Bank of Mexico releases new 100-peso note in polymer, honoring poet
- Published: Nov 21, 2020, 8 AM
Mexico issued its newest bank note, a 100-peso note, on Nov. 12. It is the third release in the Banco de Mexico’s Series G bank notes.
The new note is the first of the series to be made of polymer. The 200- and 500-peso notes in the series are printed on a cotton substrate.
The red 132- by 65-millimeter note is also the first of the three with the designs in a vertical orientation.
The face design focuses on the colonial period, as represented by the figure of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, who the bank calls the most important poet and writer of novo Hispanic literature. Her portrait is accompanied by a vignette representing a section of the main patio of the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, located in Mexico City’s Historic Center, a landmark of educational services during the Spanish colonial era.
Consistent with the Series G 200- and 500-peso notes, the back features one of Mexico’s ecosystems. On this note the temperate forest is represented, by way of the pine, oak and oyamel trees of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, located in the state of Mexico and the state of Michoacán de Ocampo. The reserve has been designated a natural world heritage site by UNESCO.
The 500-peso bank note shows Mexico’s coastline, sea, and island ecosystems of the El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve in Baja California, while the 200-peso note reflects the scrubland and desert ecosystem found at the Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve in Sonora.
The note’s security features include intaglio and embossed printing, a multicolor indication of denomination, color-shifting ink, clear windows, and fluorescent ink.
The Diccionario Porrúa de Historia, Biografía y Geografía de México describes Sor Juana Inés as a child prodigy who learned to read at the age of 3. Even as a youth, her “ingenious poetry, eloquence, and expressiveness made her one of the most distinguished Spanish colonial literary personalities of the seventeenth century.”
She was born an illegitimate child in San Miguel Nepantla, in the state of Mexico. At the age of 8, she wrote a eucharistic praise. While still quite young, she went to Mexico City where she learned Latin in only 20 lessons. In 1665 she joined the royal court in the service of the viceroy’s wife.
In 1667 she entered the Carmelite convent of San José to dedicate herself to her studies. She had to leave due to illness, but in 1669, she entered the San Jerónimo convent in Mexico City, where she remained for the rest of her life.
Sor Juana amassed a library of around 4,000 volumes on subjects including theology, astronomy, painting, languages, philosophy, and music.
While caring for other sisters of her order, she died of plague in Mexico City on April 17, 1695.
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