The new 500 peso note is starting to circulate in Mexico and it’s notable because the faces have changed. Gone is Ignacio Zaragoza, hero of the Battle of Puebla. In are two faces that are much more widely known outside the country: artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

Naturally, this didn’t sit well with everyone, but “Too bad,” said the Bank of Mexico. They said they had to right to change the image at their discretion and besides, this makes the counterfeiters work twice as hard since they have to start all over again.

Many travelers keep small bills as souvenirs when they return from a trip, so this one raises an interesting question. With Frida Kahlo adorning all kinds of souvenirs already, will visitors be tempted to keep one of these crisp new bills, even though it has a worth of more than $40?

You might have to take it home if you pull this out of the ATM the last day you’re in Mexico. ATMs love to give you these 500 peso notes, but actually spending them is not so easy except in nice hotels, busy bars, restaurants, and supermarkets. Give one of these to a taxi driver or shopkeeper and you’ll likely hear “No tengo cambio.”

Image from The Black Dress Traveler.

Find more info on Mexican money at Mexperience.com