CLP (Chilean Peso)

DEFINITION of 'CLP (Chilean Peso)'

CLP, in foreign exchange markets, denotes the abbreviation for the currency of Chile known as the Chilean peso. The peso is often presented with the symbol $ and is made up of 100 centavos, even though the last centavo coins were made in 1984. Chilean peso banknotes are issued by the Banco Central de Chile.

BREAKING DOWN 'CLP (Chilean Peso)'

The "old" peso was used as currency in Chile between 1917 to 1959, when the escudo (CLE) came into use. The current (or new) Chilean peso was re-established on Sept. 29, 1975, replacing the escudo at an exchange of 1 peso for 1,000 escudos. The Chilean people also refer to their currency by "luka" when talking about the 1,000 peso note, "quina" for the 500 peso coin and "gamba" for the 100 peso coin.

Denominations and Value

Chilean coins have denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 pesos. Banknotes come in values of 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000 and 20,000 pesos. The front of each banknote depicts an important person in the history of Chile, while the back of each bill shows an outdoor scene with plants, animals or wildlife. Colors of each banknote, in ascending order of value, are green, violet, red, blue and orange.

As of April 2016, 1 Chilean peso was worth approximately 0.15 American cent. Inversely, $1 was equal to 670 Chilean pesos. Investors regard the Chilean peso as the strongest South American currency due, in part, to Chile's many years of economic stability and sound monetary policy. The country's economy relies mostly on the export of commodities, which makes up 60% of Chile's GDP. Exports from Chilean copper mines provide 20% of the government's revenue.


A mint, known as "La Moneda" to Chileans, has produced coinage since 1743, when Chile was controlled by Spain. Gold coins were first struck in 1749 when the mint produced a 1/2-ounce gold coin with a likeness of King Ferdinand VI on the front. Chile starting making banknotes in 1914 but later ceased operations so its currency could have better security features.

Until 2013, firms in Australia and Sweden printed Chilean peso banknotes. However, a $90 million investment, the largest-ever in the history of Chilean currency production, brought the Chilean Mint into the 21st century. In 2015, the public corporation began printing money of neighboring countries due to its high-tech facility.

The mint has a six-day turnover rate from the time bills start as raw materials until armored trucks deliver the currency to banks for storage and distribution. The mint uses 68 employs to run the updated printing equipment that creates Chile's colorful currency.

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