The numismatic series "Recursos Naturales del Peru" (Natural Resources of Peru) was issued by the Peruvian Central Reserve Bank (BCRP) on July 24, 2013 to promote a numismatic culture and to highlight the diverse and rich natural wealth of Peru with one of the most commonly used coins in the country, the S/. 1 coin. The series features three of Peru’s main natural resources: La Anchoveta (Peruvian anchoveta), El Cacao (cacao) and La Quinua (quinoa).
On the front of each Natural Resources of Peru coin the Peruvian anchoveta, cacao fruits or a quinoa panicle is depicted as primary image; the back shows the Peruvian Coat of Arms surrounded by the writing Banco Central de Reserva del Perú (Central Reserve Bank of Peru) and the year of issue.
All coins of the series have the denomination of One Nuevo Sol (S/. 1). They are legal tender. The coins circulate simultaneously with all other S/. 1 / S/ 1 coins and can be used in any transaction in Peru. 10 million units from each image have been minted.
- Value: One Nuevo Sol (S/.1)
- Date of issue: July 24, 2013
- Diameter: 25.5 mm
- Mass: 7.32g
- Material: Alpaca Silver
- Mintage: 10 million coins of each image
- Front main image: Peruvian anchoveta, cacao or quinoa and the logo of the National Mint on a background of vertical lines.
- Back image: Peruvian Coat of Arms
- Legal Tender: Yes
Natural Resources Coin – La Anchoveta (Peruvian anchoveta)
The coin depicts two Peruvian anchovetas (Engraulis ringens), a fish species of the anchovy family found in the southeastern Pacific Ocean off Peru and Chile, and the image of a Moche representation called “Everyday marine life”.
Already thousands of years ago fishery and the abundance of the Peruvian anchoveta off the coast played a crucial role in the development of ancient cultures in the coastal areas of Peru. Its high nutritional content – Peruvian anchovetas provide proteins similar to those found in meat, contain no carbohydrates, are rich in vitamin A, vitamins B and vitamin C and essential fatty acids and are a source of calcium, phosphorus, potassium and minerals like iron and zinc – not only secured a healthy nutrition even of larger communities, but made the Peruvian anchoveta also a good product for trade. In modern times the Peruvian anchoveta was almost exclusively fished for the production of fishmeal, making Peru the world’s leading fishmeal producer. However, over the past 15 years it is rediscovered for direct human consumption and sold fresh or canned (abroad often under the name Peruvian sardines).
Natural Resources Coin – El Cacao (cacao)
The second coin of the Natural Resources series depicts a cacao tree (Theobroma cacao) and two cacao fruits.
Most probably originating in the tropical Andes foothills, in the Amazon rainforest, Cacao is cultivated in Peru for thousands of years. It was an integral part in the lives of ancient cultures and their rituals. Considered a “food of the Gods” and therefore sacred, its consumption was reserved to the nobles. Cacao was used in religious ceremonies, as sacrificial offerings, burial gifts, or as a special form of currency.
Today Peru is the world’s 9th largest cacao producer and the world’s largest organic cacao producer. Thanks to ideal climate conditions and soils which allow the trees to thrive successfully, Peru produces some of the best cacao beans in the world. Main cacao growing areas in Peru are the regions of Cusco, Junin, Huánuco, San Martin, Amazonas, Piura, Ucayali, Cajamarca and Ayacucho.
Natural Resources Coin – La Quinua (quinoa)
The third coin of the Natural Resources series depicts a quinoa plant (Chenopodium quinoa) and a vessel fill with an abundance of quinoa seeds spilling onto mother earth.
As the other two natural resources, quinoa is cultivated in Peru for millennia and played a crucial role in the development and diet of ancient cultures. Originating most probably in the area around Lake Titicaca, quinoa was an important staple food providing the people living in the harsh conditions of the Andes with high amounts of protein, all eight essential amino acids and a rich and balanced source of other vital nutrients.
After the Spanish conquest quinoa was buried in oblivion, but over the past decades it experienced a renaissance and conquers the world. Because of its high nutritional value, ease of use and versatility in preparation, the "mother of all grains" - as the Incas called the crop – today is considered a superfood and consumed by many people paying attention to a healthier diet.