue of 2 colon notes was made in 1967. 1000 colon notes were added in 1958, followed by 500 colones in 1973, 5000 colones in 1992, and 2000 and 10,000 Costa Rican Colon colones in 1997.
CRC banknotes pictures gallery
|1000 Costa Rican Colones|
|Banknote of 1000 Costa Rican Colones has dimensions 156×67 mm and main colors are antique brass, indian red, pearl and pale silver. |
Obverse side of the 1000 Costa Rican Colones is showing the portrait of Tomas Soley Guell
Reverse side of the 1000 Costa Rican Colones is showing the National Insurance Institute
|2000 Costa Rican Colones|
|Banknote of 2000 Costa Rican Colones has dimensions 156×67 mm and main colors are pastel gray, timberwolf, light taupe and floral white. |
Obverse side of the 2000 Costa Rican Colones is showing the portrait of Clodomiro Picado Twight
Reverse side of the 2000 Costa Rican Colones is showing the Hammerhead shark and dolphin
|5000 Costa Rican Colones|
|Banknote of 5000 Costa Rican Colones has dimensions 156×67 mm and main colors are umber, silver, camouflage green and beige. |
Obverse side of the 5000 Costa Rican Colones is showing a pre-columbian sculpture
Reverse side of the 5000 Costa Rican Colones is showing a toucan, stone sphere, jaguar and local plants
|10000 Costa Rican Colones|
|Banknote of 10000 Costa Rican Colones has dimensions 156×67 mm and main colors are raw umber, ucla blue, splashed white and silver. |
Obverse side of the 10000 Costa Rican Colones is showing the portrait of Emma Gamboa
Reverse side of the 10000 Costa Rican Colones is showing a jaguar and puma
|20000 Costa Rican Colones|
|Banknote of 20000 Costa Rican Colones has dimensions 153×67 mm and main colors are pale spring bud, tumbleweed, tumbleweed and sunset. |
Obverse side of the 20000 Costa Rican Colones is showing the portrait of Maria Isabel Carvajal
Reverse side of the 20000 Costa Rican Colones is showing papelillo flowers, moor, chispita hummingbird, rabbits, herbs
- About Central Bank of Costa Rica:
- Central Bank of Costa Rica
- List of currencies:
- Security and design features of CRC banknotes:
- CRC banknotes
- CRC currency on Wikipedia:
- Costa Rican Colon
- Official Website of Central Bank of Costa Rica:
- Commemorative coins:
- Commemorative Coins