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CLP - Chilean Peso

Chilean Peso Converters

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The Chilean peso (currency code: CLP) is the official currency and legal tender of Chile. The Chilean peso can be formally divided into 100 centavos, although centavos are not present in circulation. It is represented by the $ symbol. The Banco Central de Chile has the exclusive right to issue the peso. The peso has replaced the escudo as the official currency in 1975, which in turn was the replacement for the old peso issued in 1960.

The peso coins and notes are referred to by their colloquial names, which are based on denominations. For example, luca is the informal name for one thousand pesos, while quina is the name for 500 pesos. There is also gamba, which means 100 pesos. Although associated with the peso, theses name have been around for decades, and were even applied to escudo.


The Chilean peso’s roots can be traced back to 1817, and the introduction of the first Chilean peso, which was, like all currencies in Latin America, based on the 8-reale Spanish coin. 1835 saw the introduction of copper coins which were denominated in centavos, but any further issues of new coins didn’t happen until 1851, when the real and the escudo were terminated. Back then, the value of the Chilean peso was set at 5 French francs, or 22.5 grams of silver, in accordance with the silver standard. There were also coins which were minted in accordance with the gold standard.

However, it differed from the French standard, because 1 Chilean peso was worth 1.37 grams of gold, whereas 5 French francs were equal to 1.45 grams of gold. After the adoption of the gold standard in 1885, the Chilean peso was pegged to the British pound, at a rate of 13⅓ pesos for 1 pound. After the gold standard was abandoned altogether, the value of the peso declined and the escudo was introduced at a rate of 1 escudo for 1000 pesos, in 1960.


The peso was introduced in 1975 as replacement for the escudo at a rate of 1,000 escudos for 1 peso. Although originally made up of 100 centavos, this division of the peso has not been in use since 1984. The first series of the peso coins was minted in denominations of 1, 5, 10, and 50 centavos, as well as 1 peso. Because of the inflation, the centavo coins have devalued significantly, which basically made them obsolete. The 5 and 10-peso coins were minted in 1976. This was followed up by the introduction of the 50 and 100-peso coins in 1981, and the 500-peso coin in 2000. As of today, there are 6 different denominations: 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 pesos. The smallest denomination that can usually be found in circulation is that of 10 pesos.

The change in the design came after the dictatorship has ended in 1990. The obverse of the 5 and 10-peso featured a new design, which depicted a woman with wings wearing a robe, who had broken the chain that held her hand tied together, a clear allusion of the country’s success in ending the dictatorship. Also, the date of the coup was written in Roman numerals, along with the word LIBERTAD, which means freedom in Spanish. The portrait of Bernardo O’Higgins on the coins was implemented as the democracy was re-instated.

A 100-peso coin underwent design changes in 2001, and now features a Mapuche woman. There was also an issue with the 2008 series of the 50-peso coins, which were minted with the words CHILE misspelled as CHIIE. Despite this, none of the coins that were in circulation were replaced, and they are now a highly sought-after collector’s items worth far more than their face value.


The first series of banknotes was issued in 1976 in 4 denominations. The 5, 10, 50 and peso notes were introduced as replacement for the 5,000, 10,000 and 50,000 escudo notes, which was clearly indicated by the similar design of the obverses. Due to the ever increasing inflation, higher denomination notes were issued, such as the 500-peso banknote in 1978, and the 1,000-peso note one year later. Between 1981 and 1998, notes denominated at 2,000, 5,000, 10,000 and 20,000 pesos were introduced. Smaller denominations of the 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500-peso notes have been pulled from circulation, and replaced by the equivalent coins. Banknotes denominated at 2,000 pesos and larger were redesigned in 2009 and 2010, while the new 1000-peso bill was printed in 2011 and introduced into circulation.

Starting with 2004, Chile began replacing its paper-printed notes with polymer ones. The first banknote to be printed this way only was the 2,000 peso bill. This was quickly followed up by a new series of the 1,000 and 5,000-peso bills, also printed on polymer. The only notes which are still printed on cotton paper are the 10,000 and the 20,000-peso banknotes. This is the only series of notes to be printed for a reason that is not related to inflation. The Swedish company Crane AB was in charge of designing the new notes, while printing was done by the same company and the Australian company called Note Printing Australia Ltd.