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1 Quetzal 2011, Guatemala

in Krause book Number: 115
Years of issue: 23.11.2011
Edition: 20 289 613
Signatures: Gerente General: Mr. Sergio Francisco Recinos Rivera, Presidente: Edgar Baltazar Barquín Durán
Serie: No Serie
Specimen of: 20.08.2007
Material: Polymer
Size (mm): 156 х 67
Printer: Oberthur Fiduciare, Chantepie

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

1 Quetzal 2011



In the polymer window on the left side is a logo of Bank of Guatemala.

banco de guatemala

The central element of the emblem is the national bird of Guatemala - quetzal, sitting on Mayan pyramid. On the right and left of the pyramid are an olive branches. Inscription around: Banco de Guatemala.


1 Quetzal 2011

On the right side (on the background is a stylized Mayan pyramid) is the portrait of José María Orellana Pinto (July 11, 1872 - September 26, 1926). He was a Guatemalan politician, President of Guatemala from December 10, 1921 to September 26, 1926.

Orellana, born in El Jícaro, department of El Progreso, was a general of the Guatemalan army. He took possession after a coup d'état against then president Carlos Herrera, and had himself elected as president the next year. His father was Esteban Orellana and his mother Leonor Pinto.

During Orellana's term, the quetzal as unit of currency was created.

On the top and left, in center, are the pictures from Mayas culture.


Above is the flying Quetzal Bird.

The Resplendent Quetzal, Pharomachrus mocinno, is a spectacular bird of the trogon family. It is found from southern Mexico to western Panama (unlike the other quetzals, which are found in South America and eastern Panama). There are two subspecies, P. m. mocinno and P. m. costaricensis, the Costa Rican Resplendent Quetzal. This quetzal plays an important role in Mesoamerican myth.

This species is 36 cm. (14 in.) long, plus up to 64 cm. (25 in.) of tail streamer for the male, and weighs 210 g. (7 oz.).

Resplendent Quetzals have a green body (showing iridescence from green-gold to blue-violet) and red breast. Their green upper tail coverts hide their tails and in breeding males are particularly splendid, being longer than the rest of the body. The primary wing coverts are also unusually long and give a fringed appearance. The male has a helmet-like crest. The mature male's beak is yellow and the female's is black.

The "song" is a treble syllable described as kyow or like "a whimpering pup", often in pairs, which may be repeated monotonously. Resplendent Quetzals have other unmusical calls as well.

The Resplendent Quetzal is Guatemala's national bird, and an image of it is on the flag and the Coat of arms of Guatemala. It is also the name of the local currency (abbreviation GTQ).

The bird is of great relevance to Guatemalan culture, being a character in the widely popular legend of the local hero Tecún Umán, a prince and warrior of the Quiche Maya during the latter stages of the Spanish conquest of the region. This quetzal was his nahual (spirit guide).

The Quiche repelled several attacks from the Spanish army, even though outmatched in weaponry (guns, armor and cavalry against spears and arrows).

Legend has it that on the day the conquistador Pedro de Alvarado fought against Tecun Uman, there was a quetzal flying overhead. On the first strike Tecun Uman, on foot, managed to disable Pedro de Alvarado's horse. Alvarado was then given another horse and on the second strike ran through Tecun Uman's chest with a spear.

The quetzal flew down and landed on Tecun Uman, dipping its chest in the warrior prince's blood. It is there that the bird acquired its distinctive red chest feathers.

Lower left is the Guatemala's national flag.


The flag of Guatemala features two colors: sky blue and white. The two sky blue stripes represent the fact that Guatemala is a land located between two oceans, the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean (Caribbean sea); and the sky over the country (see Guatemala's National Anthem). The white color signifies peace and purity.

Mayan Codex

Below, on the banknote, the ancient Mayan inscription.

Many thanks to Roman M. from S-v, Russia for the material on the inscription!

Here's what he wrote:

""Eight 400 years fourteen 20 years 3 years 1 month and 12 days [Long Count], I day of the week and day of Eb [Tzolk'in calendar], [and] (zero day of the month Yash K'in [Haab calendar]) ". Date corresponding to 317 AD, according to the Gregorian calendar, the inscription was copied from the so-called Leiden plate, a jade artifact found in the area of ​​the ruins of the Tikal settlement, El-Petén department, and at the time of the design of the banknote, considered the oldest dated Mayan civilization, the glyph indicated in brackets, absent on the banknote, but it is on the plate itself and is necessary for determining the date, since it takes into account the correction for leap years."

Learn more about the meaning of each symbol:


8 times four hundred years.


14 times twenty years.


3 years.


1 month.


12 days.

It was all the so-called Long Count.



I-th day of the week and day of Eb [Tzolk'in calendar].


And the last (seventh) hieroglyph, which is not on the banknote and which is indicated in brackets, is the zero day of the month Yash K'in [of the Haab calendar].

General meaning:

The Maya had two calendars, with the first having divisions with a long count and, obviously, a short one.

Imagine, for example, what is said: the events took place on September 21. To concretize, additional info is needed. Well, like, what year? Then we explain on Monday (this is like the second calendar). It's better, because September 21 does not coincide with Monday every year. But it is still not entirely clear. And now we add: the beginning of the third decade of the millennium. Now everything is concrete.


A vulture is shown in the upper right corner.

The royal vulture (image from the pages of one of the Mayan codes) symbolizes the supreme power.


On the top is an inscription - "Banco de Guatemala".

Right and left from it are the images of Itztlacoliuhqui-Ixquimilli with a pair of sharp knifes - the god of frost, ice, cold, winter, sin, punishment and human misery..

Top right are the Braille dots for the visually impaired.

On the left side is a polymer window.

Denominations in numerals are in three corners and in center. Also, in center, in words.


1 Quetzal 2011


Centered is the building of Central Bank of Guatemala with relief murals by Guatemala's sculptor, painter and engraver Dagoberto Vásquez Castañeda (2 October 1922-21 June 1999), depicting his country's history, Guatemala City, Guatemala.

Placa de LeydenOn the left side is the Leyden plate (Placa de Leyden). In 1864, at the construction works of the canal near the city of Puerto Barrios, lying in the swamps of the Caribbean coast of Guatemala, came across a jade plate, which is then, passed from hand to hand, was in the Dutch city of Leiden. On one side of the plate depicted a carved figure of a ruler in a rich suit, trampling underfoot the prisoner, lying on the ground, - a topic that has received very widespread later on carved stelae of Maya. On the other side of the plate depicted a cut out date of calendar "long count" -, corresponding to 317 AD. e. Product Height - 21 cm.

Ara de Tikal

On the right side is the altar of the temple city of Tikal.

Tikal is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centres of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. It is located in the archaeological region of the Petén Basin in what is now northern Guatemala. Situated in the department of El Petén, the site is part of Guatemala's Tikal National Park and in 1979 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Tikal was the capital of a conquest state that became one of the most powerful kingdoms of the ancient Maya. Though monumental architecture at the site dates back as far as the 4th century BC, Tikal reached its apogee during the Classic Period, ca. 200 to 900 AD. During this time, the city dominated much of the Maya region politically, economically, and militarily, while interacting with areas throughout Mesoamerica such as the great metropolis of Teotihuacan in the distant Valley of Mexico. There is evidence that Tikal was conquered by Teotihuacan in the 4th century AD. Following the end of the Late Classic Period, no new major monuments were built at Tikal and there is evidence that elite palaces were burned. These events were coupled with a gradual population decline, culminating with the site’s abandonment by the end of the X century.

Tikal is the best understood of any of the large lowland Maya cities, with a long dynastic ruler list, the discovery of the tombs of many of the rulers on this list and the investigation of their monuments, temples and palaces.

Various samples of the Maya culture arranged across the banknote.

Denominations in numerals are in three corners. In center, a little to the right side, in words.