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What is the Brazil Real?
The Brazil Real (ISO code: BRL) is the official currency of Brazil, and is subdivided into 100 certavos. Introduced in 1994 as part of the Plano Real, a substantial monetary reform package with the aim to put an end to 30 years of inflation.
Originally, it was meant to be fixed at a 1:1 ratio with the US dollar, however it suffered a devaluation to a rate of about 2:1 by 1999, and dipping to almost 4:1 a few years later. In 2006 it recovered partly to 2:1. In Portuguese the word 'real' means both 'real' and 'royal'.
Understanding Brazilian Currency
Introduced on July 1, 1994, the modern real was part of a plan to stabilize the Brazilian economy. The plan was known as the Plano Real. Replacing the short lived cruzeiro real, the reform included the demonetization of the old cruzeiro real and included a massive banknote replacement.
Coins of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents and 1 real denominations were circulated. Made of stainless steel, they have been slowly withdrawn from circulation by the Central Bank. Banknotes denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100 reais were introduced in 1994. In 2005, denotations of 2 reais and later 20 reais in 2001 were introduced into circulation.
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