The Brazilian real, also denoted by BRL, is the official currency of Brazil. In 1654 the “real” became the first currency officially used by the Dutch during the occupation of the territory that is now Brazil. Throughout history Brazil has had different currencies, as a consequence of the diverse economic problems that the country has suffered.
From the mid-17th century until 1942 the real was the single currency, until a monetary reform withdrew it from circulation. At the time it was known as “réis”, the apocope of the plural form “reais”. Then the cruzeiro was imposed, which was divided into 100 centavos and remained in circulation until 1986. In that year the cruzado was established, in circulation until 1989, equalling 1,000 of the old cruzeiros and also divided into 100 cents.
From March 1990 to July 1993, during the government of Fernando Collor, the cruzeiro returned as a national currency unit, maintaining, however, the equivalence with the previous pattern – novo cruzado, when, after a transition period with the actual cruzeiro real, was adopted the standard in use until today: the Brazilian real (R$).
Its good to mention that the Brazilian “Real came back to stay, in July 1, 1994, by the hand of President Itamar Franco, president of the Republic at the time, and Fernando Cardoso, who was later elected President of Brazil, as Secretary of Finances, in order to provide the country with a stable currency. Currently there are 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 centavo coins, one real coins and notes of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 reais.