In the past the Mayan civilization used different elements for commercial and labor exchange, these were chosen depending on their scarcity or processing, one of the most common was the quetzal tail feathers (current national bird of Guatemala), hence the current name of the currency from Guatemala.
When the Spanish conquerors arrived on the continent, they imposed the use of the metal coin and therefore the Indigenous communities were forced to work in the metal mines discovered in Guatemala. In 1543 the first metal coins in Guatemala were put into circulation.
The unitary base was El Real, a silver, and copper coin that had been used in Spain since 1369. In 1839 the Central American Republic was dissolved and twenty years later Guatemala introduced the Guatemalan peso but some years later was replaced by the Guatemalan Quetzal. On June 30, 1926, the Central Bank was created, backed by the Central Bank of Guatemala and the only one with government authorization to issue currency.
In Guatemala City, you can find the Numismatic Museum of Guatemala, located at 7 Avenida 22-01 zone 1. Where you can find more about the history of the currency in Guatemala.